The interview process can be a very stressful experience. Interviews force you to come face to face with employers who are searching for the perfect candidate to fill an open job position. This demand for perfection can place a lot of pressure on the interviewee because they cannot afford to make a single error. What is even more terrifying is that those conducting interviews actively seek out negative qualities in the job seekers whom they meet. This means that one sentence or a nervous habit can turn a great interview into a lost employment opportunity.
The following is a list of sentences and phrases that are known to turn employers off and can result in a complete waste of time. When meeting with a company’s HR recruitment manager, be aware of the items on the following list and try to avoid them at all costs.
The use of “like” and “um”
These phrases interrupt the flow of a sentence and allude to an inability to concentrate or think on one’s feet. Especially for higher-level positions, these interjectory phrases are sometimes associated with a lack of intelligence or lack of interest on the subject. Furthermore, interviewers may read this as a sign of poor critical thinking skills.
“I want to own my own business”
Entrepreneurial ambitions are aspirations best left unsaid during an interview. While it is a productive goal, HR recruitment managers may interpret this as quite the opposite. In fact, they may not see ambition at all, but rather a potential threat. This is because employers tend to fear high turnover rates and stolen proprietary information. The last thing an employer wants to do is train a future competitor.
“What does your company do?”
This is something you should never ask during an interview. Asking this question is the easiest way to ruin an interview. It creates the appearance that you have a poor work ethic and a blatant disregard for the time of the interviewer. You should always research the company you are interviewing for. Knowing specific facts about the company gives the interviewer the impression that you are interested in the position and took the time to prepare for the interview.
“How am I doing?”
Employers want to hire those who express confidence. When you ask a question such as this during an interview, you not only leave yourself open to undesirable feedback, you may also create the appearance of someone who is insecure. Insecurity is an unfavorable trait for employers searching to fill a job position because it is usually a byproduct of being inefficient. Employers favour employees who display strength and self-assurance.
“How long is this interview going to take?”
The interviewer’s time is just as valuable as yours. By asking a question such as this you are ultimately saying that you have better places to be. If you show that they are not a priority, then you have just wasted your time, as this will inevitably reflect negatively on your personality.
If you are looking for a new job opportunity and plan on going to job interviews, you should make it worth your while. Try and plan ahead of time so that you are prepared and do not fall into any traps set by the interviewer. By avoiding the pitfalls described above you will already be ahead of your competition. Good luck!