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What Are the Biggest Interview Sins? List of Don'ts

Everyone knows how to handle an interview, right? Right? You would be surprised at some of the common blunders that people make during interviews. Generally speaking, in an interview you should be honest and open, and give real responses rather than what you think the interviewer needs to hear.

Remember, an interviewer is there to make sure you are the right fit for their job, so it’s important to show them that you are. Here are some of the INTERVIEW SINS you should never commit if you really want that new job!

interview sins

1. What does your company actually do?


One of the main reasons for failing an interview are if you haven’t done enough research. Those who wait until the interviewer asks “have you any questions?” and then deliver this deadly sin are put straight on the NO pile. Be sure before you go to your interview to know all about the company, that way instead of committing this sin, you can say “I hear you are the leading manufacturer of tyres, can you tell me more about why you choose the tread patterns you do?” or something similar that shows you KNOW what the company does, and moreover, are very interested in it!

2. I don’t know.


NEVER EVER say you ‘don’t know’ something in an interview. Say the interviewer puts you on the spot by asking a tricky question, and you can’t think of anything. Take a deep breath and ASK the interviewer for a moment to think about your answer. The interviewer will appreciate that you would rather consider your answer carefully than blurt anything out and the hesitation alone will earn you some brownie points. If you still don’t know the answer (perhaps they have posed a question such as ‘‘how much revenue did you earn in your last post?’’) explain that you don’t know the fact off the top of your head but you would be happy to find out and let them know following your interview.

3. My last boss was an idiot/hated me.


In an interview, never commit the sin of complaining about an old job, company or boss. If you had problems with an ex employer, be sure to be diplomatic if for any reason the subject crops up. Don’t ever raise it yourself. If it is inevitable, then make sure to paint yourself as the gracious party in the proceedings. Perhaps “My old boss didn’t share the same ethos as I did and I thought it was best since he rejected my attempts to resolve our differences, that I take leave of the position so that the team may find a better fit.”

4. I don’t know what that is/ I don’t know how to do that.


If a prospective employer asks you something in your interview that you don’t know how to do, or you are unsure of, don’t approach it negatively. Explain that it is not a process you are familiar with, however you are very fast at learning things, and would relish to opportunity to learn something new. Most businesses will want to train you on their own techniques and practices anyhow, so showing at this stage that you are enthusiastic about that will gain you brownie points.

5. What can your company offer me?


Remember, you have applied for this job, and the interviewer will want to know that you are right for the job and the company. Going in making demands or acting as if you are the best thing that could ever happen to them will just come across as overconfidence and is likely to turn off potential employers.

6. Where do I see myself in 5 years’ time-?


Doing your job? Don’t EVER even in jest, say that you want to be doing the interviewers job. Remember, this person may well be set to be your potential boss, they are most likely very happy in their job, and will not hire someone if they think it will make their employment insecure. A better thing to say would be “hopefully still here making a difference to the company.”

7. The advert said £20,000 but I’d want £30,000.


While some interviews it may be necessary to negotiate a little over the salary, never go over what was listed in the advert. If the advert said a certain figure and you aren’t happy with that then the post probably isn’t for you. Taking up an interviewers time just to ask for more than the ad stated, is likely to get you straight onto the ‘CANT READ’ Pile.

8. No, there is nothing I’d like to ask you


Remember, the interviewer needs to know that you care about the company and aren’t just looking for a salary regardless of where it comes from. Be sure to have researched the company well and have a good probing question or two prepared. Something such as “Can you tell me more about the award you won last month for being a good employer” or “Can you tell me more about your commitment to charity work” will gain you some real brownie points.

9. I’m the best person for this job.


That’s really not your call to make. It is fine to state confidently that you believe you have all the desirable traits to be able to carry out the role effectively, but to say you are the best for the job shows an incredible lack of insight and won’t impress your interviewer!

10. I don’t have any weaknesses


This is a staple of any interview. The interviewer asks what you think your weakness is and so many people confidently blurt out NOTHING! I KNOW EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD AND FAIL AT NOTHING! This is not what an interviewer wants to hear. They need to know that you are capable of appraising people and situations regardless of bias, and therefore thinking about something that you could consider a weakness, and explaining to the interviewer how you deal with that, will make a much better response!

Photo by: Cavan

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