RJ & Makay: Avoid Toxic Topics During a Job Interview

RJ & Makay - Leading consulting & recruiting firm for the financial sectorDenver,CO(RUSHPRNEWS)13/10/08 In this competitive job market there are many pitfalls to avoid when seeking employment and that’s especially true during the interview. “Be careful when you are interviewing to not get too casual,” says Darin Manis, CEO of RJ & Makay, a leading human capital recruiting and consulting firm exclusively servicing the financial sector. “Many jobseekers over do it when it comes to being ‘personable’ in an interview and allow themselves to get drawn into no-win topic conversations. Never lose sight of the purpose of your interview and be mindful of the topics you bring up when you are trying to make small talk.”

Darin Manis has come up with seven topics that should be avoided at all costs when job seekers are in an interview.


1.  Politics: Never get into a conversation about politics. The current politically charged environment makes it very tempting because many people have strong views regarding the issues and the candidates. You have a 50/50 chance that the person with whom you are interviewing believes the exact opposite of you. Also, there may be follow-up or panel interviews with different people who have opposing political views. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into political discussions in an interview.


2.  Policy: Never discuss controversial policy issues. This is a continuation of politics. From a political policy point of view, avoid topics such as immigration, the cause of the bailout, election strategies, taxes, government programs, education, etc. These are hot-point issues and conversations have the potential to become quite heated. Do not assume you know someone’s views based on their position in the firm.


3.  Religion: Never get into a conversation about religion. Never, ever, ever. No matter what is said or asked, avoid this topic. This is the king of ideological topics to be avoided. It is an absolute no win conversation for you. You can easily end up unintentionally offending the interviewer or becoming unfavorably stereotyped yourself.


4.  Sex: Never get into a conversation about anything having to do with sex. Avoid any comments which could even be slightly considered sexist and never discuss sexual orientation – yours or anyone else’s. Avoid commenting on anyone’s appearance – what you consider an innocent or complimentary remark may be thought sexist by someone else. Absolutely no inappropriate or racy jokes, either about sex or any of the other topics discussed earlier.


5.  Death: Never discuss death. Don’t discuss a family member or friend that has recently passed away. Don’t discuss the death of your pet. Don’t discuss the death of your marriage. No interviewer wants to discuss this. They do not want to hear what a lousy person your ex-husband was. Stay away from any topic centered around the death of something or similarly depressing information.


6.  Racial Issues: Never discuss divisive racial issues even about your own race. If you are a diversity candidate and the interviewer wants to discuss appropriate aspects of the firm’s diversity culture and programs, this is fine. But, do not dwell on it. Answer, listen and move on.  Never discuss your opinions on racial topics. Keep your opinions, pro or con, about affirmative action to yourself. Even what you consider to be positive remarks on race should be avoided in an interview.


7.  Negative comments about a former job: Never express negativity about your employer or coworkers. Even under the context of explaining to your interviewer why you are seeking a new position. It is inadvisable to discuss how unbearable your coworkers or superiors are. This is rarely favorably viewed by an interviewer. If done tactfully you can throw your employer or situation under the bus. What you shouldn’t do is keep backing up and re-running over them.



About RJ & Makay

RJ & Makay is a leading human capital recruiting and consulting firm exclusively servicing the financial sector. About half of the financial firms in the Fortune Top 100 utilize RJ & Makay. For more info visit www.rjandmakay.com.



Media Contact: For more information about RJ & Makay or to arrange an interview with Darin Manis contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090.


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