6 Things to Never Say in a Job Interview

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iStock

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.

You Can Now Order—and Donate—Girl Scout Cookies Online

It's OK if you decide to ignore the recommended serving size on a box of these beauties.
It's OK if you decide to ignore the recommended serving size on a box of these beauties.
Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts may have temporarily suspended both cookie booths and door-to-door sales to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be deprived of your annual supply of everyone’s favorite boxed baked goods. Instead, you can now order Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and all the other classic cookies online—or donate them to local charities.

When you enter your ZIP code on the “Girl Scouts Cookie Care” page, it’ll take you to a digital order form for the nearest Girl Scouts organization in your area. Then, simply choose your cookies—which cost $5 or $6 per box—and check out with your payment and shipping information. There’s a minimum of four boxes for each order, and shipping fees vary based on quantity.

Below the list of cookies is a “Donate Cookies” option, which doesn’t count toward your own order total and doesn’t cost any extra to ship. You get to choose how many boxes to donate, but the Girl Scouts decide which kinds of cookies to send and where exactly to send them (the charity, organization, or group of people benefiting from your donation is listed on the order form). There’s a pretty wide range of recipients, and some are specific to healthcare workers—especially in regions with particularly large coronavirus outbreaks. The Girl Scouts of Greater New York, for example, are sending donations to NYC Health + Hospitals, while the Girl Scouts of Western Washington have simply listed “COVID-19 Responders” as their recipients.

Taking their cookie business online isn’t the only way the Girl Scouts are adapting to the ‘stay home’ mandates happening across the country. They’ve also launched “Girl Scouts at Home,” a digital platform filled with self-guided activities so Girl Scouts can continue to learn skills and earn badges without venturing farther than their own backyard. Resources are categorized by grade level and include everything from mastering the basics of coding to building a life vest for a Corgi (though the video instructions for that haven’t been posted yet).

“For 108 years, Girl Scouts has been there in times of crisis and turmoil,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a press release. “And today we are stepping forward with new initiatives to help girls, their families, and consumers connect, explore, find comfort, and take action.”

You can order cookies here, and explore “Girl Scouts at Home” here.

Can't Find Yeast? Grow Your Own at Home With a Sourdough Starter

Dutodom, iStock via Getty Images
Dutodom, iStock via Getty Images

Baking bread can relieve stress and it requires long stretches of time at home that many of us now have. But shoppers have been panic-buying some surprising items since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to pantry staples like rice and beans, yeast packets are suddenly hard to find in grocery stores. If you got the idea to make homemade bread at the same time as everyone on your Instagram feed, don't let the yeast shortage stop you. As long as you have flour, water, and time, you can grow your own yeast at home.

While many bread recipes call for either instant yeast or dry active yeast, sourdough bread can be made with ingredients you hopefully already have on hand. The key to sourdough's unique, tangy taste lies in its "wild" yeast. Yeast is a single-celled type of fungus that's abundant in nature—it's so abundant, it's floating around your home right now.

To cultivate wild yeast, you need to make a sourdough starter. This can be done by combining one cup of flour (like whole grain, all-purpose, or a mixture of the two) with a half cup of cool water in a bowl made of nonreactive material (such as glass, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic). Cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let it sit in a fairly warm place (70°F to 75°F) for 24 hours.

Your starter must be fed with one cup of flour and a half cup of water every day for five days before it can be used in baking. Sourdough starter is a living thing, so you should notice is start to bubble and grow in size over time (it also makes a great low-maintenance pet if you're looking for company in quarantine). On the fifth day, you can use your starter to make dough for sourdough bread. Here's a recipe from King Arthur Flour that only calls for starter, flour, salt, and water.

If you just want to get the urge to bake out of your system, you can toss your starter once you're done with it. If you plan on making sourdough again, you can use the same starter indefinitely. Starters have been known to live in people's kitchens for decades. But to avoid using up all your flour, you can store yours in the fridge after the first five days and reduce feedings to once a week.

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