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Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes

Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes

1. Resume lacks focus

2. Resume is duties-driven instead of accomplishments-driven.

3. Resume items are listed in an order that doesn’t consider the reader’s interest.

4. Resume exposes the job-seeker to age discrimination by going too far back into the job-seeker’s job history.

5. Resume buries important skills, especially computer skills, at the bottom.

6. Resume is not bulleted.

7. Resume uses a cookie-cutter design based on an overused resume template.

8. Resume lacks keywords

9. References are listed directly on your resume.

10. Resume’s appearance becomes skewed when sent as an e-mail attachment and/or resume is not available in other electronic formats.




Hi All,


After using a variety of job searching methods, such as networking, approaching employers direct, scanning the newspaper, Internet etc. you have finally landed an interview. The initial excitement begins to subside as nerves get the better of you. Thoughts of messing up begin to plague you. You have this vision of making a complete fool of yourself ….spilling a cup of coffee on your pants, dropping your documents on the floor as you enter the interview room, not being able to answer a question….the list goes on! Well, it’s only natural to feel nervous and anxious, especially if it’s your first interview and a job you are really keen to obtain. You can do things to help avoid the typical ‘nightmare scenario’ every applicant goes through. Important tips follow to help you meet the challenge of an interview. With some vital preparation, you should find the interview experience less daunting and may even enjoy it!

What is an interview?
The interview is basically all about selling one thing – YOU. It’s all about convincing the employer you are the right person for the job. Through the interaction you have with the employer he/she will be assessing you on your skills, strengths and weaknesses and qualifications, not to mention your attitude, aptitudes, motivation and maturity. No wonder people find interviews somewhat daunting!

The Right Approach
Approach A positive way of approaching the interview is to see it as less of a contest and more of marketing exercise – a ‘performance’. Focusing on the performance rather than the contest (or outcome) will keep you concentrated on those factors that you can influence, for example, the way you introduce yourself or answer a particular question. Perform well and the contest / outcome will take care of itself. Consider it as a ‘conversation with a purpose’. Not only is it an opportunity for the employer to gain more specific information about your ability to perform the job, but it is also a chance for you to obtain information about the position, employer and organisation.

Preparing to Perform
A Thorough preparation is the most important step you can take to performing well. Employers are continually amazed at the number of applicants who don’t bother to find out basic facts about the industry, profession or organisation. They are also amazed by the number of interviewees who haven’t bothered to find out about themselves. It’s unlikely you’ll be selected for a job without being able to articulate what the job involves, what you are good at, what you want in a career etc. It’s in your best interests to avoid being one such applicant so prior to interview make sure you:

Find out the details of the position, especially the selection criteria. It is important to find out about the job and what the employer is looking for and most of all how your skills, experience, ability and personal qualities meet the position requirements. Ask for a position description, or speak to someone doing similar work about his or her job.

Research the organisation – find out about specific facts about the company, e.g. what its products and services are; recent events which have had an impact on the organisation; how many stores, offices it has and their location? What are the organisation’s strategic directions? Future plans? Employers look for applicants who show real eagerness to work for the organisation, i.e. an applicant who shows initiative in researching the company. There is a wealth of information you can refer to including annual reports, company websites, business directories such as Business Who’s Who of Australia and Kompass Australia, RMIT’s Careers and Employment Service, trade magazines, professional journals and libraries. An even better way of getting information is to talk to someone who either works for, or has knowledge of, the organisation.

Be clear about your skills and abilities, personal qualities and experience. By preparing practical examples, this should help you to demonstrate to the employer that you have the qualities he/she is seeking. For example, you may have been promoted to Store Manager in your part time retail job. What does this translate to? It’s a good way of demonstrating your leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as an ability to accept responsibility. Remember, you must be prepared to talk about yourself (without overdoing it), so be forthcoming with information about you.

Think about questions you may be asked – when preparing answers to questions likely to be asked, it is important to keep in mind what it is that employers are really seeking in an employee. Learning answers to lists of sample questions is not the right way. However, anticipating what you will be asked is the more sensible approach to take.

