Honesty is the best policy and obviously it’s imperative in a job interview. However, as in your personal life, there can be a risk of “interview oversharing.” This concept can also be expressed in the notorious acronym, “TMI” – too much information.
The rise of reality TV and social networks has encouraged us to update everyone on our status, even if it’s just a photo of what’s for dinner. For example, it’s the person you just met that shares their entire life story, including much more personal information than necessary. This type of oversharing is especially imperative to consider in an interview when you’re asked that common question, “Tell me a little about yourself.” The keyword here is LITTLE!
Generally, respond to interview questions with relative, succinct answers that do not ramble on and on. As a guide, here are ten things you shouldn’t share during an interview:
10 Interview Oversharing Topics
1. Excuses – Reasons why you’re late, your clothes are wrinkled, you seem stressed or are unprepared.
2. Ambivalence – Words that show you’re indecisive, disengaged, or uninterested. Avoid “Sure,” “That’s fine,” “I don’t care,” “Um…maybe.”
3. What’s in this for me? – Stay clear of asking about perks such as days off, flexible hours or work from home options (especially during the first interview).
4. Clueless about the organization – Do your research on the company, or at least relay your desire to learn more.
5. Complaints –Weather, traffic, how little sleep you got last night.
6. Guesses – When a question stumps you, it’s better to say, “I don’t know” then to wing it. Offer to return to the question later, or address it in your interview thank you.
7. Personal circumstances – a messy divorce, the death of your beloved pet, bankruptcy, surgeries.
8. Desperation – I was fired from my last position. When will I get my first paycheck? I need health coverage for my family. My mortgage payment is overdue.
9. Politics & religion – Your views, even if you think your interviewer might agree.
10. Burnt bridges – Disparaging comments about your former boss, coworkers, employer.
Be cautious of interview oversharing. Knowing what NOT to say, in addition, what TO say, will certainly enhance your chance of securing a new position. Check out these tips for responding to common interview questions.