How Not to Blow an Interview

There are many different ways to blow a job interview and turn off an employer. Poor answers to interview questions reveal flaws in your attitude, preparation, interest in the job.

Here are a few examples of the worst types of answers to interview questions

Why Should We Hire You?
Bad answer: I don’t know, it sounds like a good job.
Saying you don’t know or giving a vague answer is never a good way to respond to any interview question.

What Are Your Strengths?
Bad answers: I do good work. I’m the best. I’m not sure, but I’m a good learner.
Vague answers don’t go over well. The interviewer wants to know what strengths you have that specifically relate to the job you are being considered for.

Can You Share a Weakness?
Bad answer: I can’t think of any right now
Be prepared to share a weakness so you can demonstrate that you are committed to professional growth and have some self-insight. Make sure any weakness does not create serious doubt about your willingness or ability to carry out the central functions of the job.

Why Have You Decided to Apply for This Position?
Bad answer: I was looking through the job postings and it seemed interesting. I was getting bored with my current job.
Cite specific reasons why the job is appealing and fits in with your overall career aspirations. When asked why you want a job, you should show that you have researched the company and prove that you are a good fit for the job.

Where Do You See Yourself 5 Years from Now?
Bad answers: Working for you. I hate that question; I never know how to answer it.
Most of us do hate this question, but a better answer to where you see yourself in five years is to speak about what you would like to learn and accomplish during that time, with an emphasis on excelling in the job for which you are interviewing.

Do You Work Well with Others?
Bad answer: My co-workers didn’t like me, but I think it was because they were intimidated by me.
Rather than bad mouthing your co-workers, it’s important to let the interviewer know that you get along well with everyone at work.

Why Should We Hire You?
Bad answers: “I’m the best one for the job.” “I am great with people and a hard worker.”
Be ready to mention several assets that will help you to succeed in the job. Reference examples of how you have applied those strengths to add value in various work, school or volunteer scenarios.

Tell Me About Yourself
Bad answer: “I’m a huge fan of the Yankees and avid softball player with the gift of gab; I’m usually the life of the party.”
Generally, you will be better off by using this opening to mention some of your professionally oriented attributes that will help you get the job done. You can add one or two personal items at the end to round things out. For example, if you were applying for a job as a recruiter you might say something like, “I am a good

Do You Have Any Questions for Me?
Bad answers: Do I have to work overtime? I don’t have any questions.” “How much vacation will I get?” “How much is the employee discount?
When the tables are turned, always prepare some questions that relate to the job itself and the role you will play, training you will receive, career paths, or other professional concerns. Questions about vacation time and benefits can wait until after you have been offered a position.