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10 Things You Should NEVER Say in a Job Interview

Last Update: June 12, 2020

In a process of job-hunting, you will be called in for a job interview. It can be a little nerve-wracking because it is probably a make it or break it kind of moment. As much as you can win them over with the things you say, you can absolutely ruin them by saying things you shouldn’t say. We list you the top 10 things you should never, under any circumstance, say in an interview.

1. “I really want this job.”

Yeah, you clearly do because you just came to a job interview. And probably, so does everyone else who came there too. You may think that if you say that, you will show great interest and motivation to work there. However, all your hiring managers will hear is:

“I am desperate, please give me this job”.

Desperation is never a good look on anyone. It is your task to make them want to work with you, not to think that you desperately need that job because you’re barely making ends meet. Instead, you can try saying: “I am really excited about this interview because I always liked this company”, etc.

2. “Does this position include benefits?”

You didn’t even get the job, and you are already asking about benefits. This is not a good look on anyone. It will make you seem like you are there for all the wrong reasons. Of course, job benefits are a very important aspect of every job. It’s understandable that you want to know more about it.

However, there is a time and a place for asking these questions. A job interview is not one of them, so hold your horses just for a little bit more. Once the employer gives you an extended offer, it is okay to ask that question.

woman in job inteview

3. “Um…”

There is nothing worse than your mind going completely blank. It happens all the time, to all of us. The worst thing you can do is start panicking because it will only worsen the situation. You won’t be able to remember your name, let alone anything else.

Take a deep breath and remember that it happens to anyone. Just say: “That is a very good question, let me take a moment to think about it”. By saying that, you will seem calm and collected even in the crisis situation. Everyone understands that things like that happen and they probably won’t take it against you. The way you deal with it is what will make you stand out.

4. “As I already said…”

There are two problems with this phrase. Firstly, it seems like you aren’t interesting enough. Even worse, you seem like you don’t have any new qualities so you need to repeat yourself. It makes you seem so plain that the interviewers can’t remember things you said. That is an impression you definitely don’t want to leave.

Another thing, you will seem annoyed. You’re basically saying: “I told you these things before, it’s your fault you didn’t listen. Now I have to repeat myself”. It is almost a passive-aggressive phrase. Your potential employer is the last person you want to be passive-aggressive toward.

Hard-working, fast-learner, self-motivated, etc.

5. Hard-working, fast-learner, self-motivated, etc.

Talking ’bout a cliché. If these are the main qualities that you point out, it basically means that you have no qualities. These words have been recycled so much that people turn green hearing them. It’s also known that these words are mostly just big talk and no action. Not to say that it means that you have no creativity whatsoever.

Rather than saying these much-too-heard adjectives, tell them a short story where these qualities were actually visible. Also, come up with a few adjectives that you won’t find on every CV sample.

6.“What are my chances of getting hired?”

Another sentence that screams desperation. Not even desperate, but pathetic. Of course that’s the thing that’s on your mind through the entire job interview. However, that doesn’t mean you should ask that. They probably haven’t even interviewed everyone and they can’t answer you that. But if you ask it, you can bet that your chances will go straight to zero.

Job-hunting requires a lot of patience, and you need to have it. Rather than saying that, just say: “I am really excited about the possibility of working here, I think I would be a good addition to the team”.

7. “My manager and I didn’t get along.”

This phrase is specifically problematic. Avoid it by any means necessary, even if you and your manager couldn’t stand the thought of each other. You need to be diplomatic and never talk negatively about your previous jobs. Bad-talking makes you seem a lot worse than those you are talking about. Even if you were innocent and you worked for not-so-nice people, you need to keep your head above all that.

Take it as a learning experience. Talking bad about your previous job will only make you seem like you are not a team player, and teamwork is of a very big importance in today’s business. Also, no one likes negative people. Keep that in mind.

8. “I’m a perfectionist.”

Another thing that maybe earns a gold medal in the cliché land. There is no hiring manager that won’t have the urge to roll their eyes when hearing this phrase. It is the most used phrase when it comes to the question What is your biggest flaw?. Instead of going with this go-to phrase, just think about it. What are your weaknesses?

Sometimes honesty really is the best policy. Of course, you don’t want to talk bad about yourself. Don’t go overboard. Find a weakness and offer a solution on how you can improve it. It shows that you are self-aware and capable of handling your own problems. TWhen asked that dreaded question, turn it into your advantage. It is really easy if you just put a little effort.

“I’m a perfectionist.”

9. “I don’t really have any questions about the company.”

This will make you seem uninformed. If you are uninformed, you are disinterested. You don’t want to seem disinterested to your potential employer. Inform yourself about the company you applied for, so once they ask you that, you will be ready.

The more precise your questions, the more prepared you seem. Employers like to hire informed people because they fit in more easily. A well-informed job candidate is a favorable candidate.

10. “When can I start?”

Do not ask this question. Just don’t do it. The best-case scenario is that the hiring manager will laugh awkwardly. The most realistic scenario is that you will seem arrogant, unprofessional, and presumptuous. It is a cool line from the movies. The character is confident, charismatic and employers always reply: right now.

We bet you, it’s not going to go like that in real life. Even if you nailed the job interview, that sentence may ruin your chances of getting hired. Being confident is one thing, but don’t mix it with arrogance. No one wants to hire a person that will need a special room to fit all that ego in.

Interviews don’t have to be stressful. They are exciting and you should be excited. Prepare well. Every interview is different, but there are some repeating patterns, study them. Skype interviews seem more casual, but you need to prepare for them as well.

Good preparation is the key to a good job interview. Following the guidelines of what to do, and what not to do, you will rock your interview without a doubt. Good luck!


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