Navigating the Current Landscape: Admin and Office Support Recruitment in Today’s Climate
27th November 2023
And just as important as remembering what to say, there are a number of things that shouldn’t
be said. Below you’ll find our interview tips, and the 7 things you should never say during an interview.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years is a common interview question. You might be ambitious, hoping to progress, and have your eyes set firmly on the role of the person interviewing. But don’t say so. No boss in their right mind would want to hire someone they perceive as a threat. In any event, it’s certainly no way to endear yourself to someone.
One of our most important interview tips, is to instead communicate your enthusiasm for general learning and advancement. Speak about the additional responsibilities you’d hope to hold by then. This shows how keen you are to develop, without coming across as arrogant.
During an interview, you might be asked to state your greatest weakness as an employee. It’s commonly suggested to answer that it’s that you’re a perfectionist. That way, you’ve responded to the question, but positively reframed it. So it’s a great response, right? Actually, wrong. This question really tests the honesty of an interviewee, as well as giving insight into their self-awareness.
A better response, would be to give an example of a real weakness that you’ve previously identified. Then you can explain how you overcame it and learned from the experience.
Certain personal information is entirely out of bounds for employers to base hiring decisions on. In fact, it’s illegal for them to do so. This includes your age, sexuality, marital status, and whether or not you have children. To avoid any chance of discrimination, it’s best to steer clear of these topics entirely, however fair and reasonable your interviewer may seem to be.
You may get on like a house on fire and feel tempted to share too much personal information. However, in most cases it’s best to save this level of detail for a chat with your mates, and steer clear of such private information during your interview.
It’s another standard interview question – “Are you interviewing for other roles?”. Put simply, your answer should never be no. At best you’d seem lazy, and at worst, a liar. Neither are positive attributes. It could be the case that this is your dream role, and the only one you would consider leaving your current employment for. However, this is not something that it’s advisable to share. It puts the power into the employer’s hands, and might reduce your chances of negotiating the best package if you do get the job.
Having a certain company on your CV may make you infinitely more employable in the future. And this may well be one of the main reasons you’re so keen to get the job. But there’s absolutely nothing to be gained by pointing out any ambition beyond the company you’re interviewing for. Whilst employers nowadays don’t tend to assume people want a job for life, they also wouldn’t want to channel their efforts into an employee that plans to up and leave at the earliest opportunity.
Focus instead on the positive attributes and achievements of the company, as well as any opportunities offered by the vacancy on offer.
You may currently have the worst boss in the world. But you shouldn’t say so. Openly criticising them will simply make you seem like a bad employee, and make the interviewer think twice about hiring you. Instead, focus on voicing reasons as to why you want this job, rather than reasons as to why you want to leave your current one. As interview tips go, this one’s an obvious win.
We live in a digital age. There’s so much information available online, should you wish to find it. There’s no excuse for failing to thoroughly research a company you’re interviewing for. Asking a simple question such as “When were you founded?” simply proves that you haven’t done so and implies laziness and disinterest. So, ensure that you’re well prepared.
With the right preparation, and following the right interview tips, there’s no reason why you can’t thoroughly ace it. But being aware of what you shouldn’t say is as crucial as remembering what you should.
Take special care to provide high quality, genuine, detailed answers, whilst communicating your enthusiasm for the role and the company.
It’s worth remembering that nothing in life is perfect. Slip-ups happen to the best of us. If during your interview, you say something not entirely advisable, by staying calm and navigating your way through, you may still get the outcome you are hoping for. After all, interviewers are people too.
27th November 2023
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