Job search ethics and protocols are important. The more you know about them, the more prepared are you in handling a job interview. A big part of them has to do with what NOT to ask or say in an interview.
Below are the top 10 common gaffes made and they do not resonate well with the interviewers.
1. What kind of business does your company is involved in?
By asking this question, you are telling the interviewer how unprepared and how uninterested you are in the job. No excuse for not knowing when you can easily google any information now.
2. How much can you pay me?
A valid question and at some point of time, this subject need to be settled. However, it is a mistake if you chose to ask this question right at the beginning of an interview. Some even asked before the interviewer has a chance to pose his/her first question – “Before we begin, how much can you pay for this job? Honestly, I don’t wish to waste anyone’s time if you can’t offer what I’m expecting.”
3. What kind of benefits does the company provides?
Again, it’s a question that you have every right to know the answer but it should not be raised right at the beginning of the interview. Keep the question until the end of the interview or if there is more than one interview, it should be raised only at the second interview or until the interviewer make the first move in discussing the subject.
4. I really needed a job now. Please hire me. I can do anything.
You may be desperate but there is no need to beg. Stay professional by putting your best self forward. Remember employers do not hire out of sympathy.
5. Is this a stressful job?
Why are you asking this question? Is it because your intention of getting another job is to get into a comfortable 9-5 job with no overtime? Even if that is your purpose of changing jobs, you can bet no employer may be that keen to hire someone that put in the time and take the paycheck at the end of the month without much contribution. "Good candidates" are those that enjoy challenges, excited about growth, take on extra responsibilities and willing to walk the extra mile.
6. Avoid slangs and Manglish [For Malaysians]
Slangs usually used by graduates that had just returned from their overseas study. Perhaps with the intention of making an impression, you try to please the interviewer with your American or Australian slang. Do not do that because slangs denote disrespect to your listeners that are trying to figure out what you are saying. And avoid Manglish that ends with lah, nah or mixed with other local dialects. Remember you are not having a conversation with friends and do not think by being casual in your language, you are projecting yourself as friendly. Speak proper English with the right use of grammar.
7. Avoid debate on sensitive issues related to politics and religion
Be clear of your objective. This is a job interview and not a platform to influence and convert the interviewer to your views and beliefs, even when the interviewer get distracted and started the subject first. Stay focused.
8. Do not bad-mouth your previous employer
Criticizing your ex-employers in any way let the interviewers realize you may do the same to them should you be hired and left the company one day. Whatever fall out you may have in the past with your ex-bosses is best left in the past. Make your statements short and try to stay as objective as possible. Do not let bitterness get the better of you.
9. Stay away from sharing personal stuff
One of the common questions asked by interviewer is, “Tell me about yourself”. Don’t tell your life story. Stick to your professional self as much as possible although you can touch a bit on your school life or outside interest but they should be kept at a minimum unless the interviewer probe further. Any other personal issue related to your recent divorce or in-laws should not be brought up at all.
10. One or two word answer
There will be times whereby one word answer is the only way of answering but if throughout the whole interview process, the replies from you are either one word or short answers, you are in trouble. You have just succeeded in getting into the nerves of interviewer and managed to convey one clear message – lack of interest.