Shit You Don’t Say During Job Interviews
We all have that one company we want to work for, but getting there, everyone needs to go through the same ‘interview’ process. The interview is a chance for you to better present yourself, so your first impression is very, very important indeed. Your body language will show how you are dealing with the interview, and your words will highlight who you really are.
For example you can try to be confident, sit up straight and speak up, “I will apply the knowledge and skills that I have into this job, and I’m ready to learn and experience more.” but being overly confident might seem cocky and arrogant, like crossing your arm and say “I’ve done more than 5 events like this, so this coming up event is very easy for me.” Rude much?
Saying things in one way can mean one thing, and saying things in another way could mean another; even though the essence of what you wanted to say is the same. Catch my drift? Tone, manner, sentence construct can all change the meaning of what you want to say and give a positive or negative reaction.
So going through those interviews, there are few things that you might want to think twice before saying it out loud.
1. Don’t Say: “I don’t know.”
Well, we all know that a little research should be done, but anyhow, there may be still some parts that we might have left out unintentionally, or we’re just plain not prepared. Now, now, don’t panic. Calm down, take a deep breath, and breath….
Avoid saying “I have no idea what you’re talking about” or “I’ve never heard of that in my entire life”. It would be much better to go with something like, “I think that…” or “If you put it that way…” or even “Oh that’s interesting, please enlighten me more…”
Don’t stumble and get caught up with your words. Be confident, tell them what you know. They will be willing to wait and listen to your respond, and probably offer you more information on top of what you already know. Plus, who wants the interviewer to think that an empty headed potato is going to work in their famous successful company.
2. Don’t Say: “Oh f*ck!”
As impossible as it sounds, you’ll be super surprised with the amount of people who actually swore during their interviews. Avoid dropping the F and S bombs, or whatever, remember to keep it polite.
Avoid saying words like “f*ck, b’itch, sh^t”, try using “fudge, crap and idiot”. Tone it down a little.You would want to give an impression of how polite and professional of a person you are.
Sometimes, the interviewer could be a pain in the ass and decided to piss you off just to test you, just hold it in till the very end, walk to your car, get in and swear as much as you want as if you’re rapping like some gangsta harlem pro on stage.
3. Don’t Say: “How much would my salary be?”
As much as we want to get paid despite for our hard work and efforts, it’s still not very nice to ask someone how much they will hire you for. It is always best to let them come up with the subject first then only follow through. Bringing up the topic first will make you sound pretty desperate.
Avoid saying “How much will you give me if i work here?” or “How much will you be paying me?”
When the topic comes up that is when you can try negotiating your salary. It’s a company, not a market, keep it cool and professional. If you’re still unhappy with the salary then try another company, or else just deal with it. You want more money? Then work your ass off and earn it! Cause money don’t grow on trees and nothing really comes free.
4. Don’t Say: “Sorry, I’m late because of [insert lame excuse]”
Do not be late for your interviews, I repeat DO NOT BE LATE! Also don’t try put the blame or come up with excuses to cover the fact that you’re already late.
Avoid saying things like “My alarm didn’t ring,” or “Something came up last minute,” or “The traffic was terrible,” Being late is bad enough for a first impression, and to lie about things just makes it worse. Don’t let your first impression be that of a liar.
Be as honest as you can, maybe saying something like “I’m sorry for being late and having to inconvenience you…” Doesn’t that sound better than all those lame excuses? Apologising and noting that you may have inconvenienced someone else is the better road to take. They may just be forgiving since you acknowledged that you made a mistake.
It’s your interview honey, so it’s your job to make sure that you’re free and available at that time. To show up late or even cancelling at the very last minute just shows how unprofessional and irresponsible you are. If there really is an emergency, do make sure to inform them earlier to give them a heads up at least. Just block your date and be on time for goodness sake.
5. Don’t Say: “I’ll do anything!”
As much as you want to work for the company, it’s better off to have some a specific job position in mind and explain why. This actually shows how passionate you are about what you’re doing and that you have a clear goal in mind.
Avoid saying “Oh I can do everything!”, try saying things like “Due to the experiences and the skills I have for graphic designs and photography, I think I would fit in very well with your creative team.” Notice the difference? This kind of response will make you sound professional and smart, rather than just sounding like you’re begging them for a job.
If you’re willing to do anything, then why are you here in the first place? You could just apply for any company for that matter since you could ‘do anything’. Be specific and confident with the skills and talents that you have. Show them what you CAN do, and not what you’re WILLING to. Don’t let people step over you just because you need a job, ask yourself do you want to end up as a toilet cleaner? Um, no thanks.
6. Don’t Say: “OMG, my last company…”
Hold up, stop right there! You do not want to badmouth to your former company in an interview. Control yourself, be as neutral and as positive as you can. Bear in mind that you might be talking to your future boss, not ranting to your friends at a mamak stall with a cuppa of teh tarik. So you better watch your words, before spitting them out!
Avoid saying things like “Oh the last company was just full of crap because the people there are…”, no don’t do that. Instead, say something like “It wasn’t really a good experience for me, but I did learn some lessons that made me better”. You don’t want to be known as a ‘trash talker’ before even starting the job. You’re here to get a job not complain about your past one, no matter how bad of an experience it was. It is best that you lay your demons from the old job to rest and focus on getting that new job at that interview!
7. Don’t Say: “Pfft…I have done this so many times.”
As confident as you are about your past experiences and your skills, you don’t want to rub it all up in their faces.
Avoid saying “I’ve done this so many times already,” or “Oh, this is easy for me”. You do not want to sound like a show-off douche bag to them. Step down and keep it humble. Try saying, “I have done this before, I would love to help out again.”
And please, oh please do not lie about what you know. Avoid saying things like “I know everything about that job it will be a piece of cake for me,” or “Oh I know all about so-and-so-topic”. Look, you might really want that job, and that you want to impress, but don’t forget the chance of you screwing up with all those boastful shouts. The chances are almost a 100%.
8. Don’t Say: “How much leave/holidays do I get?”
Wait, what? You haven’t even start your work yet and you’re asking for off days already, seriously? You don’t want them to think that you’re already slacking off before even getting the job, so much for a first impression man.
Avoid saying things like “How many annual days leave do I get?” or “Do I get off on public holidays?”. For a usual practice during an interview, one should wait for an offer letter before making any discussion about annual leaves. It will be stated in your offer letter and that is only when you should negotiate if the amount is unsatisfactory.
Negotiations can also be tricky. If you want such long breaks and holidays, then just stay at home bruh, you don’t get paid by taking leaves (Alright, annual leaves are usually paid leaves, but after that amount is up, its all unpaid). You want a job, then there are sacrifices. If you are not OK with that then just stay at home and be unemployed. Remember that you’re in the midst of looking for a job, you don’t want your laziness to blow off your chances of getting one. So get yourself together!
Remember these few tips before your next interview and hopefully you are conscious about your manner of speech. Choose your words wisely and make the best of your minutes during that interview.
WOBB is a Malaysian job search platform founded in 2014 by Derek Toh. Today, we are on an unwavering mission to be Asia’s most loved job search platform that helps people discover any job with any employer in the market. This piece of article was previously written by one of our WOBBsters.