The hiring managers sifted through some resumes, and they have decided to meet you in person. Without a doubt, the first impression will either make or break your chances. Naturally, preparation is the key to seal the deal. Learning more about the company, understanding the job role, and going through some of the most frequently asked questions in the interview is important. However, so many candidates put themselves in difficult situations in the interview process by making a bad first impression. So, at half the sky we’ve put together a short guide to help you step up your game by knowing the top five things to avoid saying in an interview! Giving you the best chance to leave a five-star first impression.
1. “Sorry, I’m late.”
First impression is everything. Unless there is an actual emergency, don’t be late for an interview. Hence, it is always best to confirm an interview. Take note of the date, time, and location of the meeting. Apart from dropping a confirmation e-mail to the hiring manager, schedule it into your calendar, and check the estimated time of arrival a day before the interview to be fully prepared.
2. “So, what do you do around here?”
One of the crucial preparations before heading to any job interview is a background research regarding the company. When this question is being asked, it shows that you have a lack of knowledge of the company, and even your job role. It gives the hiring manager an impression that you not really interested or bothered about the opportunity. Learn more about the company through different websites such as LinkedIn, or just Google it!.
3. “My boss was incompetent.”
Stating that your current or previous boss was incompetent, or any negative remarks regarding the company, may indicate that you are difficult to manage. Hiring managers will not appreciate you bad mouthing your boss. Additionally, hiring managers may worry that you will damage the company’s reputation in future job interviews. Keep in mind that it is always best to leave a positive impression during an interview!
4. “You will regret if you don’t hire me. I’m the most qualified.”
Chances are, you don’t personally know any of the other candidates that are applying for the same job role as you. Without having a clear evaluation, it is best to keep away from bold statements. Being confident is a good idea, but being overconfident can be a turn off to the hiring managers. Instead of making strong statements, try to mention some of your professional strengths, and skills and willingness to do your best if given the opportunity.
5. “No, I don’t have any questions for you.”
Many people mistake job interviews to be a one-way street. When an interview is about to end, the hiring manager will give you an opportunity to learn more about the company, or the job role. Hence, it is great to prepare some questions beforehand, and use this chance to show that you are well-prepared and more importantly interested. Depending on the position of the hiring manager, you can tailor some questions, too!
6. “I don’t see myself working here longer than two years”
It could come as a surprise to many but telling your hiring manager that you don’t see yourself happily in your job in the next five years doesn’t go down very well.
Even if the job you're interviewing for isn't something you can really see yourself doing for the long-term, don't provide that information to your interviewer. You might see yourself outgrowing the position on offer and have big career aspirations, but it's important to focus on the job you're interviewing for and to seal the deal. Stating that you won’t be around and implying the opportunity is only a stop gap will not instill confidence that you’re somebody worth investing in.
Practice makes perfect
Hopefully, this article helps you to navigate an interview better. It goes without saying that hiring managers will be looking out for red flags during an interview. One small mistake during the meeting may affect the outcome of the interview. Be fully prepared with the interview, and always choose the right words to say. At the end of the day, what you say is as important as how you say it. Good luck!
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half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women in Asia. We connect women to career opportunities at companies that care. We also want to equip you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the workplace today and the future.
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