Try to think of a range of examples you could use to illustrate your answers to questions. Think back over your studies, extra curricular activities, employment and other interests. Employers will often look for past behaviour, which will often predict future performance. Interview questions are designed to elicit this information. For example: “Can you tell me about a time…” “Can you describe a situation where you … .” These type of questions reinforce the need to think of concrete examples.

One way of preparing practical examples to use in an interview is to write skills/qualities the employer is looking for on a blank piece of paper and list relevant examples (drawn from all aspects of your life, not just study). Describe each example in detail (who, what, where, when etc) – the aim being to jog your memory in the interview, so that if you are asked a question about teamwork, for example, you will have a range of fully fleshed-out examples to draw on.

Example questions
Questions you can expect to encounter and the rationale for asking those questions are described below. A full preparation means having an answer for each of the following:

Why should we employ you? / Why do you want this job? – An invitation to ‘sell yourself’ on the basis of your interest in the position, skills and personal qualities and how they match with the employers requirements. Tries to identify how well you understand the organisation’s needs and how confident you are of your qualifications for the job.

Why would you like to work for our organisation? / What do you know about us? – Another effort to establish what you have to offer and how your needs and those of the organisation complement each other.

What does teamwork mean to you? – Employer is looking for evidence that you understand the needs and attributes of others and ways of ensuring that everyone contributes to a common goal. Think about team projects you have participated in as well as extra curricular activities, e.g. sport and other team activities.

How do you see yourself in five years time? – This question is looking at your ambition, motivation and ability to look ahead. You need to be realistic in your expectations and demonstrate you have given some thought to your future.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? -The employer is interested in your assessment of your own abilities. Provide examples to back up your claim. When speaking of weaknesses it is best to answer in a positive way, i.e. turn the negative into a positive, expressing your desire to learn more about a certain area, or describing the action you have taken to improve something you were not confident about. For example: “I would like my computer proficiency to improve, so I have enrolled in a short course, to further develop my computer skills.”

What have you learnt from some of the jobs you have had? / Which did you enjoy most? Why? / How do you think the work you have done will prepare you for this job? – Is asking you to describe aspects of your work such as working under pressure, dealing with different kinds of people, teamwork, working with or without supervision. Provide examples of activities or behaviour exhibited in these jobs which demonstrate such skills or qualities.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? – Employer is interested to know why this was important to you, how you set about achieving it and what obstacles you had to overcome.

Why did you choose to study X or Y/drop subjects/transfer to another stream? Which subjects have you enjoyed/disliked? What led you to choose this career? – Such questions are exploring your motivation and commitment to the work, logical thought and decision making processes.

Other possible questions: What entrepreneurial activities have you been involved in? What do you do in your spare time? What do you think it takes to be successful in this field? How would previous employers/friends describe you?

And…don’t forget behavioural questions such as: Summarise a situation where you took the initiative to get others going on an important issue and played a leading role to achieve the results wanted.

Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.

Other Pre-Performance Factors
Having knowledge about the job and yourself is most but not all of the battle. A number of other factors can still affect your performance. Make sure you:

Know the interview logistics – be clear about the exact time and place of the interview and the interviewer’s full name (and correct pronunciation). Consider transport and parking arrangements. These may seem obvious, but you will be amazed at the number of applicants who turn up on the wrong day, or wrong place…or even ask halfway through the interview if they can go and put money in the meter. Sound impressive??

Understand the interview context – know the process and structure of your interview. Is it a first round interview? How many rounds are there? How long will it go for? Does it just involve an interview or are there other considerations such as a test or tour of the organisation? What is the work role of the person(s) doing the interviewing?

Understand the type of interview – there are a range of different selection procedures to assist employers in the screening process. Interviews may take several forms:

· One to One

· Panel interview

· Group interview – with other applicants.

· Assessment Centre – series of exercises (usually over a period of 1-2 days) designed to demonstrate a candidate’s skills in relation to the position for which they have applied. and include:

· Role Plays – to assess a specific skill, e.g. customer service, dealing with conflict, negotiation

· Psychometric testing – I.Q., aptitude, personality

· Lunch with managers – to assess your cultural fit, see how you manage yourself.

