Being the man or woman who scouts new talent for the company and then vets that talent through the interview process can get tiring. Often sifting through CVs and cover letters that look like carbon copies of each other can seem like a gruelling test of mental durability. Then come the interviews, the cream of the crop and then they all seem like they’ve rehearsed their lines together as well. Here are some of those lines that you should consider avoiding.
‘I’ll do anything’
One that seems like it should work in your favour, the willingness to make yourself useful no matter what should be an essential part of being an employee, fitting in wherever necessary, being an integral cog in the machine. Not the case. Often it comes across as desperate and while you want to look keen it looks a little needy as if you aren’t confident in your own skills and therefore need some reassurance. It’s something of a ‘last resort’ tactic.
‘I am a perfectionist’
Often when confronted with the question of whether or not you have any weaknesses the knee-jerk reaction is to say: no. The next step is to spin something that you think sounds like a positive into a negative. People who say they are a perfectionist when asked about their weaknesses often think that this is slyly suggesting they have no weaknesses. This, however, only serves to prove that your true weakness is your unoriginality. It’s what everyone says thinking they are spinning a question on its head and proving themselves to be all-rounders.
‘When do I start?’
For the more gung-ho among you, this might be a temptation if the interview has gone particularly well. If you had answers for everything and had enough questions to look curious but hard-headed enough to hire then you might think you have it in the bag. I’m not saying it never works, more that it’s a little self-entitled or presumptuous.
‘I wasn’t appreciated at my last job’
It reflects more on you than it does on them. Speaking negatively about another company no matter how badly they may have treated you only serves to make you look bitter and resentful. Nobody wants to hire anyone with that attitude so ensure that you look more positive and avoid criticising other people unnecessarily. Anyhow, the way to be appreciated is to make it clear you are worth it. If you talk about how you were treated, your interviewer might in some way think animosity and conflict follows you.
‘This is my dream job’
Right, now I’m not saying you’ll never have your dream job, it’s definitely doable but often we have to work doing other things beforehand, working our way to where we want to be. It’s not insulting to admit that you have aspirations outside of your current predicament so don’t be afraid to talk frankly about them if you are asked. It doesn’t demean the position you are applying for just because it isn’t where you want to be in ten years. Ambition is more attractive than people pleasing.