7 things smart people never reveal about themselves in interviews

Photo: Kristina Flour

It’s best to keep certain things hidden in the professional world. Not everyone needs to know all the specifics of your past job life especially during an interview for a position you are really hoping to get. 

Employees of all kinds have been able to navigate the one-on-one interviews or group chats incredibly well by focusing on their assets that will benefit the company at hand and staying away from things that can be unnecessary and even hurt your chances of being hired. 

These types of meetings are stressful enough to begin with. COVID has made them extra challenging due to the switch from in person to virtual which has its own problems one must face while being stuck inside. You don’t want to add verbal nonsense to your Zoom interview on top of everything else you have to deal with. 

That being said here are seven things successful people never reveal about themselves during an interview.

I’m good, thanks for asking

If a company you’re interviewing for asks if you have any questions, RESPOND! Successful people will never finish out an interview by going on mute, shaking hands and leaving. They will find at least one or two appropriate things to ask that shows they care and that they’ve really listened to what the interviewer revealed to them during their chat. 

Confidence versus cockiness

Successful people draw a very fine line between the two. You want to boast about yourself by highlighting key things you’ve done up to this point that makes you perfect for the position without coming across as totally arrogant. Saying, “I’m amazing at what I do,” or “You won’t find anyone else like me,” is off-putting. Think of other things like, “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far” or “I think I have the right skills necessary for the job at hand” during your interview. 

Gossip about past manager

Don’t be that person who can’t wait to bad mouth your previous manager. A successful candidate will dodge any kinds of bullets sent their way when an interviewer is trying to get them to talk trash about who you used to work for. Instead, they’ll do a 180 and discuss what they’ve learned from their past position as it relates to the one they are trying to get. 

Salary reveal

Your current salary is something that should be left in the dark during an interview. It doesn’t matter when you compare it to your worth at the company you’re interviewing for. Successful people won’t bring that up as the focus at hand is more of what they can bring to the table and less about the dollars they’ll earn. This should only be discussed when and if you decide to negotiate the kind of income you’ll receive should a job offer come about. 

Alone, party of 1

More than likely you’ll be at a job where a group project will come up. Not everyone enjoys these sorts of things, as egos can get in the way not to mention sheer backstabbing from a toxic co-worker, but successful people never reveal this during an interview. Should the topic come up you should always say that you’re a team player. Extra points will be awarded if you’re able to bring up how you shined individually in a project without dimming others in the process. 

You’re desperate

Successful people will never, ever reveal that they are desperate for a job. It can be tempting to talk about this, especially with how millions of people lost their positions last year and are chomping at the bit to earn a wage again, but admitting so never looks good from the interviewers prospective. Instead, do your research on the company and work that into a conversation about why they are such a desirable place for you to be employed at.

I can start in 15 minutes

Relax. Seriously. This falls in line with the desperate point above where successful people will never admit that they can start in a 24-48-hour timeframe unless the position absolutely calls for it. Be cool, calm and collected when they ask about start date (usually 1-2 weeks depending).

Don’t forget that they are seeing a pool of other candidates as well so the job more than likely won’t be ready in a handful of days. Being flexible is one of the many positives they’ll remember when determining who is best for the job.