Candidates often disqualify themselves by revealing information that is better left unsaid during the interview. Regardless of how well the interview seems to be going, or how candid the conversation becomes with the hiring manager, be sure you aren’t spilling your guts about your personal problems and circumstances. After all, the interview is the time to impress the hiring manager and prove that you are the perfect person for their open position.
Before you go on your next interview, make sure you don’t share the following information.
- Personal sob stories or anything that could be viewed as trying to gather sympathy. This could include stories about being in debt, losing a job/home, family illness, etc. Of course there may be situations where you do have to share the basic story if you are explaining a move, a gap in employment, or a reason to go back to school, but remember keep it short and to the point.
- Negative feelings about previous employers or co-workers. Even if you left your previous position under bad terms, keep your emotions to yourself. If you speak negatively about past employers, the hiring manager in the interview will wonder if you will do the same about them in the future.
- Opinions about politics or religion. It may be an election year, but just because political stories are in the news what seems like 24-7, an interview is not the place to share these opinions. The same goes for religion. Keep your opinions to yourself.
- Sensitive information about previous/current employers. Even if you didn’t sign a non-disclosure agreement, common courtesy goes to say that you shouldn’t share trade secrets or behind the scenes information that is not public knowledge with other companies, whether they are a competitor or not.
Not only should the following information not be shared during an interview, but the interviewer shouldn’t be asking you questions in these areas either.
- Personal information such as your banking information, social security number, and birth date. There is no need to provide this information during an interview. Only after an offer has been given and accepted, and you are filling out tax paperwork, do you have to provide your employer with this data.
- What your current salary is right now. A good answer to this question would be to say that you are open to negotiation. If they continue to press for a number, give a range of what your target salary would be.
Interviewing can be a stressful situation, but preparation is key to eliminating that stress and ultimately getting a new job. For more interview tips and tricks, check out our related posts. Do’s and Don’ts for Interview Success and How to Prepare for a Second Interview.