The pen might be mightier than the sword, but both pale in comparison to the power of voice. It’s no secret that the words you speak impact your worldview, but have you ever stopped to consider how they impact how the world views you? Your words can have a strong impact, especially during an interview—and even more so when it comes down to you and other candidates.
It’s likely that you already know what to say during an interview, but here are six things you shouldn’t say to a recruiter or hiring manager.
“Well, it’s on my resume.”
The thing is, recruiters already know what’s on your resume. They want to hear from you about your experiences beyond what’s on the sheet of paper you gave to them. Hiring managers and recruiters typically read such a comment as standoffish, if not a little insulting—and the last thing you want to do is insult the very person who stands between you and a job, especially if it’s a job you want. Instead, expand on your experiences. By doing so, this gives you a moment to shine during your interview, so take advantage!
“I’ll do whatever.”
While it can be easy to lose hope during a seemingly long job search, this statement can come off as a little desperate. Even worse, it can make it seem like you’re completely uninterested in your career. Hiring managers search for passionate people. Asking for any position can raise a red flag and show that you’re frantically looking without considering your future. Flexibility and a willingness to do whatever the job demands are great, but don’t let these traits come off as indifference.
“This is just a short-term thing.”
If you’re in between jobs in your career, you shouldn’t let the hiring manager or recruiter know that. After all, they want to know you’re committed! The truth of the matter is you likely won’t get the job you’ve always wanted right off the bat. It’s understandable that you may need something in the meantime before you move toward a more permanent position, especially if you need to pay the bills.
“My last company did this/that horribly.”
Speaking bad about your previous employer is a very slippery slope that’ll have the hiring manager wondering what you might say about their organization if they choose to hire you. Discuss your previous work experience with the hiring manager or your recruiter in a neutral way. It won’t help your case to bash your previous workplace. You can state why you left your last role, but stay hopeful for the future. Discuss what you can bring to the new company and your expectations for the new position.
“That salary sounds okay.”
What recruiters often look for is strong communication and negotiation skills. This is a time for them to see that the both of you can come to an agreement. Also, don’t give recruiters your lowest acceptable salary as this might take you out of the running for numerous other opportunities. While you shouldn’t settle, you also shouldn’t go into too much detail about your financial situation. While you don’t want to oversell yourself, you don’t want to sell yourself short either. Approach recruiters with an honest number that is based on the national average as well as your experience.
“I don’t have anything else lined up.”
Saying this simply makes you look desperate. It also makes it seem like you’re settling. A productive job search entails applying to a wide variety of companies, as you certainly don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. With that said, you should keep any other interviews or job offers private. If a company asks, say you would prefer to keep that information confidential.
Nothing; you don’t show up
If you “no show” without notice, it’s very likely that you won’t get another interview. It’s disrespectful and says a lot about your character. If you have an emergency, this is a different story. However, if you accepted another position, be honest and let them know.
There you have it, a short list of what not to say in an interview. There are even more things you should watch out for, but these are common slip-ups that we see (and hear about) all the time.
While numerous phrases could land you in hot water, here are some things you should keep in mind when speaking with a hiring manager or recruiter.
- Demonstrate how you might fit a company’s culture. Both hiring managers and recruiters want to know that you’ll be a good fit. You also have to show that you’re the best possible fit for the position right now, and recruiters can find this out quickly with three simple questions.
- Describe how you solved a problem in your previous position. Companies typically look for candidates who can benefit the team and maybe even evolve the position in question.
- Do your research beforehand. Look at companies within your preferred industry and bring up current projects in conversation. Even better, propose solutions to these projects. Conveying industry interest will show passion, and it will help you secure a second (or even a final) interview.
- Keep them interested. They want to know you have a captivating personality inside and outside of the office. Mention extracurricular passions as well as your goals and aspirations. A good candidate is genuine, thoughtful, and wholeheartedly dedicated to the role. But a great candidate offers all that as well as a unique perspective.
- If your nerves get to you, opt for an elevator pitch. This will give the hiring manager or recruiter insight into your personal and career objectives. An elevator pitch details your interests and intentions, and it’s a great introduction to further conversation.
Recruiters and hiring managers are excellent resources to utilize during your job search. Keep them in mind throughout the process, as they can help you create a positive first impression.
Our agency equips candidates with the tools they need to succeed. If you need assistance searching for the right position, we’re here for you. You can contact the professionals at Burnett’s Staffing Inc. for interview guidance, job placement, and more.