With spring and the economic recovery (reportedly) in full swing, there appears to be an increasing number of employment opportunities, potentially enabling you to move from your “ho-hum” job onto your “hip, hip, hurray” dream job. If your résumé is in tip-top form (and I mean, “tip top”), you may be ready to enter the murky waters of the interviewing stage. The million-dollar question: “Are you ready to WOW prospective hiring managers?”

By offering you a few key pointers, I am going to help you transition into these murky waters. Your job: adhere to the following 5 key pointers that can make or break your ability to capture a new career opportunity. These “pointers” have been reported by MSN Careers as “the 5 worst things you can to say in an interview.” (Note that number 1 states the interview remark in a few different ways. Just beware, all should be avoided.)

1. “I hate my boss.”  “I hated my last boss.” “My boss does not treat his employees fairly.”I will never be promoted by my boss.” Regardless of how you feel about your existing or previous boss, DO NOT SAY or EVEN INDICATE ANTHING DISPARAGING ABOUT HIM OR HER. Further, do not attribute your reason for wanting to leave your job as the reason you are applying for the job you are being interviewed for. Instead, when a prospective employer asks you why you are, will, or have left your job, simply say, “I really wasn’t going to leave my job until I saw what a great opportunity your company is offering. I think the fit between your needs and my skills-set is so great, I could not pass up the opportunity to apply for it.”

2. “I don’t know anything about this company.” As MSN Careers advices, do your research. Know something about the company you’re interviewing for and be prepared to articulate how your skills will complement the business. If you’re a Web designer, for example, MSN Careers says, at the very least study the company website and explain what you like and what you would change, given the chance. If you’re a buyer, compliment the organization on its brand management abilities (if you think they are worthy of a compliment), then explain how you would expand the product line, implement cost avoidance procurement techniques, and contribute to the bottom line.

3. “No questions, thanks.” When it’s your turn to ask questions about the company, MSN Careers advises that you have something to talk about. If you don’t ask questions, it looks like you aren’t genuinely interested in the position. Think of something to ask! How has the economic downturn impacted your business? Have you had to institute downsizing initiatives? If the interviewer already answered everything you wanted to know, rephrase something you already talked about in a new way, advises MSN Careers.

4. “What church do you go to?” Small talk can be great, but know where the professional line is and never cross it, according to MSN Careers (and I couldn’t agree more!). You should neither have nor demonstrate the slightest indication that you care about your prospective employer’s religious affiliations. If the conversation is veering toward inappropriately personal information, such as religion or politics, change direction! Simply bring up a different subject matter, for example, “So, your office furnishings are modern. Did you recently redecorate?” Have your antennae up so that inappropriate conversation does not become a problem, thereby eliminating the need for you to swerve from oncoming headlights.

.5. Avoid rants and bitterness.” It’s great to have opinions, but not when you’re interviewing for a job, says MSN Careers. If you come across as angry or so opinionated that you are deemed potentially difficult to work with, you will not be a welcome contribution to the workplace. As MSN Careers suggests (and again, I wholeheartedly agree), “No one wants to work with a serial complainer.”

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