Prepare questions to ask the employer – remember an interview is a ‘two way street’. By asking questions it not only reinforces your interest in the position and your preparation, but provides the opportunity for you to see whether the organisation will give you the growth and development you seek.

Questions you could ask should focus on the following:

· Induction and Training Programs

· Company growth plans

· Culture of company

· Reporting relationships, i.e., to whom you will be responsible

· Changes happening at industry level

· The next step, i.e. when can you expect to hear if you have been successful.

Avoid asking questions that already have been answered, that indicate a lack of preparation / ignorance or that focus on benefits to you, e.g., salary.

Appearance – if you’re the type of person who wakes up in the morning only to discover the clothes you want to wear either haven’t been washed or are missing a button…then it is advisable to prepare what you are going to wear to the interview the day before!

Careful planning of your appearance is essential, as this could be what sets you apart from all other applicants. If you are well presented, it shows you care about the job and are willing to make the effort. Be comfortable with what you wear, otherwise you may find yourself focusing too much on your clothing rather than the interview questions.

It is generally advisable to dress conservatively (unless you are going for a position where you will be expected to very creative and artistic). Choose darker colours (said to present a more confident, authoritative image) and wear a light colour near your face (said to project vitality). Avoid anything too “loud” or “busy” and keep accessories simple – “nothing that jangles or dangles,” shine your shoes, wear stockings or socks, clean and trim your nails and make sure your hair is neat and styled away from the face. Finally, don’t overdo perfume, after shave or makeup.

The Performance
Now that you are adequately prepared (and hopefully feeling more confident), it’s time to actually perform. Here are some do’s and don’ts to guide you through the interview process.

Things to do include the following –

· Arrive 10-15 minutes early to give yourself time to settle down

· Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake

· Wait until offered a chair before sitting

· Maintain good posture

· Smile

· Be attentive, listen and communicate

· Maintain eye contact

· Ask for a question to be repeated or clarified if you don’t understand it

· Take your time to think the question through (not too long!), then give a relevant answer

· Use examples to make points credible

· Look and sound enthusiastic and interested without overdoing it

· Ensure good points get across in a sincere manner and express your thoughts clearly

· Maximise strong points, minimise weak points

· Sell yourself!

· Find out what happens after the interview

· Thank the interviewer/s for their time

· Take note of the questions asked and review your performance

· If you have not heard anything by the time specified, phone and ask. if you have not been successful. Also ask for feedback.

Things to avoid include the following –

· One syllable answers, e.g. ‘yes’ ‘no’

· Fidgeting

· Smoking (even if offered one) or chewing gum

· Interrupting a question

· Lying

· Criticising previous employers and / or teaching staff

· Coming across as a ‘know it all’ · Lack of career planning/vision

Post Performance
Your goal after each interview is to improve your performance next time. Treat every interview as a learning experience – remember what went well and what needs to change. Seek feedback from the interviewer and, if appropriate, incorporate their suggestions in your next performance.


Best Regards,


Reference : Cite HR

Tips for Interviewers

Basic guidelines for interviewer

* Create a two-way conversation to find the best qualified applicant for a specific job
* Provide accurate and appropriate information to the applicant about the job and the working conditions
* Reinforce a positive image of the Institution
* Following steps are to be followed by an interviewer in the interview process:

1.Preparing for the Interview

2.Opening the Interview

3.Continuing the Interview

4.Types of questions you may wish to ask

5.Testing (If applicable)

6.Legal Considerations

7.Closing the Interview

8.Evaluation and selection

Preparing For The Interview

Review Job Needs

What is necessary for success in the position?

* Knowledge
* Skills
* Abilities
* Traits or characteristics

Review Applications/Resumes

* Does the applicant possess the minimum education/experience required?
* Are there gaps in the work record?
* What additional information is needed?

Think about separating applications/resumes into three groups.

