When honesty is not the best policy


There are many things you should do in an interview. Being too transparent is not one of them. You should not talk about the drama in your life, your personal interests or even your past employment failures. These personal topics do not show the professional side of you that an interviewer is looking for. Thus, if you answer questions in an interview in this manner, you will likely not get the job.

Leave the drama at home

When the interviewer introduces him/herself and asks how your day is going, keep it simple. Telling the interviewer that your brother had to drop you off at the interview because your girlfriend was mad at you and refused to drive you does not give a good impression.

This specific response tells the interviewer three things about you. First, you do not have reliable transportation and may not make it to work consistently. Second, he or she now knows your personal life is full of dysfunctional drama that will likely hinder your professional success. Third, you allow drama in your life, which is not a business-minded trait that will infect the office. All three of these things put a damper on your chances of scoring the job.

You are not interviewing for a date

When asked to talk about yourself, do not discuss your personal, non-business-related interests. Sharing while you are interviewing for a business position that you like taking your dog on long hikes and baking on the weekends is quite simply a bad idea. An answer like this would show the interviewer one of two things: You are underqualified, or you do not know how to market yourself.

These two assumptions put you at a serious disadvantage when aspiring toward a position in business. If you are underqualified, you will not be able to perform the job to company standards. If you do not know how to market yourself, you likely will not be able to market the business or product. Keep your answers professional and focused on your experience and interest in business.

Employment failures

After reviewing your resume, an interviewer will likely ask about your employment history. Answering this question by explaining that you quit a job because you were tempted to punch your boss in the face every day and knew you were going to get fired is not a good angle to come from. This answer will not give the interviewer a good impression of your personality.

From an answer like this, the interviewer will gather two things about who you are. First, you struggle with authority. Second, you have an aggressive and violent reaction toward situations and people who displease you. The business world is full of people who say and do things that are frustrating. This shows a potential employer that you may not handle difficult situations, authority or customers professionally.

Interviewing can be an intimidating process that makes answering simple questions difficult. You suddenly cannot remember any of your relevant skills and experience, and naturally revert to your personal side. This mental short circuit is a common occurrence and can quickly lead to too much transparency and a failed job interview.

To prevent yourself from oversharing your personal struggles, interests and failures, practice your answers. Knowing how to professionally respond to a question before it is asked will improve your chances of answering professionally and landing the job. Stay calm, and good luck in your interview!


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