What Not to Say in an Interview

What Not to Say in an Interview

As the economy continues to improve and companies rev up their hiring, it might be helpful to note some of the things that candidates shouldn’t do during the interview process. If you are an HR professional, this blog is just something to make you smile and say, “That happened to me before,” or “I have something even better!”

If you are a candidate looking for a job, please take these points into consideration. The applicant pool is so large and companies have the advantage of choosing not to do an interview with a candidate who is late.

  1. While at a career fair, this was said with an attitude: “I applied for a position at your company. I never heard back from you so I don’t know what the deal is.”
  2. “Can you hold on for a moment while I answer this other call?” This was during a phone screen. Needless to say, I did not hold.
  3. A phone call from Mom: “My son told me he did not get the job. Why did that happen?” Me: “Ma’am, is there a reason your son isn’t calling me?” Mom: “Well, I just want him to start doing things on his own.” In my head: “Well then, why are you still calling on his behalf?” Me: “You can put your son on the phone so I can speak to him directly about the position.”
  4. Act excited or at least smile during an interview! If you come to an interview and act like you are being inconvenienced by the interview, then why show up?
  5. On an application-Reason for Leaving: “My employer was not getting enough business so they couldn’t pay me.” This could have been worded in a more professional way like “I was laid off due to the weakening economy.” Some recruiters and HR professionals are very particular about the wording applicants put on their applications.
  6. Spell check, spell check, spell check! Believe it or not, many HR professionals receive applications and resumes with multiple spelling mistakes.
  7.  During an interview: Me: “Tell me what you know about us.” Candidate: “I just don’t know anything about your company.” Please do research on the company you are interviewing with and never tell them you don’t know anything about the company!
  8. “No one will hire me.” Enough said.
  9. First impressions are always important, especially when you show up late for an interview. One or two minutes is also considered “late.” If you show up late for an interview, what does that tell the person interviewing you? That you will probably have a history of tardiness on the job!
  10. If you are sitting in a swivel chair during an interview, DO NOT spin it back and forth. I know interviewing is nerve-racking, but swiveling back and forth is not the solution to calming your nerves! It can be very distracting for the person doing the interview, trust me, I know.