This Is How to Get Your Next Job

An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want

 This Is How to Get Your Next Job

Author: Andrea Kay
Pub Date: April 2013
Print Edition: $16.00
Print ISBN: 9780814432211
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432228

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5 Things You Should Never Talk About or Say in a Job Interview

5 Things You Should Never Talk About or Say in a Job Interview

“There is no such thing as the perfect response to any question in a job interview,” career columnist and consultant Andrea Kay assures job applicants. However, as she’s found through talking to employers, what people talk about in a job interview often costs them the job offer. As she shares in her new book, THIS IS HOW TO GET YOUR NEXT JOB (AMACOM 2013), there are five things everyone should avoid talking about in a job interview:

#1: Don’t talk about things you can’t back up. Before you state your claim to a quality that sets you apart, think it through. Saying you’re a great team player or terrific problem fixer doesn’t make it so—even if it’s true. You need to articulate and demonstrate where, how, and exactly what you did that made you so effective and the result. “Employers want proof,” Kay stresses. “Be ready to cite a juicy example or two of how you’ve done what you say you can do.”

#2: Never say “I have good people skills.” “Everybody says ‘I’m a people person,’” Kay points out. “The words mean nothing.” Consider what it is you do that makes you effective when dealing with oth-ers. Are you good at working through difficult issues with co-workers? Do you have a knack for writing and talking to customers in a way that explains things? Tell interviewers that instead of “I have good people skills.”

#3: Never say “I just want to learn.” Everybody needs to learn on the job, and while saying “I just want to learn” will make a recent graduate or someone moving in to a new field appear eager, it doesn’t address why an employer would hire you. “An interview is an opportunity to show an employer how you can apply what you know to their business,” Kay states. Employers aren't in business to teach, but to deliver a serve or product. So rather than focus solely on your eagerness to learn, tell an interviewer how you will use the skills you have begun to develop to solve problems so you can help deliver their service or product.

#4: Don’t talk about TMPI (Too Much Personal Information). Don’t talk about why you need the job (even if you do have a hard-luck story about sick children, elderly parents, or a spouse who’s been laid off). Don’t talk about politics, religion, or sexual preferences. When a person can’t leave personal issues at home, it makes an employer wonder: Does he lack the necessary maturity and good judgment? Is her personal life such a wreck that she may not be dependable? “Don’t discuss personal information that has nothing to do with your qualifications for the job,” Kay emphasizes. “Focus on why you’re qualified.”

#5: Don’t talk about irrelevant or dumb things that just pop into your head. Stress can be the culprit. Or, so can something deeper, like the desperate drive to fabricate something to impress. Sometimes, job candidates blurt out things that just come to them at the moment. “To be less impulsive, you need to practice—literally,” Kay suggests. “Slow down, count to five, and give yourself a chance to consider how your comment will sound.”

Adapted from THIS IS HOW TO GET YOUR NEXT JOB: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want by Andrea Kay

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