* “A” = Meets Key Criteria
You may wish to screen these candidates by telephone before having an interview set up, particularly if they would be coming from a distance.
* “B” = Does Not Meet Key Criteria
But could be considered.
* “C” = Does Not Meet Criteria
After completing Applicant Cover Sheets, return “C” files promptly to Human Resources so the H.R. Rep can complete the tracking process.

Prepare Format and Setting

Formulate questions to meet objectives set for the interview.

· questioned about the same job-related areas,

· allotted the same amount of time to answer questions,

· given the same test(s), if any.

Select a setting that will provide privacy and physical comfort.

Opening the Interview

Some basics

* Be prompt and welcoming.
* Give your name/title clearly.
* Address the applicant by name.

Initiate Relaxed Flow of Information

Draw the applicant into small talk — weather, hobbies, etc. Ask a transition question such as “How did you happen to become interested in the Institution?”

Explain Interview Process

You might say something like “Before we start, let me give you some idea of what I’d like to cover in the next in this interview session with you. I want to review your background so we can see if this position is suited to your talents and interests. So, I’d like to hear about your jobs, education, interests and anything else you’d like to tell me. And after we’ve covered your background, I want to give you some information about our organization and the job, and answer any questions you may have.”

Take Notes

* Take notes to ensure you remember important points
* Jot down key words or phrases in an unobtrusive way.

Continuing the Interview

Your Job As Interviewer

Ask questions that are:

* Broad, open-ended,
* Job-related, objective, meaningful,
* Direct, clear, understood,
* Related to the applicant’s:

1. Education/training,
2. Work history in chronological order,
3. Attitudes toward work, people, working conditions,
4. Goals, motivation and self-evaluation,
5. Possible reaction to specific situations with the job

e.g., pressure, peak loads, supervision.

Listen — the more you talk, the less you learn about the applicant. Ask follow-up questions — “how”, “why”. Maintain control of the process. If pace lags, or if the applicant talks too much or focuses on irrelevant subjects, say, “Let’s go back to…” or “Tell me a little more about…”

Provide honest information about the job:

* Provide a full job description,
* Explain the operation of the department/group,
* Describe working conditions, hours, special policies or procedures
of the department/group
* Be realistic — don’t undersell or oversell.

Types of Questions You May Wish To Ask

(If applicable to position)

Work History – Descriptive

* To obtain specific information and to fill in gaps on the application:

* Tell me a little more about the duties of your present/last job.
* What are/were the major responsibilities in your present/last job?
* What do/did you spend the most time doing and how much time is/was spent doing it?
* What do/did you particularly enjoy doing in your job?
* There are generally several reasons for leaving a job. What are/were some of your reasons?

Work History – Evaluative

· To obtain information about attitudes and motivation toward work:

· What are/were some of the aspects of your job that you feel particularly good about, and why do you feel that way about them?

· What are/were some of the more rewarding aspects of your work/job?

· How has your job prepared you to assume greater responsibilities?

· What do you feel are/were the greatest frustrations in your present/last job? Why?

· What is your general impression of the present/last organization/department for which you worked?

· What do/did you particularly like or dislike about your job?

· How do you feel your work history reflects your job objectives and your abilities?

Working Conditions and Work Relationships

To obtain information about personality characteristics in the work environment:

· How do/did the people you worked with affect your job?

· If there are/were negative interactions, how can/could they be/have been improved?

· What is/was the working environment in your present/last job?

· Describe your working relationship with your supervisor and co-workers.

· In all jobs, there are heavy and light periods. What do/did you do in such cases?

· If there an are/were difficulty in your job/how was the situation handled?

Applicant’s Goals and Job Objectives

· To determine the appropriateness of your position for the applicant:

· Why did you apply for this particular position?

· How do you feel your qualifications can best contribute to getting the job done?

· What is important to you in a job and why would those factors be important?

· What are your career objectives and how are you preparing yourself to reach them?

Applicant’s Self-Evaluation

· What gives/gave you the most satisfaction in your present/last job? Why?

· How do you feel you could make the best contribution to the Institution?

