Want to Kill Your Chance of Getting that Great Job? Here’s How.

Barry Maher’s
Filling the Glass Newsletter
Speaking of Real World Tactics, Reality-Based Motivation
December, 2013    Vol. 13  Issue 12




I’ve consulted on hundreds of hires. And here’s one sure way to cripple your chances, even if you’re a good, qualified applicant who’s just given an excellent interview.

As always, before wrapping things up, the interviewer asks if you have any questions. But unfortunately, your initial questions show far more interest in what the company can do than what you can do for the company.

I was involved in one interview recently where the first three questions from the applicant were, in order:

“How much vacation time do I get?”

“How long do I have to be here before I’m eligible for a vacation?”

“How long before I start to accrue additional weeks of vacation?”

What had looked like a great applicant, now looked like someone who couldn’t wait to get away from work.

I strongly believe in making the employer sell you the job. It’s far better to have them worrying about if they can get you than wondering if they want you. But the time for that is after you’ve got them wanting you. There’s plenty of time to ask what they can do for you after they’ve got them excited about what you can do for them.

Which means you also want to avoid giving what-can-you-do-for-me answers when it’s the interviewer asking the questions.

Some of the worst answers I’ve heard to standard interview questions? How about:

“What interests you about this company?”

“I saw your ad in the paper.”

“I’d be interested in anyone that would hire me.”

“How would your current or former colleagues describe you?”


“Whatever you heard, it’s not true. Not really. I mean, there’re two sides to every story.”

“Are there certain types of people you find difficult to work with?”

“Well, my last boss was a real moron. I certainly didn’t like working with him.”

Of course, the worst question for you as an applicant to ask is the one you never ask: not asking any questions during an interview is a huge red flag, one that even inexperienced interviewers always pick up on. It shows a lack of interest and/or a lack of comprehension. It can also make you look desperate, someone who’ll take any job under any circumstances.

Nobody wants someone nobody wants. You need to show you’re being selective about your opportunities and if you accept this one it’s because you want this particular job and you’ll be eager to apply yourself to it.


© Copyright 2013, 2011 Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates, Los Angeles, Caifornia, Las Vegas, Nevada

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