"Ummm. I didn't need to know that." TMI during interviews.

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Editors Note: Kristi Musgrave is a colleague and friend of mine, as well as today’s Guest Blogger. She has oodles of management experience and tells us what it’s like to be on the other side of the desk. Here is some good advice on what NOT to say during an interview.
“You won’t believe this,” he said. “What?” I asked. “We just had a candidate offer to show the hiring manager his gun shot wound.”
Why do people do this? Is it nerves? Do they just not know any better? Why do people share too much or inappropriate information during job interviews?
For the past 10 years I’ve had the opportunity to interview a variety of people and I am still amazed at what they will discuss during an interview. I’ve heard about fights with family members, pets that have died, and mean bosses. I’ve even been asked if I have a prosthetic eye. I don’t by the way.
The purpose of an interview is to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job. A significant part of that assessment will be based on what you say during the interview. Avoid discussing personal information unrelated the position. Discuss your experience, the skills you have that make you well suited for the position, and why you are the best candidate.
Rachel Zupek, a writer for careerbuilder.com offers this advice  (you can read the full article here):
Go ahead with the following personal info:

  • Goals – It’s OK to talk about what you want in your next assignment and what inspired you to apply for the position.
  • Growth – You can and should talk about the things you’ve done up to this point to invest in yourself and your professional development.
  • Highlights – Relate the highlights of your greatest professional achievements to date without exaggerating or pontificating.
  • Motivations – Talk about what motivates you, excites you, what brought you to that particular industry and what attracted you to that specific employment opportunity.

Do not delve into these personal topics during your interview.

  • Lifestyle choices, politics, religion or family plans. Controversial topics may make for stimulating conversation but an attractive employee does not stimulate water-cooler frenzy among the masses.
  • Endless name dropping. You can establish that you know some of the same people as the interviewer to build rapport, but don’t think you’re upping the ante by upping the volume.
  • Health history. Stay away from your health history mental and otherwise. You’re supposed to be positioning yourself as dependable and reliable; not as a candidate likely to spike the bell curve on benefit-related expenses.
  • House problems, nanny drama or rehab trips. Employers don’t want to know much about your life except as it relates to what you’ve done professionally and what you’re likely able to do for them.
  • Bosses from hell. Simply put, no prospective boss wants to hear a litany of “boss from hell” stories.

So, unless you’re interviewing for a position as nude model for a sculpting class, discussing your gunshot wound is way too much information for a job interview. Keep your answers professional and focused on your skills and experience as it relates to the position.  Good luck at your interview.
Kristi Musgrave is a Senior Validation Engineer with the Validation and Compliance Institute, LLC. She provides cGMP training, validation, and auditing services for the FDA regulated industries.  You can reach Kristi at musgrak@gmail.com

Guest Post–Karen D'Anna–Career Change

Career & WorkplaceJob Search


My name is Karen D’Anna and I have been collaborating with fellow writer Erin Kennedy, owner of Professional Resume Service for over a year. I first began contributing to Professional Resume Services when I realized the extraordinary standards and high-caliber services offered.

I myself have changed careers several times since leaving college. I realized that there was a process that I went through each time I was ready to move to another challenge. I thought I would share some interesting information about what triggers us to begin a new job search.

Is it time to make a career change?

Do you feel restless at work? Are your values being met by the job or the environment you are working in? Do you answer “yes” to any or all the following questions …..?

· Do you feel down on Sunday as Monday looms nearer?

· Has your work become routine and predictable?

· Are you drained of energy after a day at the office?

· Does work lack a sense of importance or purpose?

· Do you see little or no room for advancement?

· Do you think there is work you would be better suited for but you just don’t know what it is?

These are indicators that you are discontent in your career. It is inevitable that you will periodically re-evaluate your occupation. Your job is constantly evolving. Corporate politics, economic shifts, mergers and personnel upheavals can cause unexpected changes. At the same time the world is changing you are also experiencing shifts in your internal life. Your values, needs and life expectations develop as your life evolves.

You have goals that are not met, both personal and professional, your job has stalled and you feel the loss internally. You think to yourself, “there must be something better out there.” Fear of change often stops us from taking the step to start the job search process.

Many times you sit by passively thinking things will eventually get better but when they don’t you begin to explore the opportunities that exist with other organizations. Facing your fear of the unknown can result in a rewarding career change. Be pro-active and anticipatory and look at this as a new beginning.

It might be time to invest in your future and consult with a professional career coach. A career coach can give you necessary tools to access your current position and evaluate your future goals. Mapping out a game plan will allow you a positive approach to a job search and give you the ability to find the position that will meet your personal and professional goals.