6 Topics Never To Talk About At Job Interviews
If only a face-off with an interviewer is like a casual chat at a social gathering session at the bar. It would be great if we can say anything we want and have little consequences. And even if you say something wrong, you can explain yourself away the next day feigning high alcohol intoxication.
As we all know, treating an interview casually is often not possible. The job you want is at stake, and you wouldn’t want to risk having the interviewer think that you don’t really want it.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, interviewers like casual interactions and might actually prefer it. But you don’t know that. So it would be better not to take the risk by pulling out a beer or munching on chewing gum during an interview.
Skilled interviewers have a tendency to entice you to make mistakes after all. Some people see this act as pure evil. Well, you wouldn’t think as such if you are the one hiring. So you really blame them for trying to see how you are in your dark side.
For you, the last thing you want is to shoot yourself in the foot. So avoid these topics no matter how tempting it may be to bring them on the table.
1) Claims which you cannot back up
You can get away with boasting with friends about the million dollar deals you close each day in the office when they are not 100% true. But that is suicidal at an interview.
Sometimes, the desire to brag about your career accomplishments become too strong to contain. Then you start blabbing away at the numbers you have chalked up over the years. And as you talk more about it, the more white lies you throw in there. You might even forget whether they are fact or fiction.
Because when you get caught exaggerating your claims, it can be a little embarrassing.
Imagine declaring yourself as a great leader and have led teams to countless successful projects. And when questioned further, you cannot even describe 2 incidents when you led the front to succeed. That is definitely a red flag.
It raises questions on integrity and throws whatever you have said previously into doubt.
2) Complain about previous companies and bosses
It is almost an intuition to tell others about bad previous experiences. You might feel good with having someone to listen to your problems in the previous company. But a new employers does not want to hear that at all.
It raises questions on your adaptability. It also puts the hirer into a defensive mode worrying about what you might say about them should things don’t work out for you with them at work. These days, with the viral nature of social media, this is becoming a bigger concern compared to the last decade.
The last thing HR wants is to pay you a happy salary and become the target board for your ungrateful backlash for problems at work.
3) Getting into the details of your pay package
Your compensation package is probably the most important factor. But the first interview is not the time to negotiate them.
This is the time for interviewers to judge whether you are suitable for the job. Not for them to finalize a pay packet for you. Heck! You are not even hired yet. If you must bring up this topic, at least have a salary negotiation strategy in place to follow through.
For lower level jobs, interviewers usually call up who they would hire after a decision is made. Then the salaries and benefits are explained and a contract offered. For higher level positions, the next call is usually an invitation to a second interview.
If you have to confront the salary factors head-on, only do so at the second interview. In fact, if you can control that urge, don’t even mention this topic unless they bring it up. It would enhance your chances of getting the job if you spend interview time getting a stronghold on the position rather than demand the terms for your employment.
When you display that you are the best or perfect candidate, the employer would be flexible with hiring terms to sign you up.
If you put them under this kind of pressure so early on, only God knows how much more time they will have to spend addressing these issues in future.
4) Too Much Personal life
It’s not a date. So restrain yourself from revealing too much about your personal life.
Everyone will have something that turns off someone else. The more you reveal about yourself, the more likely that you might trigger an allergic reaction from in interviewer.
For example, you could come face to face with a vegan. And you somehow went into overdrive talking about how much you love meat. He might not have even given it a thought. But with you bringing it up, it can create a less positive impression. You never know.
Or you could have a great story about what happened at the election rally. Little did you know that the interviewer is a lifelong supporter of political party which is the nemesis of yours. Disaster lurks.
Nobody needs to know how you saved from insurance premiums last month or where you think has the cheapest gas. Keep these things to yourself. You have a lot of social to mingle with the staff after you are hired.
5) A stepping stone
Everyone knows that you will leave for something better when the opportunity arise. But nobody likes to hear it especially when you haven’t been hired yet.
Sometimes, interviewers set traps for candidates to step on by asking about where they eventually want to be. This can cause candidates to give answers that are obviously a long way off the model answers.
For example, if you are an accountant, an interviewer might ask you where you eventually want to be in this profession. You then go about how it is your dream to be an accountant in one of the big accountancy firms. You then realize a second later that this company is just a regular retailer. That is a second too late. You have already revealed your “disloyal” intentions.
No job for you.
6) Fancy language
It’s a fact that new languages have evolved from the internet. But do acknowledge that there is still a proper way to communicate in a work setting. You can use those short hands and acronyms in your online chats. Just don’t bring them to the interview.
Using terms like LOL, BRB, YVMW, etc, will inevitably raise eyebrows. It tells people that you are so out of touch with reality that you can’t differentiate between formal and informal language.
The time may come in future when digital language is embraced in the office. Until that time, stick to proper English. It’s how it has been for centuries. Don’t even attempt to change it.