There are several clear mistakes that will kill your job interview. If you swear at the interviewer for not noticing your amazing outfit, chances are you are not going to get the job. These are clear and obvious mistakes that will give you no shot at employment.
Still, what about less obvious mistakes? What about mistakes that may seem like nothing at the time, yet will likely cause you to miss out on a great job? Below are some examples of things you can say at a job interview which will make it highly unlikely you will get hired.
Job Interview Mistakes
- Badmouthing Your Previous Job
You may think that this new employer does not care about how you feel about your previous employer, but they do. How you represent your old workplace says a lot about how you will represent them. If you tell the interviewer that your old job treated you unfairly, the interviewer is going to think of you as negative, wonder if you deserved to be treated unfairly, and will not give you the job.
- Badmouthing a Boss or Coworker
Similarly, you should not say anything negative about a supervisor or coworker. It does not matter if they wronged you, nor does it matter if the interviewer asks you specifically to say something negative about a coworker or supervisor. You have to pretend you got along with all of them very well, to avoid being painted as defensive or negative.
- “What kind of benefits do you offer?”
You are not employed yet. Their benefits do not matter to you. The company wants to believe (however misguided) that you applied to the job because you truly want to work for their company. Asking aobut benefits or salary right away simply makes it look like you are there for the money.
- “Do I have to do X?”
You should be willing to do every aspect of your job. You should never say there is some part of your job that you don’t want to do or prefer not to do. For example, if you are in sales, you should never ask “Do I have to make cold calls?” Whatever the employer tells you to do, that is what you have to do without complaints.
- “Is there any way we can finish this up by 3pm?”
When you are scheduled for a job interview, you need to be there until the employer decides you can go. Having other things on your schedule only serves to make you appear uninterested in the job, and you will not be getting hired.
- “No, I don’t have any questions. I think you answered everything!”
The interviewer may be the best interviewer in the world. They may tell you everything you could possibly wonder about the company, and you know you will leave the interview with an in depth understanding of how the company works. It doesn’t matter. You must have questions for the interviewer. If you don’t, you will look like you don’t care, and you won’t get the job.
- “Do you mind if I go to the bathroom before we begin?”
Another way to ruin a job interview is to make special requests. Asking to go to the bathroom before you start or asking if you can get a cup of coffee make it look like you came unprepared. You may have an opportunity to go to the bathroom during the interview, but you should not be asking the interviewer for any requests. That includes smoke breaks, paper towels to dry off when you come in from the rain, etc.
Little Things Add Up
These may all seem like tiny things, but they can have a tremendous impact on your employment. Even one of these mistakes, however small, essentially guarantee that the company will not hire you. Remember to take everything seriously, because only by avoiding these mistakes can you win the job.
Take Away Interview Tips
- There are little mistakes that make a huge difference.
- Always have questions for the interviewer.
- Never make special requests.
- Don’t ask about salary or benefits until you have the job.
- Always be positive about your past and the requirements of the position.