We’ve all said things we regret (IF YOU’RE READING THIS SHAUN, I DON’T LOVE YOU), but try to avoid saying the following in job interviews. To really make the point hit home, we’ve incorporated owls. 

Steer clear of sweeping, self reflexive questions in general (including “who are we, really?” and “who am I?” and “do you think this room we’re sitting in is real?” etc) because it sounds insecure. Everything you say in an interview should either scream “HEY I’M GREAT” or “HEY I’M INTERESTED IN YOUR COMPANY AND ALSO YOU BECAUSE BOTH YOU AND THE COMPANY ARE GREAT”. Also, you shouldn’t give the interviewer any chance to think until you’ve pulled out all the stops/grooved to the max/completed the job interview. They may, for example, not be that impressed at the beginning, but become more so as the interview progresses. Don’t ruin it by requesting they provide a running commentary on your performance.

Or rather, keep the topic about work. Even if they’ve got the most luxurious facial bouffant you’ve ever seen or are wearing excellent shoes. For all you know, they hate their beard or those shoes were given to them by a war criminal who demands they wear them every Thursday lest he explode the world. Don’t stray from what you’ve done, or what you could bring to their business. 

On a basic level, never ask anyone if they’re pregnant unless you’re 100% sure that they are i.e you’re watching them give birth. Little life tip for you, there. 

Your enthusiasm for the job is blowing everyone’s mind right out of their rejection email templates. Stop. It’s all we can do not to hire you on the spot, with all that care you’re going to put into your work. This is heavy sarcasm. Even if you’re applying for a job you couldn’t care less about while aiming for the one you want, this job is your interviewer’s career. Treat it with respect, because it’s going to allow you to eat for the next however many months. Imagine if someone told you they were wearing the same clothes as you because they couldn’t find anything else to wear, and they’d looked in loads of bins. You’d feel bad about your style choices, and would overwhelmingly hate the person who said it.

Not much but, hey, don’t worry – you get unlimited holiday when you’re unemployed. So maybe keep enjoying that, and reapply for the job when the first benefit you can think of isn’t how soon you can leave the office. 

Even if he was, you run the risk of sounding like a bit of a dick yourself. Having disagreements with management in the past could mean you can’t deal well with authority. Or that you were difficult to handle. Or that you were argumentative. Or maybe you set fire to him. All your interviewer knows is that there is bad blood between you and your last employer… so why would he want to be your current one? What if you call HIM a dick?!

Yes you can. You totally can. Don’t be defeatist about this, not in front of your employer and not in front of anyone; desperation might be what you’re feeling, but you want to appear like you’re made for the job. Not like you don’t feel like you can possibly get it. Obviously mentioning how you’ve been looking for a while is fine, provided you can tie it in with the old “and so I was so happy to finally come across a position which genuinely suited me, something I knew I’d be good at”. Balance a real desire for the job with ramming why you’d be so good at the job firmly home. Or rather, at the interviewer. Don’t go to the interviewer’s home. 

This is just a weird thing to say in most contexts. But especially in a job interview.

Want more tips? Come to this bloody brilliant How To Win At Job Interviews event- but apply NOW as places are going fast.. 

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