What NOT To Say During a Job Interview

August 30, 2012 | Interview Tips

Many people have every skill that they need to get the job that they want – except for interview skills. Being well-prepared for an interview requires practicing what you will say in response to certain questions. Keep in mind that some interviewers will throw somewhat tricky questions at you, although most will just ask you basic, straightforward questions that can help them to better judge your qualification for the position being offered, and to determine if your personality is a match for the company.

There are some things, however, that you should never say when you are interviewing for a job. The following questions and their must-never-utter responses can help you to steer clear of disaster.

Tell me about yourself. This question is a common one, but it should never be construed as an opportunity to pat yourself on the back over and over again. Be sure that whatever you reveal about yourself, it is relevant to the job at hand. Interviewers are looking for ways to tie your skill set into what they need.

What are your biggest strengths, and what are your biggest weaknesses? This is the most dreaded question in the interview process, since we naturally tend to play down our weaknesses and our mothers told us not to brag about ourselves excessively. Whatever yours are, be sure that it is a realistic strength and a realistic weakness. Your weakness should never be one that would affect your job performance. A good weakness: you’re too generous, or too much of a perfectionist. In other words, turn your perceived weakness into a positive thing.

What do you expect to be paid? This is usually one of the last questions on the interviewer’s list, although it is the most important one to you, probably. Have a range that you are willing to accept in the back of your mind. Be sure it is a figure that you can live with, and then add twenty percent. This gives you bargaining room if the company wants to negotiate on your salary. Don’t be ashamed to ask for what you are worth, but at the same time, don’t overvalue your skills in today’s economy. There are millions of people out of work right now, and chances are good that at least some of them are qualified for the job that you want. Don’t give your would-be employer a reason to go with someone who will settle for less by haggling over a few dollars.