What NOT to say during a Job Interview..

Being invited to an in-person interview is the first step towards getting the job that you want. Your ultimate goal must be to be hired. To accomplish this, you must ace your interview and stand out from the rest.

It’s imperative that you do research about the company that you intend to work for especially the job description. Doing this shows how interested you really are. The next step would be to prepare solid responses for common interview questions. Try to imagine that you are selling yourself to the employer. When you sell something, you always highlight the benefits. It should answer the question – What’s in it for me? Or in this case – What’s in it for them?

Knowing what to respond is important but it’s just as important to avoid responding poorly. Read on for common interview questions with answers you definitely shouldn’t say or even think about. We also included tips on how you should respond to them.

Tell me something about yourself.

Answer: Well, I’m from here. I am divorced — two kids with split custody. When the kids are with me, we spend a lot of time at church events.

Tip: The interviewer wants to know you personally in terms of what you can do. Talk about skills, a hobby, an experience, or even your interests that you think will be relevant to the position you are applying for. You should definitely avoid talking about very personal stuff like your marital status, religion and politics. As much as possible, steer your examples toward past experiences, awards and achievements related to the job position.

Why should we hire you?

Answer: I’m a hard worker and my old coworkers really liked me.

Tip: A generic answer will not help you at all. You need to remember that you are competing with other candidates who may have had more experience than you. When an employer asks why they should hire you, make sure that you are able to highlight relevant past experiences. Explain in great detail how you will be an asset to them. What can you do that others can’t? Do you have exceptional qualities or skills that you think will be beneficial? Talk about these. You can also talk about past accomplishments like winning an award for a job well done.

What did you like least about your previous position?

Answer: I don’t like the management and the benefits I’m getting.

Tip: Never, at any point in the interview, talk badly about your previous employer. You will not look good when you do this. This will reflect on you and it will not help at all. This question is meant to understand the tasks that you might not like doing. The interviewer may also talk to you about what the job entails and see if it would fit you.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Answer: I see myself here.

Tip: This is okay but always try to elaborate further. Talk about why you intend to stay in the company. You can follow up with your future plans and what you would like to accomplish. Do you intend to move up the corporate ladder? Elaborate on your goals and make sure it will pique the interviewer’s interest. You need to prove to them that you will be an asset to the team.

Why are you interested in this role?

Answer: I was looking for jobs and this one looked interesting. Also, I like that it’s very close to home.

Tip: As much as possible, talk about your passion that is relevant to the job position, the company or the culture. Tell them what you really like about the job or the company. Be as detailed as possible. Include examples of successful projects you have accomplished, if there are any. Try to stay away from anything vague or superficial such as the proximity of the office to your home.

Do you have any questions?

Answer: No, I do not have any. You have covered everything I needed to know.

Tip: It’s always good to have questions. If you have done your research about the company or the job position, you should be able to come up with a few good questions.

If you don’t ask anything, the interviewer might think you’re not really interested. Ask questions and make sure they are relevant. Also, you can always talk about the interview itself. Ask if they feel you will be a good fit for the team, or if they have hesitations that you may want to address. Asking these questions show that you are highly confident about yourself although you are really in a vulnerable position, and it gives you a chance to reassure the hiring manager that you are the best person for the job.

A good rule of thumb is to always stay optimistic and never provide negative or vague answers. Always highlight relevant experiences, accomplishments and how you are a good asset to the company.