I came across this video and it has some great advice about things to not say in a job interview. Many students are learning English to get a new job. Here is a listening or reading lesson to work with your students on. You will see notes and additional comments below.
1. Don't Talk Bad About Your Past Jobs
If somebody talks bad about others to you, they are talking bad about you to others.
This is something employers know, and complaining about your past or current jobs, boss, co-workers, etc. just makes you sound like a negative person. One thing employers don't want in their companies are negative people to bring everybody down.
When asked why you're leaving or have left your last job, focus on yourself and the future. Say something like:
2. Don't Act Desperate
I'll do anything = I don't have any specific skills.
If you act desperate, and you'll take anything they will give you, there are two possible outcomes: 1) you won't get anything 2) you will get anything (and you probably won't like it, and you probably won't get paid a lot). Employers want people with specific skills and ideas.
Even if you are desperate, show confidence and positive energy with a vision.
When you go into a job interview, say something like:
3. Don't Be Vague
You're a quick learner. What does that mean? How do I know?
A common mistake on resumés and job interviews is being too vague. Jesse talks about this on episode 38 of the More Than English Podcast called Best and Worst Words to Use on a CV. These also apply to job interviews.
If you describe yourself with vague terms like- I'm a natural leader, or I'm task-oriented, or I'm a go-getter- a future employer doesn't have any context to base this on.
Why should they believe you?
Use verbs to specifically describe things you've done or accomplished in your career or life. Use words like:
The more specific you can be with your experience, the more evidence you are giving them to hire you. Listen to the podcast above to get the full list. (From Forbes.com)
4. Don't Say You Don't Know How
If you've never done something, does that mean you can't do it?
You will probably be asked if you can perform a specific task, or be asked how you would perform a specific task or handle a specific problem. It might not be a good idea to immediately say, "I don't know." or "I can't do that."
This isn't to say that you should lie to your interviewer, but if you've never done a specific task, does that mean you can't? If you say you can't do something or show no level of understanding about a question, that is obviously a big negative against you.
He mentions two words I'd like to highlight.
1. Competency questions - questions to know what you know.
2. Wipe out - a phrasal verb meaning 'to eliminate'
Be honest... and highlight your strengths.
When faced with a question you don't know, try saying something like:
5. Don't Ask What Their Company Does
Do your research on the company.
Know what the company does before sending your resume. Know what job you are applying for. Know what your responsibilities will be. If you don't know what the company does that you're applying for, why would they want to hire you? It's that simple.
Do not ask what they do.
Ask specific questions about what you might face. Some great questions students have shared during our lessons is:
Jesse Sweed has a video where he shares a story of his last job interviews as well as a trick to be more confident when going into your next job interview. Your mindset is essential to your confidence and performance in your job interview. This is from Episode 9 of the More Than English Podcast.
Good luck and let me know how your interview goes!
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