Have you ever been in an interview and said something you almost immediately wish you hadn’t? Worse yet did you say something you shouldn’t have and didn’t even realize it, only to find out later that was the deciding factor for you not being chosen for a position?
I have read several articles this week revolving around the kind of questions job seekers ask that they probably shouldn’t have.
Last week I was sitting in my office when a colleague shared that she was just interviewing a candidate for one of her open positions. The candidate asked about the work schedule and when she was informed it was 8am to 5pm her response was, “Oh, I can’t get up that early.” WHAT?
Then a friend of mine forwarded me an article she had just read titled, “ 8 of the Strangest Interview Questions Job Candidates Have Asked ” This highlighted yet again the type of career limiting questions that folks ask in an interview.
Words of advice:
- Think before you speak. The question might seem benign to you, however how may it be received by the hiring manager looking for their next rock star?
- Words have power and meaning. If you are unsure how a comment may be received, rephrase, reframe or refrain. Once it’s out there you can’t take it back, and yes they will remember it.
- Know your audience. Take a moment to try and size up your interviewer; are they outgoing and gregarious or are they reserved and calculating? Whatever their demeanor, you should mimic the energy level. Don’t come out the gate with a crazy joke for someone who has a hard time smiling or shaking hands; you may turn them off when you want to impress them.
- Exercise sound judgment. Don’t tell the interviewer that you can’t get up early enough to work the schedule they are hiring for. Don’t ask if Mom can come too. Don’t ask if the boss is single or how quickly you can put in for a raise or transfer.
The main purpose of an interview is to showcase your skills, experience and cultural fit. The best way to accomplish that is to have the hiring manager be able to visualize you doing the job. If you are asking questions during that first encounter that will cause them to take pause…your chances of getting the call back are slim.
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One thought on “You Said What in the Interview?”
Great job, Betsy. This reminded me of a time when I was interviewing for a teaching position many years ago. I didn’t like the fact that the principal was asking the exact same questions that I had to answer on the application. So when she asked the question, “What are 3 reasons you chose to be a teacher?” I couldn’t resist, I said “June, July, and August.” The look on her face was priceless. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job!! I didn’t really want the job because I knew I couldn’t work for this type of principal. It was pretty funny though, at least I thought so.