Monday, August 05, 2013

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid (in an Interview)

It always comes up in an interview: "so tell me about yourself." Now if this was a date, you would answer that question one way. If it was a shrink's office, maybe another way. And if it was a new friend, you would answer it yet another way. But in the job interview, there are some things that you really, really don't want to say. CommPRO made a list of some of those not to say (H/T Sarah)--here are a few out of the top 10 with my opinion afterwards:

2. Medical issues. If you can do your job without an issue, there isn’t any reason to discuss these. If you have issues that will affect your working, then you should not be looking for a new job. If you have a job and have issues that will impact your job, be positive and have a plan on how your work can be handled while you are out. This is an important one an important distinction to make. If the medical condition doesn't change anything about your day-to-day job life, then it's about as much anyone's business as what you ate for breakfast. But if the condition is going to require you to miss work or if you may get sick at work, you're going to want someone to know that up front.

5. You have a second job. Don’t let anyone second guess your work habits. Will you be too tired to do the work, is the second job keeping your from doing more at your current job? This is one of the list that I disagree with. I let every potential employer know about my second job (doing this blog). I don't think that most employers are going to care and if they do, it's probably not the position for me. Plus, if they find out about it later, they may feel that I was trying to lie to them or keep it from them and that would be much worse down the line.

10. Something serious happened outside of the workplace. What happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas. If it doesn’t involve the workplace, don’t talk about it. I agree and disagree with this one. If something serious can explain why you have a big blank spot in your resume or why you left a city or a job, then it could definitely be relevant. But if it's about anything that doesn't help give the interviewer a better idea of who you are, then let it stay in Vegas.

There are many things that you want to bring up in interviews but here are a few that you should probably keep to yourself. So the next time you're going for a new job and they say "so tell me about yourself...", well, leave some things out of it.

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