By now most semi-savvy job seekers know not to badmouth a former employer in a job interview because it’s undiplomatic and reflects more negatively on you than it ever will on your terrible former boss. You also probably know not to bring up salary or start inquiring about vacation time right out of the gate because doing so will make you seem like you aren’t concerned with the company’s needs. And you should definitely know texting or taking a call is inexcusable.
So you have the basics down, but what else do you need to know about things you could say in an interview that would not only ensure you don’t get the job, but that the interviewer would want to kick you out of the office?
Here are six statements that fall into that category. Don’t say these things in your next job interview.
“I have other interviews with…”
Job seekers often think these other interviews or offers -- if they even exist -- will be seen as “leverage to encourage the employer to give them the job right away, as if to scare them into thinking they will lose them if they don't act now,” says Davina Douthard, CEO of Polishing the Professional, a professional development and image consultancy. “The problem with that strategy, is that it will only work on someone who is desperate and lacks confidence in their ability to find another candidate.”
“About that drug test…”
Tom Hart once had a candidate ask him point blank if her drug test would be clean if she had smoked marijuana the day before. The CMO and COO of tech staffing and consulting firm Eliasson Group says, “She went on to explain she was also a candidate to become a flight attendant, and the airline had told her she needed to pass a drug test before it would consider offering her that position. I said it would show up, and wished her good luck with that.”
“I’m just testing the waters.”
Any indication that you aren’t serious about the interview, the company or the position will leave your interviewer thinking you’re a total waste of her time. “People don't interview candidates because they have spare time. It's quite the opposite. People hold interviews because they have a need that cannot be ignored,” says Andrea Berkman, founder and CEO of career services firm The Constant Professional.
“I have no weaknesses.”
Someone said this once to Jacob Ralph, co-founder of Diamond Profile LLC, a mobile app development company. Not only did this gentleman say he had no weaknesses, says Ralph, but then “he went on to talk about all the weaknesses that he was sure the other applicants have. After that, we cut the interview short and thanked him for his time.”
“I have an anger management problem.”
Ralph has had other memorable interviews, including one over Skype where the candidate was disturbed by someone else in the room with him who Ralph and his colleagues couldn’t see. The candidate “began full on screaming at this person and swearing at them,” says Ralph. After about 15 seconds of that, he proceeded to take the laptop he was using for the Skype interview and throw it across the room. Needless to say, he didn't get the job.