In a recent article published in US News & World Report by author Alison Green, there are 3 most common job interview advice given to job seekers when interviewing with a hiring manager that may backfire in real-world scenarios. Here are 2 of the most common questions and prudent advice on how to respond during your interview.
Why did you leave your last job?
Ugly Answer: Saying anything negative about the company or trashing your boss. It’s one of the most common and prudent advice given by many career experts is to never trash your previous employer or boss.
Bad Advice: According to the article, common bad advice would be to answer that it “wasn’t the right fit.” This response may sound innocuous however it may come across as vague and a hiring manager will ask you to elaborate further to pinpoint the reason behind the wrong “fit.” The hiring manager does not want to make the same mistake if the company’s culture or the specific reasons why you didn’t get along with your previous coworkers match the previous situation or environment if you’re hired.
Good Advice: Be specific about your previous situation and give genuine information on why you left. An example Green suggests is that, “My department was going through some upheaval, with three directors in 18 months and some funding cuts. There were real questions about the future of that program, and I’m looking for something with more stability.”
What are your salary expectations?
Ugly Answer: Aiming too high/low or lying about your salary may jeopardize your chances of getting hired.
Bad Advice: You have probably been told by peers to circumvent the question by discussing the job responsibilities before answer the question.
Good Advice: Green suggests countering with a salary range budgeted for the position. Be sure to do your homework and research comparable positions in your area and simply answer the question that is asked by the hiring manager for example by saying that, “I’m currently earning X, with an excellent benefits package, and like anyone, I’m looking to increase that if I move to a new position.”
Another ill-advised situation is offering to solve the Hiring Manager’s problems rather than explaining your qualifications for the position says Green. This may be applicable in certain scenarios; however, it would be difficult to diagnose the hiring manager’s problems and this approach may come across as “disingenuous and presumptuous.” Instead she suggests elaborating on how you would excel on the tasks highlighted in the job posting and extrapolate from your previous work experience that would align with the job duties.
Always remember to be optimistic and convey positive energy during your interview. Disney’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger (above) told Harvard Business Review that “optimism is a trait his leaders need to have.” That means hiring right people who won’t be afraid to take calculated risks and see failures as opportunities or learning experiences. “You’ve got to be an optimist.” “You can’t be a pessimist.”
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U.S. News & World Report
Harvard Business Review