“I can’t work on Saturdays.” When you are trying to persuade an employer to hire you, it is important that you come across as flexible. If you start making demands and setting limitations before you are even offered the job, the employer may determine that you’re not worth the trouble.
“This isn’t my dream job, but it will give me some good experience.” If you are not totally excited about the role, then honesty may not be the best policy for you. The employer does not want to hear that you are biding your time until a better offer comes along. They want to hire someone who would bring passion to the position. If you’re not feeling enthusiastic about doing this interview, keep in mind that there are a lot of people who would love to take your place.
“I had some issues with my previous manager.” Finally, you’ve met someone who seems interested in hearing about how much of a jerk your previous manager was! Don’t take the bait! The interviewer is just trying to determine if you would be a problem employee. No matter how bad your manager or coworkers were, you will never win by speaking badly about them. Remember, they are not on trial here; you are.
“I don’t have any weaknesses.” The weakness question is tricky, but you still have to say something. When you admit to a weakness, you demonstrate that you possess humility, self awareness and the willingness to improve yourself. If you claim to be perfect, the employer will come to the conclusion that you are arrogant and unwilling to accept criticism.
“Can you tell me exactly what your company does?” You may think that this question expresses an interest in the company, but in reality it shows that you didn’t take the time to do any research. By the interview stage, you should have a strong understanding of the company’s mission, values, and future plans. Demonstrating that you have done extensive research on the company is a relatively easy way to impress the employer.
Many job seekers make the same mistakes over and over again. If you’ve attended several interviews without receiving an offer, you could be doing something wrong. Ask the employers for feedback and do practice interviews. Sometimes, just eliminating one or two sentences from your repertoire can make a huge difference in your results.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)