Scoring your dream job takes a lot of ladder climbing and hard work, and in some economies finding any job is a challenge. Before you can impress a boss with your skill set and work ethic, you need to successfully make it through the sometimes arduous interview process. Do yourself a favor and refrain from sabotaging your own opportunity by saying the wrong thing during a crucial interview. Just one out of line statement might give another candidate the upper hand. Here are five things you should never say in a job interview.
1. “My last boss was a jerk.”
Disparaging your last boss looks very unprofessional, and doesn’t bode well for your ability to handle conflict in the future. Lots of people don’t get along with an employer, but showing that you have the tact and common sense to carefully word the reasons you left your last job will get you further than oversharing about any conflicts you had.
2. “What does your company do exactly?”
You should always go into an interview with a good idea about what the company does, and their mission statement. Asking questions that show you don’t even have a cursory knowledge of who you’re interviewing for won’t score you any points. Look at the company website and read news articles to get an idea about what the company is trying to accomplish and how you can best help them do it.
3. “My biggest weakness is that I work too hard.”
Your potential employer doesn’t want to hear a canned answer. When they ask you something about yourself, even if the answer is prepared, make it original. You don’t want to sound generic, or worse, like you are blowing smoke. When you reveal what your weakness is, also talk about what you’re doing to improve upon it.
4. “How much vacation time do you offer?”
No employer wants to know that you’re already planning how much time you can spend away from your job before you’ve even been made an official offer. Questions about vacation time and sick time can be lodged at a human resources representative after you’ve been offered a position and are working your way through hiring process paperwork.
5. “Oh, @#*!”
Don’t curse during the interview; not even in jest or when the company atmosphere seems very casual at first glance. Even one swear word can ruin your entire chance of getting hired. If you can’t remember to curb your language during the interview, the hiring manager has no reason to think that you’ll be able to do it while you’re dealing with clients or co-workers.
Getting hired isn’t an easy process, so give yourself a leg up and behave carefully during the interview. When in doubt, bite your tongue. Sharing negative details about your home life or health, for instance, can come across as inappropriate or too abrasive. Keep your answers honest and personal, but bear in mind that as friendly as the interviewer seems — he isn’t your personal friend.