Updated June 12, 2023
Managing an Interviewer
This is an outline on Things to Never Tell an Interviewer. The interview is the art of selling yourself in such a way that you can emphasize your strengths and can camouflage your weaknesses. No, it’s not falsehood to hide what flaws you’ve. If you bring them to the notice of your interviewer, the only thing she would see is your “needed improvement” points. So, you need to focus more on your strengths and whatever weaknesses or lacks you feel you’ve; you need to manage tactically.
Candor is a beautiful word when discussing an interview because it creates harmony between the interviewee and the interviewer. But while expressing everything candidly, certain things may pull a red flag for the interviewer. So, it’s always better to be mindful of them and not tell them even while sharing your profile and your personal and professional life candidly with the interviewer.
We want you to perform at your highest in any interview. We bring you things that matter while you’re in the interview room but may have thought the way you should have. So, here are eight things you shouldn’t tell an interviewer, no matter how frankly you share yourself with them. Let’s look at Things to Never Tell an Interviewer, and we will also discuss how you can camouflage it by saying certain things.
Things to Never Tell an Interviewer
Let’s discuss more on Things to Never Tell an Interviewer.
1. I didn’t include this job as I did it only for a short stint
Never say this in an interview room. If you ask us why, we would say that by displaying this, you’re proving to the interviewer that you’re not trustworthy for the job s/he is offering, and thus no matter how skillful you become, you cannot step ahead and get this job. An interviewer is first the face of the company. And s/he will first think about their company rather than taking an interest in you. Moreover, an interviewer is getting paid to protect their company and its appeal, not you or you’re candidly expressed self-surrender. So, it would help if you also thought about your interest. You’re there to get the job, not to impress or make friends with the interviewer. Be professional and share only that part that’s necessary. Gulp the rest, even if it’s coming out of your mouth.
In this case, if there’s a gap and it’s not mentioned, and you know that you did a job for a short duration, wait for the interviewer to ask a question about it. You don’t need to say anything without asking. If s/he asks, say you took time to prepare for the interviews or say something like a physical ailment. But ensure you’ve never mentioned the absolute truth in any of your profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and elsewhere. You’ll be caught if you’ve ever said you’ve worked for a short duration.
It’s always good not to lie. Thus whatever is necessary to mention, mention it in your resume so that you don’t need to lie.
2. I’d like to become ___ (something that’s not aligned with the job you’ve applied for)
If you say this, you’re doomed. Who wants you to recruit someone whose dreams are something else? If you’re applying for a content writer and nonsense position that you want to become a professor, who will select you for the job? No-one will. So, be careful about this. People are not your dream flyers and are not interested in your dreams.
There’re lots of interviewers who may say to you that we need to know who you want to be, and that’s all we want to know so that we can place you in a suitable fit, but don’t get trapped in that. They say this because they want to see the truth, not something edgy.
Know that there are two brains that we all have. One is the neocortex, responsible for logic, and the other is the limbic brain, which controls your feelings. So, the recruiters asking you this type of question point toward your limbic brain. And without realizing it, you share your natural sense, and guess what? You’re trapped.
When asked such a question, think about what you can be by holding this current job and prepare beforehand what you need to say. Maybe you need to say something like – “I believe when we sit in a car at night, the only thing we can see is another 2.5 inches; so right now, that’s what I want to see, and I want to learn as much as I can and want to stretch as much as I can. Hopefully, I will arrive at my dream destination because by choosing to dedicate myself to this job, I know in my heart that this is the right direction.” If you say this, there would be nothing the recruiter can tell, and the trick s/he has used wouldn’t work on you.
3. I’m sitting for an interview in various fields as of now.
Are you mad? Saying the interviewer that you don’t have clarity? See, the purpose of an interviewer is to select a candidate who will remain in the company for some time and not leave and go to another company for another job. Interviewers hate job-hoppers. They want to get a healthy return on investment by selecting you. If they don’t see a chance of getting a good ROI by selecting you, they won’t.
So, never tell what you’re doing professionally, especially when interviewing in different fields. We understand that if you’re fresher and confused about which career suits you best, you need to do some trial and error. Nothing is wrong with that. But don’t show it to the interviewer. If s/he asks you about any other interview you’re giving or not, tell them that you’re focusing on this field and you feel you’re the right fit for it as you believe you’ve all the qualities one should’ve to prosper in this area. And bang on! Interviewers have nothing more to say to you about that.