· What do you feel are your outstanding strengths? Your primary weaknesses?


· Conduct the test in a private, comfortable area free of distraction

· Explain instructions clearly.

· Give the applicant sufficient practice time if needed.

· Avoid the word “test” by saying “We need to check your ability in….”

Closing the Interview

Insure that you and the candidate have concluded on common ground:

· Ask if s/he has any other questions.

· Summarize what has been discussed.

· Review the next steps with a clear and honest timetable (and stick to it).

Be friendly and honest to the end of the interview; don’t give false encouragement or go into details for rejection.


Thank the applicant for his/her interest.

Evaluation and Selection


· Work experience, education/training,

· Motivation and attitude,

· Ability to perform the job,

· Needs of the work group,

· Departmental needs,

· Affirmative action goals of the department and Institution,

· Input from others who interviewed the applicant,

· Employment verification and references (Human Resources will assume this responsibility if you choose).

Resume Writing Tips


Resume Writing Tips for Freshers & Experienced:

Resume Format
• Always have a .doc (Microsoft Word) format and .txt format of your resume with you. When you are filling your resume in websites, you need the text format and when you are sending resume through mail, it’s better to send the .doc format.
• Few companies may ask specifically for .rtf format. In such case, you don’t have an option anyway.
Resume Size
• Try to see to it that the .doc resume file size is less than 100 KB.
Resume File Name
• Don’t give some junk names as file name for the resume. If you keep use junk names, there is every possibility that your mail will travel to bulk/trash folder of recruiter. Your resume‘s file name should ideally denote your name, experience, technology, years of experience and company name. Keep some valid name for your resume.
Example: Resume_XYZ_J2EE_3 Years_INFOSYS.doc
Example: Resume_XYZ_FRESHER_B Tech_Computers.doc
Exclusive Mail IDs
• Use only one (or maximum of 2) mail Ids exclusively for the purpose of recruitments. Do NOT use those mail Ids for any other purpose (Especially you should not use it for subscribing to any GROUP mails or FORWARD mails).
Standard Mail Service Providers
• You must be careful about the service providers in which you open a mail account. Don’t use the mail Ids/accounts from non-standard service providers. If they disconnect services suddenly, your mail ID fails and you need to resend resumes with new mail Id to all the companies you have already applied. So, always try to create mail Ids with standard service providers like Yahoo, Rediff, Google etc.
• Choose both mail Ids from different mail service providers. In case, if one service provider experiences technical problems, you can use the other service provider.
Mail Space
• Always see to it that at least 50 % of your mailbox size is free. Delete unnecessary mails periodically.
Send from same mail ID
• While sending the resume, preferably send it from the mail ID you have mentioned in your resume.
Always keep a copy
• While sending the resume, always keep a CC/BCC to your mail ID (or at least keep your sent items ON) so that you will know whether the resume is attached properly and/or whether it’s traveling to bulk mail folder.
Subject Line
• If the company mentions that a specific ‘Job Code’ has to be written in Subject Line, write that. If nothing specific, then give a proper subject line for your mail.
Example: Resume – J2EE – 3 Years Experience – INFOSYS – Bangalore
Covering Letter
• Always try to include a “short” covering letter just containing your experience, current location, contact details (address & phone number) current company name, technology you are working in. Don’t write too long covering letters. No HR will spend time on reading your long letters.
Short is Sweet
• Don’t make the resume too long. Keep it short & sweet. It should be less than 3 pages (and up to a maximum of 4). The HR will hardly have 1 minute to glance at your resume. He won’t have the time to read story-like resume. So, be precise, clear and straight to the point.
• Better use bullets for mentioning important points.
Check BULK mail folder
• Check the BULK mail folder before blindly emptying it. I have seen people who lost call letters because of it.
Header & Footer !
• Always have a header & footer in your resume.
• Header can contain a simple heading of your resume.
• Footer should preferably contain the page number.
First Page is the best page to convey all about you !
Typically the HR expects all the important details in the first page. He receives hundreds of resumes and hardly gets 1 minute to look at your resume and so he won’t bother to search your resume for the required details, if the details are not found in his first glance at your resume.

