Have you ever said something while being interviewed and immediately blushed, or thought to yourself, “I probably shouldn’t have said that just now…”?
Sure, it’s happened to all of us. The key is to prepare prior to the interview and train your mind – and your mouth – to stick to what the interviewee likely wants to hear. And that doesn’t include the following:
- A never-ending, one-sided conversation about your personal preferences and life choices when it comes to anything political, religious, or familial. Lifestyle choices shouldn’t be discussed during the interview, no matter who may initiate the conversation, so even if you’re asked to elaborate on certain subjects (whether up front or in a round-about way), avoid and change the subject to something that pertains to why you’re there.
- Continuous name dropping. As recruiters, we like to hear about who referred you, who you’ve worked for in the past, and who’s helped you with your job search. What we don’t want to hear is a braggy, long list of names that are supposed to be impressive. Focus on what you can offer in terms of expertise and previous accomplishments first and foremost.
- A detailed health history. Unless the job you’re interviewing for requires heavy lifting, frequent standing or any other physical duty and you’ve suffered an injury or are undergoing treatment that may prevent you from completing tasks, any health-related details are completely unnecessary.
- Divorces, child custody battles, in-laws, pets with special needs – at this early in the game, anything personal that may be causing you drama should be left unsaid. Fill the conversation with good answers to the questions you’re asked, and avoid negativity!
- Bad bosses and overly-negative past work experiences. When asked about your previous job titles, it’s best to focus on your accomplishments, skills, and other positive aspects rather than vent about horrible supervisors, managers and tasks you hated. You can speak openly about components of job(s) that you didn’t like in terms of duties, environment, and other details such as driving distance or hours, but keep the boss bashing out of the conversation.