4. I want to move up quickly
Having ambition is not at all a bad thing. But if you understand what an interviewer wants from their ideal candidate, “I want to move up quickly” are not the phrases they want to hear. Because if you say so, they would feel that you want to grow faster, so you’ll not be stable, and if their company cannot provide the growth you’re looking for, you’ll leave the job and search for another one. And that would drastically affect the company’s output (especially if it’s an important position). So, never express your ambition in front of the interviewer. There may be another reason, but it’s very subtle that you won’t be able to decipher always. When you say such a thing, sometimes, the recruiter/interviewer who may be holding an important position feels threatened that you may quickly move up to their work. And guess what s/he acts out of that fear and would never give you a job and will call you “over-confident” or “over-ambitious.”
You can, at best, say – “I want to grow and stretch myself as much as I can, and I can see that this job would be able to provide me room for growth.” If you say this, you’re expressing yourself frankly but hiding something that doesn’t need to be told in front of the interviewer.
5. I don’t have any references
Terrible statement to say to an interviewer!
An interviewer will always be satisfied with you and your words. That’s why there’s a protocol for a background check if the position is crucial for the company. That’s why they need people who can verify your background. If you say this to an interviewer, that means there’s no way your statements can be verified, and thus, if it’s a key position, your chances of selection are bleak.
So what to do if you don’t have any references? Or suppose you’re a fresher?
First of all, don’t say it upfront. The interviewer may ask you about people who know you and your background. Think of at least three names before entering the interview room.
If you’re fresher, think of 3 professors who would love to talk well about you. If you’re somehow experienced, you should know someone you’ve worked with. Be careful while writing the names of the recommender in the application form. Make sure that they’re trustworthy and would like you as much as to speak well about yourself. Remember, the interviewers will trust other people more than what you say about yourself.
6. My earlier job was a horrible one
Never say that to the interviewer. Why? Because it’s a terrible statement! First, once you say this, you must explain and do badmouthing about your previous employer. But the interviewer only can know about your words. The other side is hidden from them. So, how come s/he would believe that whatever you’re saying is the truth? You may be a person who is very hard to work with, or maybe you’ve unrealistic expectations from a job or a boss.
So, if you feel that you did all your work correctly in your earlier job and there’s no room for you to do anything about it, rephrase it in this way – “My previous job was a good one. I was excited. I did all I could. And my performance card also depicted the same. But right now, I’m looking for this (talk about the position you’ve applied for) as I believe there are certain limitations in my previous job profile.”
The art is to say it subtly as possible so that even if the interviewer knows what you’re saying, there would be no doubt about whether what s/he understood is accurate. And you know you will always get the benefit of the doubt if you’re outstanding in your work.
7. I’m applying to the University the following summer
As typically as it may sound, interviewers want people who want to stay in the company for at least more than a year! If not, how would the recruitment cost be sufficient, and how would the company benefit from the recruitment drive?
There’s no issue with education. But don’t threaten the interviewer with the phrases like – “I’m going to join university coming year for this,” especially if it’s a full-time course. If you feel you can manage the job with your full-time study, it’s always better not to say anything about it specifically during the interview. If you need to share this, say it after you get selected with the assurance that you will maintain a clear distinction between your work and that your study will not hamper it by any cost. So, don’t discuss your education during your interview to play it safe.
8. I’m waiting for someone to pick me up
Interviewers want people who are self-starters and who can create a stir with their actions. They don’t like reactive people who even wait for someone to pick them up. Even if it’s true and you’re from a conservative and protected family, ask your parents or husband to pick you up away from your interview place.
You don’t want to show your potential boss that you need someone to pick you up and you need someone to make your decision. It will create a wrong picture in their mind. Instead, once the interview ends, say ‘thanks’ to the receptionist and leave the place. Go away from the location and connect with the person about to pick you up from the interview place and ask them to come somewhere else.
The first impression is everything, and if you can’t create a first impression that will show you as proactive, responsible, and self-starter, you probably won’t get the job you want.
In this article, Things to Never Tell an Interviewer, you understand that many variations of phrases are also capable of killing your dreams of getting the job you want. Pay heed to these, know where you might slip, and prepare well. If you heed the details, you will always do good in your interview.
We hope that this EDUCBA information on “Things to Never Tell an Interviewer” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information.