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Interview sins: Things you should never say in an interview


Are you committing some interview sins? I am in the process of interviewing a few people for marketing positions, and I truly feel sorry for the way some people are representing themselves. We decided to conduct phone interviews to get to the serious candidates. Yes, it is a weeding out process.{{more}} It does put pressure on the candidates to sell themselves effectively over the phone. Face-to-face interviews are only conducted with candidates who do a good job in the phone interview. I summarized what I’ve heard and realized this is not just an American problem—it’s a global problem, and employers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and job seekers are not immune. If you are a job seeker, consider the following:

Please know what the company does. I’ve had too many candidates who had no clue what we do as a company. If you apply for a job, or even an internship, please take the time to research the company and know their products and services. Familiarize yourself with their industry and be able to speak intelligently about the business. You don’t have to know everything, but at least have some general idea. Do an Internet search, get their brochure or talk to folks who may know about the company.

Working out at the gym does not set you apart. This answer floored me! I could not believe what I was hearing. This individual honestly said that working out at the gym sets him apart from everyone else and he took “millions of classes on marketing” so he knows what works and what does not. You have to know what skills you bring to an employer. How can you contribute? Don’t just give a laundry list of skills. Give actual examples of how you’ve used these skills in the past.

Use standard English. Growing up in Chauncey, we had elders like Nurse Maule, teachers such as Ms. Stephens, Ms. King and Ms. Tucker, and many others insisting that we use proper English. At the time, you may not have agreed, but listening to the slang and inability of some candidates to hold a conversation drives home the need to speak standard English. This does not mean you can’t use slang or dialect, but not in an interview or even a professional setting where your image is important.

Take the time to truly prepare for interviews and think about how you would like to be perceived. This could positively impact your earning ability, so get it right!

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]
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