Even an executive can be nervous on a job interview. On the other hand, the interviewer has the stress of making sure they hire the right person. So what responses will get you eliminated from consideration for the job? These are the top 5 dumbest things to say:
1. I just need a job. Even if this is true, don’t tell the interviewer! Employers hire executives that want to work for their company, who will embrace the challenges in the position and will thrive in the company culture. They don’t want someone who will accept the job just to get by and pay the bills, all the while looking for something better to jump to when the opportunity arises.
2. What’s in it for me? In the whole scheme of things, an employer is more interested in what you can do for them and less focused on what the executive wants. Of course, an employer knows that they need to offer certain perks to keep an executive loyal and engaged with their organization. But the first few interviews are not the time to discuss bonuses, vacation, salary, and other personal needs. These issues are generally brought up at the last interview or the time when an offer is presented.
3. I’m also interviewing with another company. If you think mentioning you are interviewing with other companies will spark an urgency with the interviewer, think again. Believe it or not, this tactic can backfire. Companies don’t want to compete for candidates. You’ll likely drop a notch in the hiring process and may not be called back for further interviews.
4. I have no questions. A successful interview has mutual engagement from both the interviewer and the executive. It is expected that a candidate has prepared for the interview and shows up with pertinent questions for the interviewer. If you’ve done your homework, your questions may lead to clues about the position and your fit. For example, you might ask the interviewer, “What are your expectations of the person who fills this position.” The answer may give you insight into certain skills and talents they are looking for, and you can focus your responses to interview questions highlighting your similar talents and skills.
5. And your name is….? Showing up for an interview without knowing the name of the person you will be interviewing with could set you up for a poor first impression. Even if you try to cover your ignorance and ask the receptionist for the name of the person conducting interviews today, you are in essence telling others that you are not prepared and that can get back to the interviewer quickly. Don’t use the excuse you are not good with names; that just doesn’t fly in this situation.