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What to Never Say in an Interview

What to Never Say in an Interview

There are plenty of points in an interview when you can make or break it. If you say any of these, you are likely to do the latter.

Elizabeth Hoyt

February 23, 2014

You’ve been told what to do in an interview. Talk up your attributes. Pull from personal and class experience if your job experience is lacking.

But, have you ever thought about the things you shouldn’t say? If not, you should.

There are plenty of points in an interview when you can make or break it. If you say any of these, you are likely to do the latter.

Here are ten things you should never say in a first time interview:

1. I hated my last boss.

We’re sure your reasons were valid but, that’s never something a hiring manager likes to hear. Think about it: it sends the message that you can’t deal with authority and, furthermore, that you would badmouth your boss behind their back.

For someone that’s thinking about taking on that role, it’s harder to relate to you over your boss, regardless of what he or she was actually like.

2. What’s the pay like?

Whoa, killer! You haven’t even been hired yet. Show them you’re capable of doing the job and doing it well through discussing you’re resume. Then you can begin the discussion of compensation.

3. I’m really nervous.

The person interviewing you is aware that most candidates are nervous. They are, after all, human. However, saying it aloud makes it awkward for both of you. Regardless of how nervous you are, try to act confident. If you stumble, work to get back on track.

4. What position did I apply for, again?

You should never go into an interview not knowing what you’re interviewing for. Enough said.

5. Sorry I’m late!

Interviews are your first impression. Showing up late shows that it’s a low priority and that you don’t care about their time or the position. If you show up late, it will likely be your first and last impression.

6. What’s your policy on absence and illness?

Don’t worry about leaving a job until you’ve started the job in the first place. It sends the wrong message that you’re already thinking about time off, even if you do just want to learn the policies.

7. Where do I see myself in five years? With your job.

Whether it’s true or you’re trying to make a joke – it isn’t something you should say. It comes across as a threat to the person, so focus on something you think they’d like to hear a little more.

8. Any swear words.

It doesn’t matter how laid back the interview seems or even if your interviewer does it. Never swear in an interview. Wash your mouth out with soap beforehand, if necessary!

9. What does this company do exactly?

If you don’t know, then prepare before the interview. After all, how can you possibly really know you want a position if you don’t even know what it entails?

Research the company so that you’re able to speak to their prior projects and shed some light on how your experience would be helpful to the team.

10. Why do I want to work here? I need a job.

Obviously, or you wouldn’t been in a job interview. The question is asking why you want that particular job and hiring managers are looking for people who are motivated by more than a paycheck.

So, even though getting paid may be the main reason you’re seeking employment, gather up some passion about the company and what you could gain out of the role.

Showing that you’re interested because of the company, not the benefits, is what will make you stand out from other applicants.



Have you ever made one of these interview blunders or interviewed someone that did? How did it turn out?


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