4 Things You Should Never Say Before You’re Hired

woman at cafe using laptop preparing for job interview

Woman at cafe using laptop, preparing for a job interview | iStock.com/jacoblund

Interviewing for a new job is exciting. Sometimes when you’re excited you might talk a lot. Even the most seasoned professional can get anxious and start saying the first thoughts that come to mind. However, it’s important to pay attention to what you say during the time between waiting to hear back from the hiring manager and actually getting hired. Uttering the wrong thing could result in you not getting the job.

Career expert Jason Rogers said it’s important to practice what you’ll say before the interview:

During an interview your number one goal should be to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job. This is why your interview preparation should be extensive, including practicing what you’re likely to say in an interview … In your eagerness to please the hiring manager and prove yourself, you might accidentally say something that could ruin your chances.

Here are four things you should never say before you’re hired.

1. I need to take some time off

Woman Under Beach Umbrella

Woman on the beach | iStock.com

You haven’t gotten the job yet, so control yourself. Mentioning time off before an offer has been made gives the impression you’re either arrogant or very eager. Neither impression will make a hiring manager comfortable extending a job offer. Wait until after you know your employment status with the company before discussing any time off.

Career coach John Lees said you can talk about the specifics of any planned time off once you get notice verbally. “A good rule of thumb is to wait until the organization has decided you’re number one. Save any concerns or questions about vacation or flexible working until after you have been made a verbal offer — that’s part of your due diligence process between offer and acceptance. You can always talk about how you’re excited to start once the details can be worked out,” said Lees in his Harvard Business Review column.

2. I really need this job because I’m broke

Broke man

Broke man| iStock.com/Alen-D

Never say this in any job situation. First of all, never say you really need the job. This automatically puts you in the category of low-value candidates because it makes you look desperate. Tell yourself you would like the job, but you don’t really need the job (even if you do). Having this attitude will make you more feel confident. Trust us, your interviewer can feel that needy vibe before you even sit down; so rein it in a bit. Second, never tell the interviewer you’re broke. Your financial problems are a personal matter. The interviewer couldn’t care less about your finances; his or her main concern is whether you can do the job.

3. I plan to attend graduate school full-time soon

Smiling student holding a book in library

College student at the library | iStock.com

Pursuing an advanced degree shows you’re serious about your career as well as improving yourself. However, there is a time and place to mention your education plans — especially when they don’t include your employer. If your future plans don’t include sticking with the company for a reasonable period of time, keep quiet. Why let a potential employer know you’re just trying to pay bills until your real plans come through? That’s not a smart move. It’s great you want to further your education, but it’s not so great to blab your true intentions before you’re even considered for the position.

4. What’s your maternity leave policy? I plan to start a family in a few months.

baby sleeping in mother or father's arms during a flight

Baby sleeping in parent’s arms | iStock.com

Never talk family planning at work. And don’t start asking details about benefits when you’re still a candidate. Discussing your plans to start or expand your family could leave you vulnerable to discrimination. Some managers are still hesitant to hire employees who are thinking of starting a family or who have young children simply because of the issue surrounding time off. Only share this information after you get the job and only when it’s necessary for your employer to know.

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