BLACK PAST PHOTO OF THE DAY: Add this person to the list of people you probably didn’t learn about in school. Born into slavery in Mississippi in 1818, Bridget “Biddy” Mason died in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1891 a very wealthy and influential woman. Originally owned by a Mississippian whose conversion to Mormonism required her to walk 2,000 miles in 1848 with her three young daughters behind a caravan that made its way to San Bernardino, California, Biddy and her children were eventually wrestled away from her owner 1856 on account of California being a free state. (There’s a LOT more to that part of Biddy’s story, and we’ve got it all on her profile on BlackPast.org!) Fast-forward to 1866, and after working 10 years or so in Los Angeles for $2.50/day as a nurse and midwife, Biddy had saved enough money to purchase two pieces of land in East Los Angeles for $250, which she eventually parlayed into additional real estate holdings. By the time of her death at the age of 73, Biddy had amassed a net worth of over $300k (adjusting for inflation, that’s around $8,847,000.00 in present day dollars). A stalwart of her community, Biddy organized and funded the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church, which to this day is the oldest and one of the largest congregations in Los Angeles. Learn more about the life and times of Bridget “Biddy” Mason on her entry on our website — BlackPast (link: http://bit.ly/Biddy-Mason) — and please Like & Share if you do!
Saying the wrong thing can ruin your chances of getting hired.
1. “How much vacation time do I get?”
2. “How long do I have to be here before I’m eligible for a vacation?”
3. “How long before I start to accrue additional weeks of vacation?”
It’s important to ask questions during a job interview, but not ones about taking time off. And that’s not all. Even if you have all the right qualifications and show up looking your best, it’s easy to lower your chances of getting hired by letting the wrong words slip out of your mouth. Before you head out to meet your next prospective employer, consider these six additional things you should never say in a job interview.
“Sorry I’m late.”
Even if you have to leave ridiculously early, find a way to be on time to your interview. “If you can’t be punctual while asking for the job, how late will you be after you get hired?” says career coach Alex Simon.
“Do you mind if I get this?”
Answering a call or a text during an interview is rude and gives the impression the interview — and the prospect of getting hired — aren’t your priorities. “Leave your cell phone in the car, at home, anywhere, but don’t bring it into the interview,” Simon says.
“I’m a perfectionist.”
If you get the question about your greatest weakness, don’t try to answer with a strength instead, says Jim Giammatteo, author of “No Mistakes Interviews.” “If you say you’re a perfectionist, or a workaholic, you might as well grab your briefcase and go home. Any good interviewer knows that all candidates have weaknesses. If you can’t admit it, or even worse, if you don’t know it, you’re not the person they want.”
“I’m applying for this job because it will give me …”
You may think talking about the skills or experience you’ll get from the job is a compliment to the company, but it just puts the focus on you. “Instead, talk about what you will contribute to a prospective new employer,” says leadership coach Susan Bernstein. “This is a very frequent and subtle mistake that often keeps otherwise great candidates from connecting with the interviewer.”
“I’m not sure if I’m a good fit for this job, but…”
“Everyone is unsure until they’re hired,” says Bernstein. “You’re not actually expected to be able to perform 100 percent of the job on the first day. If you can do 75 percent or more, go ahead and apply. Then spotlight your strengths, rather than your doubts or deficits.”
Information about odd aspects of your personal life can make the interviewer feel awkward, which is bad for your job chances, says Anderson. “Have all the weird hobbies you want, but don’t share them if they’re too far out there.”
By Catherine Conlan, Monster Contributing Writer