Published April 17, 2015
11 Things Not to Say in a Job Interview
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Job interviews can seem overwhelming at the best of times. If you’ve got one coming up, it’s important that you prepare well – and that you avoid these response blunders!
1. “I Don’t Know”
Being vague in any of your answers will not fare well in any job interview. It comes across as unprofessional, and the interviewer may assume that you can’t be bothered to answer the question.
If you’re asked something that you truly don’t know how to answer, take a moment to think and prepare your answer. You can also ask the interviewer to give a little more clarification if you need it.
2. “It’s Already In My Resume”
Saying this is like throwing the question back in the employer’s face. Interviewers will often ask questions (even when the information is in your resume) because they want to see how your respond and communicate in person.
Make a genuine effort to answer any question you are asked. Whatever you do, don’t tell them to just read your resume. Your resume is important, but in an interview, it shouldn’t speak for you.
3. “Do You Have a Pen?”
It’s great that you want to write things down, but showing up for an interview unprepared makes you seem unprofessional and disorganised.
If you can’t even remember to bring a simple pen, how can you be expected to take on the responsibilities of the job?
4. “I Hated My Last Boss”
This might be true, but telling this to an interviewer (or whinging about your boss in general) can make you seem petty and even hard to work with. If you couldn’t get along with your last boss, how will you get along with your new one?
In general, you should avoid speaking about any of your past managers (or colleagues) in a negative light. Speak constructively and professionally about your relationships and challenges – and the positive outcomes you achieved from the experience.
5. “I Don’t Have Any Weaknesses”
Everyone has weaknesses. Saying that you have none in an interview can have the employer second-guessing you. Are you really that perfect?
When preparing for your interview, make sure you think about what skills you could improve on – and communicate what you are doing or want to do to develop those skills.
6. “I’m Hardworking”
It’s easy enough for anyone to say they’re hardworking (even when they’re not) and interviewers are often sick of hearing this.
Being “hardworking” also isn’t enough of a reason to hire you for the role, so stick to discussing your relevant skills and back each skill up with an example from your previous work history.
7. “I Really Need This Job”
This statement displays nothing but desperation and while you might be eager for the job, it only serves to illustrate that you lack passion (and even capability) to take on the actual role.
Really needing a job is also not a reason for the employer to hire you, and is completely irrelevant to your case. Instead, spend your time and energy showing them what you can bring to the role.
8. “Sorry, I Just Need to Take This Call”
This will essentially ruin any credibility in a job interview, so don’t even think about answering your phone! It creates the impression that you don’t care about the job, the interview or the employer’s time.
Remember to put your phone on silent or turn it off before you go into any interview. If you forget and it does ring, turn it off immediately.
9. “I Want to Run My Own Business”
Desiring to be your own boss is fine as a long-term goal.
But disclosing this to an employer can have them asking, if you want to run your own business, what are you doing here? It also tells them that you only see their company as a stepping stone to getting what you want.
If you’re asked about long-term goals, keep your answers relevant to the role and the potential career path before you.
10. “So, How Did I Do?”
No matter what type of job you’re going for, employers want to see that you’re confident. Asking this question shows insecurity and self-doubt and tells the interviewer that you may not be effective on the job.
11. “Sorry I’m Late!
Showing up late for a job interview makes the worst kind of impression. It tells the interviewer that your time management is poor and that you are unreliable.
How to combat this? Show up on time or even early. No excuses!
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