Job Advice

What to Say (and Not Say) in an Interview

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September 14, 2015
Interviews can be nerve-wracking. There’s no doubt about that. So it’s easy to get tongue-tied when the inevitable “do you have any questions for us?” comes up at the end. While it’s probably not great to overwhelm the employer with a laundry list of questions, it is smart to ask some well-timed, relevant questions. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

    1. Do your homework (and then show it). Prepare for the interview by reviewing the company’s website, the job description, and other relevant company info. Show that you’re thoroughly prepared by asking questions like: “Your website talks about this company being family-friendly. How does that play out for employees?”
    2. Explore the learning curve. Find out what training you’d receive or what the plan is for ramping up a new employee in the position. 
    3. Glean their expectations. Ask questions like “What do you think will make someone successful in this position?” or “What are you looking for most in a candidate?”
    4. Inquire about the department. Find out what the department culture is like and/or how it fits into the overall structure of the organization.
    5. Make the closing a smooth one. Interviews can sometimes end on an awkward note. Try smoothing this over by asking a closing question like “Is there anything else I can answer for you?” or “Would there be anything else helpful for you to know about me?”

We wouldn’t be doing you any justice if we didn’t share some things not to talk about in most interviews. Here are a few topics to steer clear of:

  • Pay
  • Deeply personal issues/situations
  • Negative information related to former jobs or employers

For more tips on what to say/not say in an interview (and a ton of other helpful info), download our free interview prep kit. Most importantly, relax and be yourself. No matter how on target your words are, you will come across best if you are confident, calm, and collected. Rehearse ahead of time with a friend or family member, prepare adequately, and take some deep breaths. You’ll do great. We’re cheering for you!