"Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow."
Anthony robbins

Using these phrases in interviews... WATCH OUT.

Fair or unfair, the things we say during interviews are evaluated and over-analyzed. Sometimes a seemingly harmless comment can draw unwanted attention (especially if it is repeated). Be careful not to go overboard on certain themes as it can affect your brand.

A few WATCH-OUT phrases that can get you into trouble...

“It’s all about relationships” – Having strong relationships in a specialty can certainly be appealing to a hiring manager but be careful not to over-play this hand. Simply being “buddies” with customers is not enough, especially with many companies going to the “challenger” model of selling. Make sure that comments about friendships are counter-balanced with metrics and impact on sales numbers.

“Work-life balance is my #1 goal” – Yes, we all want work life balance. In fact, this phrase is so ingrained into most of our psyche that there is really no reason to bring it up. I recently had a candidate interview who used this phrase 7 times during a 30-minute first interview. As you can imagine, the manager came away feeling that he was less interested in working and more interested in a part time job.

“Overly Busy, Maxed-Out" - I get it, we all like to say we are busy… as it makes us feel important and essential. Be cautious about going overboard with this routine. It can give off the impression that you are overwhelmed or behind with your current workload. Constant references to being "slammed at work" might point to time management issues. Every manager has someone like this on their team https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awlApL8lBX4 and they aren’t looking for another.

“Toxic Culture” – Most candidates are aware that bringing up negatives about a previous employer is a NO-NO during interviews. That said, the phrase “toxic culture” has somehow crept into our vernacular as an acceptable thing to say about a previous employer. Be careful depicting your old job/manager in such a derogatory way.

“Maintained the business” – Contrary to popular belief, it is fairly easy for a hiring manager to find a maintenance rep. There are usually 3-4 of those people that interview for most sales opening that are NOT selected. Be careful focusing on basic maintenance activities as some sort of “badge of honor” highlighting your sales acumen. Most sales managers are not looking for maintainers…they are looking for hunters.

“Side Hustle” – Do NOT ever bring up side-hustles during interviews. Your 2nd career in real estate or fashion is rarely viewed as a positive. In fact, it is usually seen as a distraction that will take you away from the job you are interviewing for. No manager wants half of a sales rep, nor do they want to hire someone whose true passion is another business.

“How quickly can I expect to be promoted” – Being ambitious is certainly a positive, but asking about promotions during interviews can have unintended consequences. You do not want to sound like you are already frustrated with a job you haven’t even started yet, nor do you want to give off the vibe that you think the job is beneath you. There are ways to investigate opportunities for promotion without grilling a manager. Promotions are earned after you get the job…not during the interview process.

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