The first page of resume must contain the following things:
• Personal Details : Full Name, Date of Birth, Passport Number.
• Current Contact Details : Full Contact Address, Contact Phone Numbers, Mail ID & Alternate Mail ID.
• Work Experience Summary : All the companies you have worked so far, Company Address, Website, Dates of Duration in each Company. Don’t assume that everyone knows about your company. (You can highlight if your current company has any good quality levels like CMM/CMMI)
• Job Responsibilities : Your job profile in your past companies. For example, you should highlight that you are working as ‘Module Leader leading a team of 6 people’ in your current company.
• Skill Set Summary : Highlight all the technologies you know well. Don’t include any technologies you have not worked on.
• Certifications : Include any relevant certifications you have. That gives you an edge over others.
• Education Details Summary : Your Post Graduation, Graduation, Intermediate, 10 th details, Aggregate Percentage, Year of Pass out (Most important).
Contact Details at the top, not at bottom !
• Contact Details should be at the top of resume, not at the bottom.
• Never include the contact details in Header or Footer. They won’t be visible properly.
Always provide an alternate mail ID !
• Always provide an ‘Alternate Mail Id’ also (in case your original mail Id fails, it will be useful).
• Do NOT give more than 2 mail Ids in resume. The recruiters as well as you will get confused which mail Id to send/receive call letters.
No one can save you if your Mail ID fails !
• Check the mail Ids you provided in CV by sending a trial mail. (I have seen people giving instead of If the mail Id fails when HR sends you call letter, no one can save you in this world. No HR will resend the call letter if your mail ID fails.)
Never use official mail ID ! (for Experienced people)
NEVER use OFFICIAL MAIL ID or OFFICIAL PHONE NUMBER in the resume. You must always provide the Personal mail Id & Personal Phone/Mobile Number. You can give the OFFICIAL MAIL ID for reference at the end the resume.
Spell Check !
• Always perform a spell check and grammar check on the resume. You don’t deserve a job if you can’t write your resume without mistakes.
• There is nothing wrong in getting your resume reviewed by someone else. They might catch the mistakes that your eyes can never detect.
Educational details are important !
• People (especially experienced people) think that they don’t need to give the educational details. But they are important. If not all details, at least give the highest qualification, college/university name and aggregate percentage. (Some HR people simply delete the resumes without educational details.)
Reverse Chronological order !
• Your latest job profile is more important than your first one. So, always write the details in reverse chronological order (start with the latest) especially when you are listing previous company details or educational qualification details.
Avoid Irrelevant Details !
• Write straight to the point and only the details relevant to the job. (You don’t need to include your family tree or how many children you have or what your wife does.)
• Do not write stereotype sentences like ‘I am sincere, intelligent, hardworking’ etc. That’s childish. Who in this world is not hardworking by the way?
Use simple Language !
• Use simple English. You don’t need to write complex jargon in the resume.
Write the Crux of Projects !
Don’t write all about your projects. That will make the resume very lengthy. Write only the crux of the information. Following details would be enough.
• Project Name, Team Size, Client Name, Duration of Project.
• Short description of project (Not more than 5 to 6 lines).
• Your role in project (This is very important).
• Technologies used in project.
You should convey where you want to work !
Always include the following clearly in resume:
• ‘Current Location’ (mandatory). I have seen resumes in which there is no clue of where they are working currently. How can they expect a call letter ?
• ‘Desired Location’ (if you have a preference). Anyway freshers typically will not have a choice for the desired location. They better not to include it.
Experience !
• Project Training done in your final academic year does not come under professional work experience. You can mention it, but not under ‘Work Experience’ section.
• Always highlight your onsite (customer interaction experience) in your resume. That gives you an edge over others.
Salary Details
• Better not to include current & expected compensation details in resume. You can convey them when you are asked to provide them during interview.
You are not submitting the application for matrimonial !
• Do not include any photos in the resume unless specifically asked by the company.
You are not writing a love letter !
• Avoid unwanted graphics: Either in resume or the covering letter, avoid jazzy graphic images, emoticons or multiple colors.
• Avoid jazzy fonts: Preferably use some professional font (Arial or Times or Verdana) and use the same across. Use same font size across the resume (except for headings). Don’t write each line in a different font and size.
• However, you can use some decent shades (preferably gray color), to highlight important information. That makes the resume to look good when a printout is taken.
Take a print and see !

