leave out

When going for an interview, you’re already nervous enough. You want the job, you’re trying to impress the interviewer, and you’re worried you’ve got food in your teeth. But there are other things you should be thinking about too. Things like how to answer the standard interview questions, and what information to leave out of an interview. When going into an interview, you’re going to be thrown some curveballs. Employers want to see how you handle tricky situations, think on the spot and articulate yourself. There are certain things you’ll want to leave out, not because they’re illegal or damaging, but merely because they have no place being discussed in an interview. Topics like your pets or your previous employer, or what you really think of their haircut. Interviews are professional environments, and there will be a number of things that aren’t interview-appropriate. Wondering what to leave out of an interview? You’ve come to the right place…

leave outLeave out the taboos

You don’t want to make an interviewer uncomfortable – or worse – angry, over discussion of taboos. Controversial topics can create stimulating conversation, however when you want to impress a hiring manager, these areas are off limits. Subjects like politics, sex, religion or family dramas should be left at the door, to be collected again afterwards. You want to make a lasting impression, and for all the right reasons. Ranting about how much you hate the Liberal party or certain religious traditions will no doubt end any chance of getting the job.

Leave out the ego

Name-dropping can be a handy little tool to mention someone you both network with, and who you admire in the industry, but be wary. You don’t want to start dropping names of all the people you know, because you can’t be sure how the interviewer perceives them all. Going on about how close you are with John Doe in marketing might not be so clever, should you find out that he was recently fired by the interviewer. Similarly, you want to make your own impression, not the impression of all the other people you know. If the employer mentions someone you both have in common, it’s a green light to talk about them, but keep things modest and civil.

Leave out the home problems

If you’re going through a messy divorce, or you’ve recently recovered from a damaging injury, you might want to leave out the details. Employers don’t want to hire someone who can’t separate personal from professional, nor do they want to hire someone who has an injury. Even if you’ve recovered, hiring managers tend to be rather cynical about employees taking advantage of health benefits, so would prefer someone not plagued by health issues. You should be painting yourself as a dependable and reliable candidate, not someone who will be milking all the health benefits of the company.

leave outLeave out past employers

Your potential future boss doesn’t want to hear the horror stories of your previous boss, so leave out the negativity. As difficult as it can be to take the high road, you can not badmouth past employers to your interviewer. If they ask why you left the job, tell them you had conflict of interest, but you respect them as an employer. That way, should you be hired, your employer will feel confident that you’ll speak warmly about them when you eventually decide to move on.

Leave out the unnecessary

Although employers try to make the interview as comfortable and welcoming as possible, you should always remain professional. Tell the interviewer about your goals, skills, motivations and inspirations, but leave out all the other stuff. Don’t talk about your hamster, your allergies, or your fondness for vacations. Unless there is an opening for you to bond over a pet, or talk about a destination that the interviewer mentions fondly, keep it focused on work.

Interviews are challenging situations, and it’s normal to feel nervous about them. You’ll have countless pieces of rehearsed information floating around your head, not to mention a hoard of butterflies bouncing around your stomach. The key is to stay calm, and feel confident in your preparation. As long as you stay professional, think about the question before responding, and avoid these topics, you’ve got a good chance of making a great impression.

Just for you, Career Builders kindly list some of the worst interview mistakes, just to make you feel better about any tiny slip-ups!

leave out

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