6 Things to Never Say in a Job Interview

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You scored an interview for your dream job. Don’t blow it by asking a thoughtless question or revealing too much personal information. Steer clear of these six phrases and you'll be one step closer to accepting an offer.

1. ARE THERE FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS?

Wait to receive an offer before asking about the hours, says Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter. At that point in the process, you gain a bit of power over the employer, and can ask about day-to-day specifics without appearing lazy. The soft benefits—including working hours, paid time off, and remote working arrangements—can be negotiated along with your salary if they are important to you.

2. TELL ME ABOUT THE POSITION.

Most interviewers will meet with you about a specific role. You should already understand what it is, and you should sell yourself for that position, says Jill MacFadyen, a Georgia-based career coach. “It wouldn’t sound good to ask about the role unless it was a call out of the blue, and you did need to know about it,” MacFadyen says. Expert Interview Coach founder Barry Drexler adds that asking for the job description makes you look unprepared and like you're not taking the opportunity seriously.

3. I PLAN ON GETTING MY MASTER'S DEGREE.

If asked where you see yourself in five years, you need to give an answer that fits the career path for the role. So if you're interviewing for a marketing role, don’t say that you see yourself in a sales position, says Drexler. It's also unwise to tell the recruiter you plan to go back to school (unless you're 100 percent sure doing so would be encouraged by the company). Do so, and you risk appearing less than fully committed.

4. HOW LONG IS THIS INTERVIEW?

You need to be present and in the moment, says Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert based in New York. "Once, I had a candidate who was talking on the cell phone," Salemi says. "He held up his pointer finger to tell me to give him a second. What could be more important at that moment than the interview?" You need to show that this is the highlight of your day.

5. WHAT DOES "DELWAT" DO?

This is a double whammy. First, you need to be familiar with the company's mission before you step foot in the door. Second, the interviewee pronounced the company's name wrong. Deloitte, an audit and consulting firm, is pronounced “dell-oy-t,” not “del-wat,” Salemi says. If you don’t know how to pronounce the name of the company, find a video about the company on YouTube, or call the receptionist and hang up—or simply ask the receptionist how to pronounce the name (without identifying yourself). "Don't let the interview be a test run," Salemi says.

6. HOW SOON DO YOU PROMOTE?

You need to understand that you’re not going to be in this position for two minutes before being promoted, Salemi says. "You want to show that you understand that there's a learning curve," she says. At the same time, you may be genuinely curious about rising up the ranks of the company and opportunities for future growth. A better way to say it: "Can you please tell me more about the career path here?" Salemi suggests.

Your Smart TV Is Vulnerable to Hackers, According to the FBI

Ahmet Yarali / iStock via Getty Images
Ahmet Yarali / iStock via Getty Images

By this point, many of us have had the experience of mentioning a product or service out loud during a conversation, only to have an ad for that very thing pop up on a smart device mere moments later. And, although you may have gotten used to the idea of your gadgets keeping tabs on you, you might not realize that your new smart TV’s monitoring capabilities make it extra vulnerable to hackers.

KATV reports that the Portland, Oregon branch of the FBI released guidelines last week as part of its “Tech Tuesday” initiative to warn people about the risk of hackers gaining access to unsecured televisions through the routers. Because smart TVs likely have microphones and even cameras, successful hackers could do anything from petty mischief to serious stalking.

“At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos,” the FBI says. “In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.”

Before you head back to Best Buy, brandishing your receipt and begging for a refund, there are a number of safety precautions you can take to make yourself less of an easy target for cyberattacks.

The first step is knowing exactly what features your TV has, and understanding how to control them—the FBI recommends doing an internet search with the model number and the words microphone, camera, and privacy.

After that, you should delve right into those security settings. Disable the collection of personal information if you can, and learn how to limit microphone and camera access. If you don’t see an option to shut off the camera, black tape over it does the trick.

And, even if it’s not the most riveting reading material, it’s worth perusing the fine print on your device and streaming services to find out what data they collect, where they store it, and how they use it.

Check out all of the tips here, and then see what other everyday objects might be susceptible to hackers.

[h/t KATV]

25 Gift Cards That Give You—and Your Recipient—the Best Bang for Your Buck

flyparade/iStock via Getty Images
flyparade/iStock via Getty Images

Though gift cards can definitely solve your annual conundrum over what to buy those hard-to-please people on your list, deciding on a gift card is the easy part—deciding which gift card to give them, however, is where the challenge comes in.

To help you narrow it down, WalletHub devised a multi-factor ranking system for gift cards of all types, from home improvement outlets like Lowe’s to subscription services like Netflix. Researchers analyzed popularity (based on search volume), average buyer’s discount across major gift card exchange sites, average resale value, retailer ratings on popular review sites, and shipping fees, and then assigned an overall score to each of America’s 100 largest retailers.

According to the study, your best option this year is a Target gift card, with an average buyer’s discount of 5.76 percent, a resale value of $77.12, and a retailer rating of 3.09 out of 5.

But before you stock up on Target gift cards for your many friends and family members, you might want to peruse the rest of WalletHub’s data. IKEA, for example, which tied for third place with Home Depot and eBay, boasts an average buyer’s discount of 10.85 percent.

The top performers from the food industry were Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and Chipotle, which all tied for fourth place (among several other companies, Netflix and iTunes included) with 50 points apiece.

Even if you’ve already decided which gift cards you’re going with this holiday season, it’s still worth looking at WalletHub’s data before you buy them to make sure you’re getting a discount comparable to (or better than) the average. And, if there’s a particularly choosy recipient on your list who’ll likely try to resell their gift card, perhaps pick one with an especially high resale value, like Costco’s $84.60 or Walmart’s $84.09.

Check out the rankings below, including overall score, and find out the full details from WalletHub’s study here.

  1. Target // Score: 70
  1. Walmart // Score: 60
  1. Sephora // Score: 60
  1. eBay // Score: 55
  1. Home Depot // Score: 55
  1. IKEA // Score: 55
  1. iTunes // Score: 50
  1. Starbucks // Score: 50
  1. Costco // Score: 50
  1. Chick-fil-A // Score: 50
  1. Netflix // Score: 50
  1. McDonald’s // Score: 50
  1. Fandango // Score: 50
  1. Chipotle // Score: 50
  1. REI // Score: 50
  1. Old Navy // Score: 50
  1. H&M // Score: 50
  1. Disney // Score: 45
  1. Google Play // Score: 45
  1. Best Buy // Score: 45
  1. Macy's // Score: 45
  1. Lowe's // Score: 45
  1. Subway // Score: 45
  1. Amazon // Score: 40
  1. Gamestop // Score: 40

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