When to stay silent in the interview

Knowing when to stay silent in the interview can help you a great deal. Being an excellent communicator counts in your favor, but there are a few instances where it is better to say nothing.

Salary negotiation

This is such an important part of the interview and also one of the areas where most job hunters fail. First of all, don't bring up salary at all. Wait for the interviewer who will normally hint in that direction towards the end of the interview.

You should never disclose a set figure. Even when the interviewer presses you for a specific number, try to change it around so that they provide you with a general idea.

You can for instance, ask what the current salary range for the position is. What did you have in mind when you advertised the position? If they still persist, rather answer that your previous or current salary cannot be compared as it is for another position and you would rather they provide you with a general salary range. If it boils down to just saying 'I am not willing to commit to a specific number or disclose a figure.' then be it. They will respect your answer as they know that giving a specific number puts you at a severe disadvantage.

This is one instance where it is better to stay silent in the interview as giving a figure that is lower than they had in mind, will mean you are in for a lower salary. If your figure is too high, it can cost you the job.

Seeking employment process

Even if you are really tired of job hunting and desperate to get the job, don't tell them. This is a never ever! Employers want people who are in demand, by telling them about your long job hunting process, you are saying that no-one else wanted you so why should they hire you? Rather focus on the positive aspects of your current job or what you have been doing while you were out of a job.

You must never let it show that you are not in demand. Tell them how happy you are in your current job, and that the only reason why you have applied for this job is because you fit the job description so perfectly. Your goals and the employer's goals are exactly the same. Rather stay silent in the interview than babbling about your problems. They want go-getters and people who are positive, not employees with problems.

Stay silent in the interview rather than asking about the work hours

You can ask what hours are expected from you, but don't mention that you want reasonable or flexi time. Rather have the interviewer provide information bout the hours. If the hours don't suit you at all, you can indicate so if you feel that taking the job with the particular hours is not worth the while. If you start demanding even before you are employed, the employer will be skeptical.

Stay silent in the interview about your personal information

Never volunteer information that can be used to discriminate against you. There is no reason to tell the interviewer you are pregnant or plan a family in the next year, nor is there reason for telling them you have two children aged 15 and 17.

This will definitely open the door for discrimination on the grounds of age. Don't disclose your religion, sexual orientation and any specific beliefs. Although the law prohibits discrimination based on any of the above, there are ways for an employer to bypass the laws by stating you were not compatible with the company, or experience not relevant etc.

From the above information, you can see that there are times when it is better to stay silent in the interview. Don't however, concentrate so hard not to disclose information that you come across as secretive or as an introvert.