Ref: Chetanasinterview

Interview Tips

Also go through ” Power Point for tips ”

Nine Things You Should Never Say in an Interview !!

We all appreciate the fact that an Interview for a job can be an unnerving experience. However, we need to be quite cautious and tactful while trying to project ourself as the “right and deserving” candidate.

1. What does your company do?”
Ask questions that show you’re well informed and eager to work at the company, not those to which you should already know the answers, or that can be easily gleaned from the company’s website or annual report.

2. “My salary requirements are very flexible.”
Compensation is often the touchiest subject in an interview. Certainly you want to know what a company will pay, and interviewers want to know what you’re willing to take. It’s a negotiation, not a game. When push comes to shove, you should be willing at least to give a range, even if you have to be broad and say, for example, “I’m looking for something between $30,000 and $60,000.”

But don’t pretend to be flexible when you aren’t. If you’re worried that your salary requirements are too high for the job, you may need to do some serious thinking about how low you’re willing to go. Don’t sell yourself short, but ask yourself how much you honestly think you’re worth. Do research about what similar jobs pay and what salaries are like in the region. If a company comes back with too low an offer, you can always try and negotiate up.

3. “It would be hella cool to get jiggy with this job.”
Maybe that is how all of your friends talk (and it’s become a habit with you), but it’s not the way you should speak during a job interview. Using slang is a serious turnoff for interviewers. You may be articulate, intelligent, and confident, but like, you sure won’t sound that way.

4. “Bill Gates himself offered me a $100,000 bonus.”
Don’t lie! You’ll be found out, and you’ll regret it. Someday when you least expect it, someone somewhere will discover that you didn’t really increase sales by 999 percent in six months. Interviewers know you’ll probably exaggerate a little to sell yourself; but don’t cross the line between exaggeration and out-and-out lying.

5. “In five years, I see myself on a boat in the Caribbean.”
When interviewers ask you about long-term goals, they want an answer that relates to the company. Telling them that you really want to be living on a farm (unless you’re applying for an agricultural job) isn’t going to convince them that you’re an ambitious professional in your chosen field.

Even if you don’t plan to stick around long, say something that reflects a commitment to the position and the company. This may seem to contradict the previous exhortation about lying, but try to think of it as a rhetorical question. You might still be at the same company in five years, right?

6. “Sorry, I don’t know how to do that.”
Rather than admitting that you don’t have a specific skill, stress that you’re a fast learner and are excited about the possibility of acquiring new skills. Most companies would rather hire an enthusiastic, smart person who needs to be trained than someone who already has the required skills but isn’t as eager to learn.

7. “You see, I just went through a painful divorce. . . .”
Even if an interviewer starts getting personal, don’t follow suit. You may think you’re being open and honest, but you’re really just coming across as unprofessional, unfocused, and disrespectful. Keep it businesslike and polite.

8. “What can your company do for me?”
Interviewers hate arrogance and selfishness. They want to know why they should hire you. Stress the contributions you can make. Tell them about how your efforts helped previous employers. Don’t start asking about raises, bonuses, and promotions right away.

Remember, you’re the one being interviewed, and while you should use the opportunity to get your questions answered, you shouldn’t make it seem as if you’ll be doing them a favor if they hire you.

9. “I left my last job because my boss was a real jerk.”
Bad-mouthing your previous employer is possibly the dumbest thing you can do during an interview. Even if your last company was a chaotic hellhole, your boss was a monster, your coworkers were Martians, and you got paid in tin cans, say that you left to look for more responsibility, you wanted greater opportunity for advancement, or you were just ready for a change.

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