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What Not To Say In An Interview

Dec 28, 2007
Listed below are some of the questions or statements you should avoid during your interview.

The Don'ts Of An Interview:

-"What's the nature of your business?"
Before going to an interview, do your homework and get as much information about the company as you can. You can search for the company's profile on the Internet, and read press releases and business reviews to know about the company. You may also go through the annual report if the company has published it on its official website. Instead of you asking them about the kind of business they are in, you need to impress them with your knowledge about the company and its mission.

-"My long-term goal is to be a top basketball player."
You may have said this in response to a question asking you where you see yourself ten years from now. Although the question may appear very casual, the interviewer actually expects an answer that has something to do with your role in their company. And even though you may not be interested in sticking around for a long time, it is important that you give a positive answer, describing your eagerness and commitment to make an invaluable contribution to the progress of the company.

-"I am not too sure whether I would be able to do that part of the job."
Instead of letting them know that you lack the required skills, you need to portray yourself as an enthusiastic candidate and a fast learner. Your eagerness to learn the new job gives you an edge over other candidates who may have the skills but not the inclination to learn new things.

-"I am divorced and need a job"
One of the biggest mistakes is to share your personal problems with your interviewer. You need to stop yourself, or else your interviewer may view you as unprofessional.

-"What can this job offer me?"
By asking this question you are bound to portray yourself as rude and selfish. Your prospective employers are more interested in what you have to offer, and how you can make a positive contribution to the company. You may cite examples from your previous work experience as testimony of your ability to handle difficult situations as a team player.

-Negative remarks about your previous employer
Negative remarks often make you seem like a "management problem". Under all circumstances, you must refrain from making negative comments about your past employers or colleagues.

-Initiating salary discussions in the initial interview.
Allow the interviewer to initiate these discussions, as employers usually save it for the last, once they are satisfied that you are the right choice for the job.

-Avoid arguments and do not complain.
Your employers are looking for candidates that are open to challenges and may disapprove of candidates who argue and are forceful about their opinions.

-"I don't have any weaknesses."
When asked to list your negative qualities, you must honestly mention a couple of them, and more importantly, explain how hard you are trying to improve yourself.

-Avoid misleading statements
It helps to stick to the old adage, "Honesty is the best policy". Be absolutely honest about your academic qualifications, as your prospective employers will probably find out the truth anyway.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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