Sometime ago, a client reported a jobseeker we sent to her for a particular position. The position in question simply required an OND holder, with little or no experience, since the successful candidate would be trained on the job.

Everything had gone smoothly until the last stage of the recruitment process – meeting with the MD of the organization. Let’s just say, the candidate dropped the bomb shell when she was asked, “How long do you intend working for this organization? Her response takes the number one spot on our list.

1. I just need this job for now, until I can find something better. This sort of response is a major kill joy for a prospective employer. It’s like a man telling a woman he’s trying to woo, “I want to use you and dump you once I find a better woman.”I hope that example drives the point home. It’s an absolute turn off!

In as much as it’s not advisable to lie during an interview, don’t say things that show you don’t have genuine interest in a job. A smarter answer would be along the lines of “I am a resilient person who gives my best to everything I do. With such ability and the positive things I’ve learned about your organization, I believe I would enjoy working here for the long term.” There’s also the option to politely decline an interview invitation if you’ve taken the time to research on the organization and don’t fancy working there.

2. I am desperately in need of this job to pay my bills. I have listened to some job seekers spill these words during an interview; usually as a response to the question, “why do you want this job.” Please, avoid this statement. It puts you in a position of weakness, and some employers will take advantage of you because you are desperate; especially when it comes to salary negotiation. That’s some of the things that could make the employer offer 40k for a job of 100k. I’m sure you don’t want that.

The right answer will be along the lines of “I am confident that this is the right job for me considering my skills, experiences and qualifications which ticks the boxes for the job requirements.” Stick to intelligent responses that focus on your skills, expertise and relevant reasons which sells your value to the employer. After all, it’s the employer who needs your expertise to harness it for the success of the organization.

3. So what exactly do you do here? Asking this question will not only make you appear dumb before your interviewer, but will give the impression that you are lazy and nonchalant. Of course, it’s expected that you should’ve done your research on the organization before the interview. Check our previous post titled “Interview checklist: how to pass any interview” to learn more about what you need to do before attending any interview. I guess what I am simply saying is, do your research. Information is quite easy to get these days. It’s year 2020, not 200 BC.

Note: Most people like to think that if you’re eager to work for them, you won’t hesitate to find out everything you can about them. I think that makes sense.

4. I left my last job because my boss is a very wicked man/woman. Let’s face it, how many people actually like their bosses? But you’re not going to bring that to an interview. It’s a straight No! As much as you can, try not to be negative about your previous job or the job you’re about to leave. Unless you’ll come off as someone full of negativity. Instead, try an answer in the lines of “I have enjoyed working with my previous/current employer, but I need to grow beyond this level and your organization has higher capacity for personal and organizational growth and development which will fast track my career goals for the long term.’’

You can tweak your answer in many ways that don’t include the wicked boss talk. Even if your current boss was the devil himself, you can still resist that urge to spill it. That’s what being a professional is all about.

5. I sent my CV and credentials via email already, I don’t see the need to bring copies along. Agreed, it’s easier and more cost effective to send documents via email, but taking copies along with you won’t kill you either; especially if the interview invitation clearly states to come along with copies of your credentials. In fact, saying this is one easy way to disqualify yourself on the spot. Yes, it may sound ridiculous to request what is already lying around in the employers’ inbox, but consider this your first assignment and focus on hitting a high score. Even if you forgot to print copies for the interview, instead of questioning the interviewer’s request, politely ask for permission to quickly go out and get it done and return to the interview as fast as you can.

This will also tell the interviewer how well you take instructions and implement them. But questioning their instructions when you’ve not even been hired is a bad move.

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