It’s interview day, and needless to say you are nervous. You need to appear calm, cool and collected; did I mention confident as well? Your resume got you in the door, and now your personality, communication skills, and overall professionalism will solidify your chances. You’re prepared to answer all types of interview questions, but there are some things you should keep to yourself. Here are 6 things you should never to a hiring manager:
I’m sorry I’m so late
This is no way to start an interview. Arriving late is a huge mistake, and a hiring manager does not want to hear your excuses or apologies. Things happen, but your time management skills will be questioned due to your tardiness.
Plan ahead! You must factor in traffic delays, accidents, and slow public transportation. Do a trial run of the commute if you’re unfamiliar with the area so you won’t get lost. Remember, it’s always better to arrive early versus late. Please note though, you don’t want to show up more than 15 minutes early or else your interviewer will feel rushed to meet you. Walk around or grab a coffee until it’s an appropriate time to check in with the receptionist.
What exactly does your company do?
Never ask this in an interview! It shows that you didn’t care enough about the position (or the company) to do your research beforehand. If you couldn’t make an effort to find this information out on your own, then what kind of an employee will you be? Will you cover your bases when working with a client? Or will you constantly be cutting corners?
Do some initial background research on the company before you step into the interview. Once you illustrate that you have an understanding of the company, you can ask, “What current projects is your company working on?” or “Out of the past projects you’ve worked on, what was one of your favorites?” These questions will delve into the specifics that you wouldn’t find online.
My last company was the worst
Even if your last company was horrible, you cannot badmouth them during an interview. Not only is it disrespectful, but also it’s extremely unprofessional. Doing so will only make the hiring manager question if you’re difficult to work with.
When discussing your previous employer, make sure to keep things in a positive light. When asked why you are leaving, simply discuss your reasons (corporate culture, lack of growth opportunities, etc.) with a non-hostile tone. You want to be honest while remaining professional.
I’m keeping my options open
This essentially means that you don’t know what you want. You’re hoping that the hiring manager helps persuade you into wanting this job, when in reality you’re the one who needs to convince them that you are the best fit. You also don’t want to give the impression that you’re interviewing for a lot of different jobs and that this position isn’t a priority.
Even if you are unsure about the position, you want to portray yourself as 100% committed. Speak about how your skills align perfectly for this opportunity and show enthusiasm about the position and the company. Don’t lose your chance because the interviewer perceives a lack of interest for the job.
What are the hours?
Although you may be genuinely curious, asking this can bring your work ethic into question. What you’re really saying is, “How short is the work day and is overtime common?” The hiring manager could take this as you being unmotivated and lazy when it comes to your work.
Try asking, “What does a typical work day look like?” This will give you a deeper understanding of the tasks you’ll be doing on a daily basis and what your workload will look like. In addition, the hiring manager is bound to discuss how many hours a typical workweek is.
I don’t have any questions
If you want to leave a lasting impression, make sure it’s a positive one. Hiring managers reserve the second half of the interview to answer your questions, so if you fail to do this then the hiring manager will think you’re not interested in the position. When they think you’ve written the company off, then they will write you off as well.
Have at least three questions prepared before you get to the interview. Remember, this is your last chance to make a good impression! By asking unique and thought provoking questions, you stand out as a top candidate and maximize your chances of getting the position.
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