There is no question that interviewing for a job is a stressful process. It is very easy to fall into the vortex and start to believe that you and the recruiter or HR Managers are dear friends, when in fact you are business people contemplating a business relationship. Some HR Managers and recruiters are very good at getting candidates to ‘open up’, and in the process getting valuable information that you may wish you had kept to yourself.
It is not a good idea to tip your hand before you’ve signed a job offer. You can easily give away important information on your interviews or on the phone without meaning to — and even without realizing you’re doing so!
Here are things never, ever to say before the ink is dry on your offer letter.
1.1I’m especially excited about this job because it’s so close to my house.
2. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant (or adopt a child).
3. If I come to work here, I need some time off in a few months for surgery.
4 . I plan to go to university full-time in a few years.
5. Eventually, I want to start my own company.
6 . My spouse just got a fantastic new job.
7. Of all the jobs I’m being considered for, this is the one I really want.
8 . If I can work from home two mornings a week I can accept a lower salary.
9. I’m so looking forward to not job-hunting anymore!
Some of these ‘Don’ts’ are terrible things to say because they may give your HR Managers pause, and cause him/her to wonder whether you are the best person to hire. Some of them are on our list because they will weaken your negotiating leverage.
Don’t say that the job is perfect for you because it’s close to your house. That’s a great reason for a savvy negotiator on the other side of the table to lower your starting salary.
Your family planning is none of your employer’s business. If you or your partner got pregnant today, you would deal with it and so would your employer. You can cross that bridge when you get to it. Don’t make your personal obligations an issue now!
Don’t ever say that you might need medical work done — anyone might need treatment for something unexpected that could happen at any moment. Employers don’t need to know what’s happening inside your body.
If you have grad school plans for the future or plans to start your own business, that’s great, but you don’t need to share those plans while you’re interviewing for a full-time job. Don’t mention that you are in a favourable financial situation — for instance, because your spouse just got a great new job.
There is no benefit to you in doing so, and mentioning the fact that you are rolling in dough may well get you a lower salary offer than you deserve. Finally, don’t mention that this job is the one you really want. You can say “I’m very interested in the job!”
Don’t give away your negotiating power by offering to take a lower salary for something reasonable that your employer should give you anyway, and don’t say that you can’t wait to be done with your job search. All of these comments can bite you in the backside — and that’s no way to start a new adventure!