As a freelancer, I have been on no less than one million job interviews. They are ways to kill it—being politely early but not too early, being prepared, bathing beforehand (OBVIOUSLY YOU HEATHENS), etc. And there are ways for it to go so poorly that you’ll want to kill yourself. If you want to be a true GirlBoss/Boss B*tch, you’ve got to know how to interview well. One of the easiest ways to improve your interview skills is to never, ever say the following. And wear a chic outfit. But mostly the first thing. Here are a few things you should never say in an interview.
1. Personal Sh*t
I have family drama that’s crazier than any reality TV show. Or even soap opera. I get that sometimes you’ll be asked in an interview, “Oh, why did you take this time off?” or “Why are you changing careers?” and you may be tempted to tell the truth. But saying, “Oh, my mom is hoarding like, 30 feral cats and they attacked her,” may make you sound like a total psycho. Even if it’s true. When asked something that may lead to a personal question, keep it as vague and professional as possible. They don’t need to know you left your last job because you slept with your boss and then found out he was married (whoops). You left because you were “seeking a more challenging position”.
2. Your Vacation Schedule
When you freelance and you’re hired job for job, you have no idea how long each job will go or when you’ll be busy or have no work to do. Same goes when you’re unemployed. If you have no idea when you’ll find your next career move, who cares if you take a month to go to Europe? However, should you land an interview, do not tell them right off the bat that you’ve already got a trip planned. The only exception is if they let you know they need you for a specific event or schedule that overlaps your trip. But otherwise? Keep your plane tickets to yourself and let them know after you get the job that you already had this trip planned. Most companies are totally cool with honoring pre-made plans as long as it’s not a conflict for them. This way it won’t be a factor in their decision to hire you.
3. Bad Job History
If you got fired from your last job or rage quit because your boss does not understand that being on-call all day without pay is super illegal, Stephanie, don’t mention it in the interview. Yeah, illegal practices are a totally justifiable reason to quit. The job being sh*tty is also a valid reason. But you don’t want to look petty or like a complainer in your interview. If you talk sh*t on your ex-boss, they’ll wonder how you’ll treat them should the job not go as you expect. Say something super classy and casual, like “oh, I wanted something different than what my last position could offer me.” You know, like being paid for my time. There will be plenty of time to tell them your crazy ex-boss stories once you get the job at post-work happy hour.
4. The Obvious (Especially When The Job Sucks)
Sometimes interviewers ask super dumb questions, like, “Why do you want this position?” So I can f*cking eat, duh. “What makes you excited about this minimum wage job?” It’s the only one that responded to my application. Don’t say these things. You have no choice but to answer dumb questions with class and delicate wording. If you’re interviewing for a lesser job, a low-paid position even though you have a super expensive college degree, or anything that just sucks, you don’t need to tell them this. Like, obviously, you don’t want to be Karen’s free intern when you’re driving two hours to the office every day and HI, have rent and bills to pay, too. But sometimes you have no choice and you need to do something lame as a step-up in your career. Just focus on the parts of the job that could appeal to you and your future. Like, “I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and establish myself in this new industry”, is way better than “If I don’t get some kind of job, my dad will cut me off”.
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