Each year about this time, we do lots of camp interviews for our CentriKid Camps summer staffers and also our specialized leadership positions like Camp Directors and Assistant Directors.  My teammate Meredith just re-posted a blog she wrote a while back about What Not to Do in your Interview ... it is sad that these things are all true stories. 

From my recent camp interviews, I created my own list of things not to say in a job interview.  I even included a couple of coaching tips for putting your best foot forward.

  • "That probably isn't something I should say in an interview."  If you suspect that you shouldn't say it, then don't say it.  Generally, the first random thought to cross your brain isn't going to be how you want to be remembered after the interview.
  • "Does that make sense?"  Think through your answers and give a thoughtful answer.  One sure-fire way to make sure it makes sense is to internally edit those thoughts and get them in a cohesive order ... don't ramble on and then hope the interviewer can process it.
  • "I know I'm supposed to have a question right now, but I don't."  Everybody goes through some type of interview training in high school now, and we all know they instruct you to research the company and have a question prepared.  When I get this quote, it indicates to me that (#1) you been trained on how to prepare for an interview, but (#2) you didn't prepare, even though you knew you were supposed to.
  • "That's a good question!"  This is my biggest pet peeve, and probably the most common of these statements that I hear.  It is just a time-filler that the applicant uses to buy time to think of a response.  It indicates that you didn't anticipate this question.  The sarcastic side of me wants to tell the applicant, "Thanks for the affirmation, but I know its a good question."  If I begin to get a lot of "time-filler" statements in an interview, it indicates that this applicant didn't anticipate any of these questions and prepare for them.
Good luck with you next interview...whenever it may be.  And if you happen to be an applicant for @centrikidcamps and you are reading this, then you just got 4 free tips to help you do better in your interview!