Interviews can vary massively from one business to another and possibly depending on the level of role. Whatever the situation there are always things you shouldn’t say and questions you are better not asking.
I don’t know
Interviewers will be looking to stretch and challenge you during the course of the recruitment process. The best way of dealing with the tough questions is to answer the as best you can. If you don’t know an answer or have a directly relevant answer to give use the best example that you can and relate the question back to something you do know. Often a question is to initiate discussion – no answer doesn’t lead to the interviewer learning anything about you and doesn’t show any initiative. Of course this doesn’t mean blagging an answer either.
What’s the salary?
The salary is always a tough point to discuss with a new employer, especially at the interview stage. There is a time and place to bring it up, and the first interview isn’t always the right one. At the same time, you don’t want to get too far down the process and not know what the salary is- if using a recruiter they should be managing this part of the process for you. Initially you should have a good indication of the remuneration from the job description. The chances are that the interviewer themselves will ask you what sort of salary you are looking for – this gives you the opportunity to talk about it and negotiate the best deal for you.
How many holidays do I get?
Companies are on the look-out for people that are motivated and willing to put in the necessary effort. They want staff to be ambitious, driven self-starters, not people who are just looking for an easy life. If you want a fulfilling career and the rewards that tend to come with that, then you have to be prepared to go that extra mile. Of course you are perfectly entitled to perks, but try to avoid talking about things like holiday entitlement straight away, because it can give off the wrong impression.
I dislike my current company
You never want to turn the tone of the interview negative, even if you may be having a bad experience at your current job. All this does is make you seem like somebody who is difficult to manage. If asked why you are leaving, focus more on your ambitions for the future and what excites you about the job you are applying for.
I don’t have any questions
No questions = no research! You need to show prospective employers how interested you potentially are in getting the role. The research you have done may have thrown up some interesting facts that you can ask about, or you may want to know about the scope for personal development. You may also wish to get some more information about your role or the working culture – either way it is important that the interview process is not one sided.
As an aside to the above the one peculiarity that comes up time and time again is the following… The individuals that comes out the interview thinking they have ‘nailed’ it and ‘had a brilliant interview’ rarely are the ones who gets offered the role. The more cautious candidates, who are hard on themselves and their performance are often the ones that clients end up liking most!