8 Taboos, or What Subjects Shouldn’t Be Discussed in the Interview

Judging by the number of job offers, every candidate has a chance to be invited to an interview. It’s important to grasp this chance.
One inappropriate phrase or a tactless question can ruin the good impression that an HR-manager has after studying your perfect resume. In this case, what to say in the interview to avoid all the pitfalls and get an offer to take the vacant post?
Indeed, silence is golden. But not in the job interview. The perfect way not to tell what you shouldn’t is the candidate’s ability to keep the dialogue within the fixed topic.
This means speaking to the point, answering the interviewer’s questions in such a way as to provide all the necessary information without going into unnecessary details…or saying something that mustn’t be mentioned.

The salary level


Remember: you shouldn’t be the initiator of discussing this topic. If you manage to get the HR-manager interested, they will surely tell the salary rate you are interested in or ask you about your salary expectations. Moreover, do not ask about special features of your job until they let you understand that you are considered as one of the most prospective candidates.

The possibility of individual work

Even if you have unique skills and are highly valued on the labour market, do not say that you want to work remotely on Fridays or plan to leave two hours earlier twice a week to take your child to music classes. Be ready that at first, you will have to work like everyone else and only after you make a good showing, you can ask the employer to discuss special work conditions.

Personal problems

When the interviewer asks why you want to work in this company, don’t try to tell a sob story. Don’t say that you are a single parent, don’t mention a rented flat and ill relatives. The HR-manager is interested in your knowledge and skills as well as how well you match the employer’s requirements. The company’s management is interested in achieving the set goals, they are not responsible for solving their subordinates’ personal problems. That is why to get the HR-manager interested, try to present your personal and professional qualities in the favourable light but never say that you “simply need a job”.

Relations with the former boss and colleagues

This is a taboo. Once and for all. Discussing this subject doesn’t provide any useful information. Not only will the interviewer have no chance to see your professionalism, but also they will suspect you of squabbling. Is it the goal you set?

Offers from other employers


The HR-manager understands that every candidate is looking for a job on suitable conditions and with a high salary and they are pleased to realize that you are interested in the vacancy of this company. However, don’t try to focus the interviewer’s attention on other employers’ offers. It is possible that they will choose another less experienced candidate who seeks a job in this very company. In practice, it is not rare that an HR-manager puts the bet not on the candidate’s huge experience and high professional qualities but on their loyalty and true interest in the company.

Your autobiography

Don’t try to tell absolutely everything about yourself, starting from your student years and finishing with your hobbies that do not relate to the peculiarities of your job. Remember that the interview cannot last forever. The flow of useless information will carry you off the topic of the interview and you will have no time to describe your advantages and will miss a chance to take the vacant position.

Your dislikes

Even if the HR-manager asks about your dislikes, you shouldn’t burst out with complains about the employees’ incompetence, undefined working hours and everyday meetings. It is better to emphasize that there are only a few such factors. Besides, you always try to find a way out and stay productive in any situation. For example, say something like that: “I am not excited about undefined working hours. That is why I use methods of time management which allow me to solve the tasks effectively and not to stay late in the office. As for force majeure situations, I am ready to sacrifice my personal plans for the sake of the goals of the company.”

Career goals

Clear career goals confirm the candidate’s competency. The same cannot be said about the wish to buy a house or to start a family. Also, you shouldn’t speak about the goals which the company cannot help you to achieve.