15 Things to NEVER Say on a Job Interview
At your next job interview, you want to leave a lasting impression. Hiring managers use an interview to see if you’re the right fit for the job, but they are also looking at your tone of voice, body language, your ability to think on your feet and your attitude.
Aside from showing up 20 minutes late to your interview, the quickest way to exclude yourself from the possible candidate list is by putting your foot in your mouth. These 15 easily avoidable mistakes WILL make you memorable, but definitely not in a good way.
1. “I’m really nervous.”
Although you might feel nervous, you want to project confidence in an interview, so in this case, honesty is not the best policy.
2. “Sorry I’m so late.”
This is obvious, but walking in late to an interview is setting yourself up for failure. Don’t arrive too early, either. Arriving 20 minutes early might put pressure on the interviewer to drop what they are doing and start the interview early. Aim to walk in 10 minutes early for your interview. No earlier, no later.
3. “Ugh, at my last job…I didn’t get along with my boss.”
It’s a good rule of thumb to never speak negatively about your past jobs, or the people you worked with. Your interviewer doesn’t know the history or people involved, so they might just assume YOU are the difficult one to work with. Instead, keep your tone between neutral and positive, stay focused on what you learned from each experience and convey what you are hoping to do in the future.
4. “So tell me…what is it that you do here?”
Your interviewer wants to see you are excited about this job opportunity. Don’t let them think you know next to nothing about the company or position. Do your homework ahead of time and think about how you’ll fit into the work environment.
5. “I’ll do anything.”
Hiring managers want you to be passionate about the position you are applying for. If you say something like “I just need a job, so I’ll do anything right now”, they will think you are desperate and that can be a turn off. Instead, be ready to explain why you are a good fit for this job and why it is just what you are looking for.
6. “Um, I don’t know.”
Even if you prepare in advance for the interview, you might get stumped on a question or two. But saying, “I don’t know” is not the approach you want to take. Either repeat the question and give it some thought or ask them for a quick minute to think about it so you can provide them with a thoughtful answer.
7. “I’m going through a tough time right now.”
Although most people would be sympathetic, the hiring manager will wonder whether your personal life will affect your job performance. No matter what your difficulty is right now – divorce, lay off, family drama, etc. the best policy is to keep your personal life private during an interview and strictly focus on your professional life.
8. “What the #%!*”
It might be obvious that swearing during an interview is a definite no-no, but you’d be surprised how often candidates still do it. Even if the interviewer lets a swear word or two out during the interview; keep your language professional at all times.
9. “I might not have experience, but…”
During an interview, it’s best practice to draw attention to your strengths and stay positive. Instead of saying something like “Although I don’t have auto body experience”, translate your skills into those required for the position like this: “I’m ready to translate my past success in welding to the automotive industry.”
10. “It’s on my resume.”
It’s common for a hiring manager to ask you about things on your resume such as a particular job or experience. What they actually doing, is evaluating your communication skills, so avoid referencing your resume and tell them why you are the right candidate for the job!
11. “Perfectionism is my greatest weakness.” I think outside the box.”
As a general rule of thumb, avoid overused clichés or buzzwords your interviewer has heard a thousand times before. Aim for responses that are genuine and unique to you and your skillset, so you don’t come off as phony or insincere.
12. “I, like, mostly have office experience but, like, I…”
Rushing to speak before you’ve given the question some thought might lead you to use filler words like “um” and “like”. This might lead the interviewer to believe you can’t communicate clearly, so always take your time and give thoughtful responses throughout the interview.
13. “How much vacation time do I get?”
Stay away from “what’s in it for me” questions during your interview. The goal of your interview is to show the hiring manager what you can do for them. How can you help them make more money, improve their business processes and make their lives easier? Instead of asking an arrogant question like “how soon do you promote employees”, instead ask, “can you tell me what career paths typically look like within the company?”
14. “Nope — no questions.”
You might not see an obvious problem with this, but not having questions for the interviewer sends them a message that you aren’t interested enough to learn more about the position and company. Here are a list of 50+ questions you can ask during the interview to show them you are eager to learn more.
15. “Just following up – again.”
It’s good to follow up after an interview, but don’t be a pest. Use these tips for following up after an interview. Whatever you do, don’t send multiple emails without a response from the other party, reminding them that you haven’t heard from them yet.
Use Mashable’s rule of thumb: Unless they state otherwise, follow up once, and if you receive no response, follow up once more. If you still don’t hear anything, move on.
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As a result, businesses trust our recommendations because we only connect you with jobs that are a good match for YOU. If we find you the right job, you’ll be happier and seek long-term employment within the company. It’s a win/win for employers and candidates.
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