Job interviews can be stressful for everyone involved. The interviewer feels pressure to make the best hire, and the candidate can feel like they are being put under a microscope. It’s not hard to see why so many of us have horror stories of answers we botched, questions we forgot to ask, or a host of other things we’d love to do over.
I just need a job.
This is absolutely one of the worst things a candidate can tell a potential employer. Employers are searching for new hires that genuinely want to work in that position with that company.
What’s in it for me?
This question, out loud, would obviously be a horrible thing to say in an interview. What if you’re saying this, however, without actually saying it? Asking questions for example: ‘How much vacation time do I get? How long do I have to be here before I’m eligible for a vacation? How long before I start to accrue additional weeks of vacation?’ What had looked like a great applicant, now looked like someone who couldn’t wait to get out of work.” The same goes for questions about benefits, promotions, or any other scenario that looks like you want to get more out of the job than you will give to it.
I’m also interviewing with ________.
You shouldn’t mention other interviews you’ve scheduled or other companies you might want to work for. Letting the interviewer know that you are interviewing elsewhere immediately makes them less interested in you. Companies don’t want to compete for your enthusiasm.
There is no excuse for not having any questions for the interviewer. Interviews are two-way streets. The company wants to know if you are match for them. You want to know if the company is a match for you. When that point comes in the interview, it’s your chance to find out. What do you like best about this company?, Is there anything else you need to know about my application that we haven’t covered?, or something highlighting the company’s accomplishments.
The wrong name.
Take the time to make certain you know the name of your interviewer. You don’t want to start off the interview process by asking the receptionist that you’re there to talk with “maybe David? Donald?” By the time he or she tracks down the correct person, everyone will know you weren’t prepared. This small step seems trivial but it is absolutely vital.