What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever said to an employer during an interview?

Did you know that the dumbest thing you will ever say to an employer, is that one thing that costs you the job opportunity; and based upon statistics, this information is almost always volunteered by the candidate.

Employers want to know as much as they can about a candidate before extending that job offer.  Apart from your experience, qualifications, strengths, and weaknesses, they also want to know personal things about you such as your likes and dislikes, how you relate with people, how you manage your time, your true aspirations and any other information that will help them determine that you will be a perfect fit for their organization.  No employer wants to hire you today, only to find out that you are planning to leave two months later, because you cannot get on with the managers or co-workers; you hate the environment, your personal issues gets in the way of your performance, or even that you don’t feel adequately compensated or challenged enough; the list could go on.

Luckily for most candidates, it is illegal for employers to ask most of the questions they would love to. Therefore, they stick to the questions that the Law lets them ask.  Still candidates go on to tell stories like how much of a challenge it is to find a steady baby-sitter to watch their kids; or how their former manager always picked on them (or their work); and how they left the organization because they could never make it to work on time, and how their former co-workers hated them because of their sexual orientation and so on.

A good number of times, this is done in good intent.  The candidate wants to be honest with the employer up front, but almost everytime, such honesty backfires.  While it is important to be honest upfront, you must remember that the new employer doesn’t know you, and therefore cannot judge any case you put before them without prejudice.  The prejudice the employer exercises against you, is going to be on a very generic level; where they use profiles to categorize you.

Take for instance, individuals that do not get on with their co-workers must be troublesome.  Or, If you did not get along with your boss, then maybe you don’t respect authority; Or, If you cannot get to work on time, you must have family management issues that interferes with your performance. Of course, there are number of other possible scenarios.

It is up to you as a candidate to answer only those questions you are asked; and only volunteer information you believe will further your potential to nail that job.  Your focus has to be on your performance.  What can you say about your past performance and qualifications that will get you the job.  This does not mean that you should ignore questions that pertain to your character when they come up.  You should recognize illegal questions and avoid them, but when asked legal personal questions, while answering honestly, avoid getting dramatic.  Most questions can easily be answered with a “yes” or “no”,  if your answer starts becoming a story, you may volunteering information that will hurt your chances to get a job offer.

Thanks for reading my blog, let me know what you think and happy hunting.

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