The point of an interview is to put your best foot forward and demonstrate how you would be an asset to the company. The key to any interview is to think before you speak. Casually spouting totally random facts about yourself can end the interview before it has ever really begun. It is always best to stay on-topic in an interview, referring only to relevant items related to that interview and your work experience and skills. Below we have highlighted some topics that you should resist speaking about when in an interview. You might think that these are common sense, but you would be amazed at what people say in an interview.
- How is your day – when an interviewer simply asks you how your day is going, this is just a simple gesture as a way to start the conversation flowing in an interview, it is not an opportunity for you to vent about your rushed morning and how bad the commute was to the facility where the interview is taking place. Keep your response polite and simple. The KISS method is perfect here.
- What kind of car you drive – what interviewer wants to know that you drive an Escalade, when they drive a Civic?
- Financial status and problems – nothing good can come from you speaking about either your good or poor financial situation. Adding to this, that fact that your financial situation is so good that you don’t need to work. The only thing that can come out of that is red-flags.
- Marital status or dating status – here is a situation where not only less is more, but nothing is ideal. No interviewer wants to know how many dating sites you are on, or if you are getting divorced.
- Pride in illegal activities (no joke) – do not boast about how you figured out how to cheat the IRS or scam the Easy Pass lane on the highway. No interviewer will think you are ingenious for any such activities.
- Drama about past employers or employment situations – sharing nasty little details about a previous situation is never a good idea. In the eyes of the interviewer, it only screams that you have loose lips.
- Politics – bringing up political preferences with someone that you just met is never a good idea. Those preferences are your own and should stay that way.
Consider the interview as a dance and someone has to lead, and it should not be you. Let the interviewer lead. Below we have highlighted some topics that you should consider following to have a successful interview from both the interviewer’s perspective and your’s.
- Research the company thoroughly and be prepared to share your knowledge with the interviewer. You would be amazed how many people walk into an interview knowing nothing about the company.
- Be prepared with your resume and pertinent questions about the company and the position.
- Stay on topic – respond to what you are being asked, in short, concise statements, providing the detail that you feel needed to highlight you points. Do not go on and on, to the point that you need to be interrupted by the interviewer to ask that next question. In short…Don’t Talk Too Much, but just enough.
- Understand what value you can bring to the company, and what your goals would be within the organization if you got the position. Be prepared to speak to both the topics. Missing this opportunity could cost you the position.
- When asked about why you left a previous position, avoid using the statement that it was a “mutual decision.” Rarely is it ever mutual, but it does happen, so just state the truth in a manner that you are comfortable, but not offensive to your previous employer.
- Be prepared with current and relevant references. If you are only able to provide references that are five years or older, that will raise red flags; current is key.
Be prepared, be polite, stay on-topic, don’t talk too much and close the deal and get the job!