Career Tip of the Month

What You're Really Saying in an Interview

First impressions are crucial in an interview. Body language and word choice are important components of that first impression. Ever wonder what you're really saying to an employer? They may be reading something that you never intended to say. Here are common mistakes that people make in an interview:

1. Slouching in your chair. Translation: "I'm tired because I was out late last night partying," or "I really don't want to be here."

2. Constantly glancing at your cell phone. Translation: "I'm way more interested in this text than what you're saying." Or, "My friends are more important than you are."

3. Lack of eye contact. Translation: "I'm hiding something that I hope you won't uncover." Or, "I'm too shy or immature to interact with you on a professional basis. This will be a problem on the job if I have to interact with customers."

4. In response to the question, "Do you have any questions for me?" you say, "I don't have any questions."

Translation: "I didn't bother to research your company because I just don't care."

5. Asking, "How many vacation days do I get?"

Translation: "I'm more interested in taking time off than I am in working."

6. In response to the question, "Tell me about yourself," you say, "Uhhhh."

Translation: "I'm totally unprepared for this interview."

7. In response to the question, "What are your weaknesses?" you respond, "I don't have any weaknesses."

Translation: "I am going to be very difficult to supervise."

8. Arriving to the interview 5 minutes late. Translation: "My time is more important than your time." Or, "I don't possess the professional skills to call and tell you that I'm running late. This will be a recurring theme on the job."

9. In response to the question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" you respond, "I'll be sitting in your chair."

Translation: "I'm a wiseass and you need to watch your back."

10. "I really, really want this job." Translation: "I'm really, really desperate."

11. In response to the question, "Why did you leave your last position?" you respond, "They just didn't appreciate me."

Translation: "I think I'm better than everyone else."

12. "I'm a team player and a people person." Translation: "I don't have any skills and I don't even know what those words mean."

13. "I'm sorry, but I didn't bring a copy of my resume or a list of references." Translation: "I care so little about this job that I didn't bother to print anything out."

14. In response to the question, "Can you work weekends?" you launch into a long personal story about your child care issues.

Translation: "I'm going to be missing a lot of work."

15. In response to the question, "Why should I hire you?" you just laugh or shrug your shoulders.

Translation: "I'm really not qualified for this job. Do NOT hire me."