If you get to the interview and the interviewer is even a little bit human with you, you can easily go too far.
Your relief at being able to relax and be yourself on the interview can cause you to say too much.
Here are ten things to keep to yourself:
1. The fact that you got fired from your last job — or any past job.
2. The fact that your last manager (or any past manager) was a jerk, a bully, a lousy manager or an idiot, even if all those things were true.
3. The fact that you are desperate for a job.
Some companies will be turned off by this disclosure, and others will use it as a reason to low-ball you.
4. The fact that you feel nervous or insecure about parts of the job if you’re applying for.
You do not want to be cocky and say “I can do this job in my sleep!” but you also do not want to express the idea that you are worried about walking into the new job.
Everyone is worried about every new job, until you figure out that everyone is faking it anyway so you may as well fake it, too.
5. The fact that you had a clash or conflict with anybody at a past job or that you got written up or put on probation.
That is no one’s business but yours.
6. The fact that you have a personal issue going on that could create scheduling difficulty down the road.
Keep that to yourself unless you already know that you need accommodation, and you know what kind of accommodation you need. Otherwise, button your lip. Life takes its own turns. Who knows what will happen a few months from now?
7. Your private life.
It is none of their business, unless they ask for work-related issues, like travelling most of the time, or special agreements with international schools for children, etc.
8. The fact that this job pays a lot more than the other jobs you have held.
That information is not relevant and will only hurt you.
9. The fact that you are only planning to remain in your current city for another year or some other period of time.
That fact alone will cause many companies not to hire you. They want to retain the right to fire you for any reason or no reason, at any moment — but they can’t deal with the fact that you have your own plans, too — and that people don’t always take a job with the intention of staying in the job forever.
10. The fact that you know you are overqualified for the job you are interviewing for, and that your plan is to take the job and quickly get promoted to a better job.
For some reason, many interviewers find this information off-putting. I have been to countless HR gatherings where I heard folks complaining about “entitled” or “presumptuous” job applicants who had the nerve to say “This job is just a stepping stone for me.” How dare they!
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Slowly the world is changing. Slowly, employers are waking up to the reality that only one thing powers their success — their workforce. Slowly they are realizing that only by hiring amazing people and setting them free to do amazing things can their companies thrive. It’s a culture change — a big one.
Almost all of us were raised with the idea that employers are mighty and job-seekers are ants.
Now we know better. We know how much power we carry around with us. Still, when you are job-hunting it’s a good idea to keep some pieces of your story to yourself — until after you’ve got the job.