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Interview Discussions – 5 Topics To Avoid

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Aisling Harrison Recruitment, Career Advice, Tips...

Congratulations, you have been invited to attend an interview!

Whether you have applied for a role or been head-hunted, this company is impressed with your experience and believes you will be a great asset to their organisation.

Recruiting is a time-consuming process for a business, so they won’t waste time interviewing you if they don’t believe you have potential.

However, certain topics of conversation can turn a promising interview sour.

 

1. Bad-mouthing your current employer

While a common cause for job hunting is unhappiness with a current employer; it is important to phrase this professionally in an interview situation. Insulting your current company or a colleague, can create an unpleasant atmosphere and portray you as a negative person.

No matter how justified it is, avoid complaining about your current position and focus on the positives and what you look forward to.

Express your passion regarding career progression, your ambition to develop new skills or desire to gain more experience.

Also, focus on the company you have applied for. Explain why you want to work for them and what is it about their industry that interests you. 

 

2. Being too personal

Most CVs contain a section on your personal profile, summarising your experience and explaining any gaps in employment.

Legally, your interviewer should not ask you any personal questions regarding your health, living situation or family responsibilities, to prevent any unfair assumptions or discrimination regarding your ability to do the job.

All questions should be based on your professional experience and knowledge.

Therefore, all of your answers should be about your professional experience and knowledge.

Do not go off track by discussing irrelevant or inappropriate information about your private life, or anybody else’s!

 

3. Promoting your achievements by putting others down

An interview is all about selling your achievements and skills to a potential employer to convince them that you are the best candidate for the role.

A CV and cover letter can briefly explain this to an extent but an interview is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge, professionalism and passion.

Teamwork and communication are critical skills to almost any job out there. Slating the performance of other people to boast your accomplishments is one way to discredit these skills and your likeability in an interview.

Even if your experience of dealing with difficult colleagues has resulted in you developing certain skills, do not focus on where others have lacked, emphasise your growth.

 

4. Criticising the company you are interviewing for

Now, this one may sound painfully obvious, but it can be an easy trap to fall into.

When preparing for an interview, you should conduct thorough research on the company and think of qualities that you could bring to the organisation.

But when explaining this, don’t condemn the company for things they are not currently doing and instead express excitement on how you can develop their current practices and ideas. 

 

5. Saying nothing at all

If you’re unable to coherently explain in an interview why you would be the ideal candidate for a job or demonstrate your industry knowledge then you will not be successful.

Battling with intense nerves before an interview is a typical experience, and often, the more important the job is to you, the more crippled with them you feel. This can cause a severe lack of confidence when speaking making it difficult for you to properly showcase your talent and suitability for a role.

It is okay to be nervous, and interviewers will expect this from candidates. Don’t let it monopolise your opportunity as you have already impressed them on paper. The more preparation and research you do, the more comfortable and confident you will feel on the day.