The One Thing You Must Avoid at a Job Interview

The one thing you must avoid at a job interview is negativity.

With everyone giving advice about what to do at a job interview, we decided to pivot and discuss the elephant in the room; the one thing you must avoid at a job interview!

As we all know, job interviews are stressful and you never know what to expect. You’re going to be completely exposed before a stranger or a whole bunch of them who will observe you. They will judge your every word, facial expression, and gesture, all in the hopes of identifying whether or not you’re a good fit.

So, let’s see what is the one thing you must avoid at a job interview so you can start implementing going forward.

Are you ready for it?

The one thing you must avoid at all costs at a job interview is negativity!

In case you’ve expected something else, let me tell you, negativity reeks. And people can smell it from miles away. That’s why you want to keep yourself in check.

The most common mistake people make is being negative and then justifying it by saying:

  • I was just being myself
  • They wanted my honest opinion
  • I gave them a realistic answer

…and similar. But that is not acceptable. So, if you’re wondering why no one is following up with you, double check what you sounded like and if you are justifying your negativity.

How can negativity manifest in the job interview?

Negativity can manifest in several ways during a job interview, and here are the most common topics:

Discussing past employers

This goes for both in general and more specifically.

You could throw a comment or two on a company’s policy that might raise eyebrows and turn on that negativity alarm. Or maybe you weren’t happy with your manager or your team and you let it show when discussing the topic.

No matter how “honest” the interviewer wants you to be, never for one second believe they actually care how you feel. They can seem super friendly, compassionate, and understanding. Still, you do not cross the line and say anything remotely negative about your past or current employment. Why? Because they are listening carefully and evaluating how you could talk about them.

So, if you want to get to the next phase, you must avoid showing negativity when it comes to this topic. You can still say things that show the place was lacking, but never spill your gut – these are not your friends and you can’t be super honest with them.

Talking about your abilities

If you express self-doubt, it can ruin your first impression. Even if you don’t check all the boxes, find a way to convince them why it’s a good idea to hire you.

Even when you’re asked about your weaknesses, don’t sound like it’s the end of the world. Instead, show ownership, self-awareness, and desire to improve.

The reason why you applied

We all know that you must have a job if you want to live comfortably. But don’t say it that way because it doesn’t sound like you’re excited about the opportunity or the company.

If the reason is a high salary or the benefits, that’s great, but don’t say that either. Find a balance between professional growth, career plans, their values and what they’re doing in the industry.

Whatever can be perceived as negative you must avoid at a job interview.

Mentioning personal struggles

I know this might come as a surprise for some, but trust me, people tend to overshare. A lot. Things such as “My partner got laid off so I need a better-paying job”, “My mental health is suffering because of my boss”, “I need this job to be able to take care of the kids in the morning” are all unacceptable things to say at a job interview.

I’m not saying you should be a robot, but this is an interview. You don’t know these people and they don’t know you. So don’t go discovering too much about your personal life just yet.

Being negative at a job interview will not bring you good results.Conclusion

To conclude, the one thing you must avoid at a job interview is negativity. And sometimes, this requires a lot of self-awareness because we all have a different view on what “negativity” is.

Job interviews are your opportunity to leave a positive impression and you don’t get a second chance so, you better do it right!

We can help you with interview prep – book your session through our service page here.

And if you’re struggling to secure a job interview, take a look at your CV and see if that’s the reason why. You can submit it for a free analysis or you can get a step-by-step CV writing guide that will teach you how to write successful CVs.

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