“My current position/manager/company/coworker is terrible. because...”
No matter the circumstances of your current professional situation, it’s never a good idea to complain about it during a job interview. If you’re painting the company in a bad light, the interviewer might wonder if you’ll do the same with them. If you take issue with your current manager or department, your interviewer might wonder if you’re the actual problem in your workplace. If you bring up that your current position is just not the right fit for you, this could make your interviewer wonder something else about your background or abilities.
Even though all of your complaints are valid, the outcome is uncontrollable and does not help you. In this instance, it’s best to focus on what you’re looking for in a new position. Reframe your grievances and show them in a positive light. For example; if you struggled to get along with your manager, perhaps you can speak on the importance of being a cultural fit within a new role. Then, talk a bit about how the functional relationships you have in your current position help you to do your best. (Hint: If you can’t figure out how to reframe them, then don’t mention them.)
“I know I don’t have all the skills listed, but…”
Although it’s important to be truthful in your accomplishments and abilities, a job interview gives you the opportunity to market yourself and highlight your strengths. Even if you know there are some aspects of this position that might not be in your skillset, understand that interviewers often write job descriptions with the ideal candidate in mind, while knowing full well that this candidate might not exist. A well-run company will know that hiring an ambitious and hard-working candidate is much more valuable than someone with all the skills and no ability or desire to learn.
Instead of leaning into your shortcomings, use this time to bring up your most significant and relevant achievements. Those pertaining to the required or desired skills within the job description will be your best choices!
“I don’t have any other questions”
No matter how in-depth an interview is, it’s still important to have questions at the ready for the end of your interview. If you don’t have any questions, it shows there’s nothing else on your mind, which is slightly awkward and makes you look unprepared or - even worse - uninterested in the role or company itself. Even if you’ve spoken with this hiring manager before, it’s important to further your relationship with them and ask questions that show you’ve done research in between interviews.
Thinking back on what you’re not getting with your current role, get curious! What is a creative way to ask about life on the job that will help inform you of your decision whether or not to accept a potential offer?
It’s also a good idea to ask questions that cater to your particular interviewer. Do some research on their background and think of specific questions throughout your interview that call back to what you’ve discussed. It will demonstrate that you’ve been paying attention.
Lastly, try to make these questions more open-ended and help them to inspire a continued conversation. By the time an in-person or video interview has taken place, most of the logistical questions should be answered. Also, it makes your questions seem genuine and not ready-made.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you have an open and positive attitude! Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but taking the time to focus your attitude and mindset on the opportunity that’s been given to you as well as connecting with the interviewer can make your time together as pleasant as it is productive. - Good luck!