If you’re preparing for an upcoming job interview, you’re likely looking for all the right words and phrases to say. However, have you considered what you shouldn’t say during an important job interview? Don’t allow yourself to be caught off guard and say the wrong thing!
Here are a few examples of things you should never say in a job interview:
“I hate my job.”
If you’re dissatisfied with your current employer, it’s best to keep this information to yourself. In an interview, the hiring manager could view this as a breach of confidentiality with your employer and immediately eliminate you from the running.
We’re not saying you can’t subtly explain that you don’t feel challenged enough in your current role, or that you want to find an employer with whom your values are better aligned. But to sit there and complain and use words like “hate” will do more harm than good.
“My boss is an ineffective manager.”
While this may be a true statement, the hiring manager could also view this as spreading negativity and a possible breach of confidential company information. Also: bad-mouthing is never a good look!
Try to remain positive with all responses and focus on your strengths and not the failings of your current employer. Don’t use this as a time to vent about your boss or coworkers.
“The company I work for is poorly run.”
As an employee, you may have identified areas of your current company that could use improvement, but your new potential employer may not understand your criticism of the company…and may not be comfortable hearing about it.
Being negative in your interview will likely reflect poorly on you and not the company you currently work for. Again, stay positive and focus on why you’re a great fit for the job at hand!
“All that information is on my resume.”
Even if the answer to the interviewer’s question is directly in front of them on your resume, they’ll want to hear you answer the question and elaborate with more detail. Not only does the information you provide paint a bigger picture than what your resume may hold, but the interviewer will be able to evaluate your public speaking skills and ability to think on your feet.
“I would only accept this job if…”
Even if you don’t intend for it to, any statement that starts this way will sound like a threat and/or can make you seem entitled and high-maintenance.
So, while you may be thinking, “I would only accept this job if I am allowed to work from home” or “I’d only take the job if I am paid X,” you should never phrase these desires in this way. There are far more tactful and professional ways to go about these conversations or requests.
“What does this company do, exactly?”
Knowing what the company does and how they go about conducting business is an important detail to know before arriving for the interview. You’ll want to know how the company operates to ensure you’re going to be a good fit for your potential new employer, and the hiring manager will likely feel more confident about your skills if it’s clear you’ve researched the company beforehand.
Asking a question like this can make you appear lazy—like you didn’t do your homework. It can also make you seem disinterested in the job, which isn’t the message you want to send.
“When would I get my first paycheck?”
During the interview, you should focus your primary goal on making it to the next phase of hiring. Worrying about when your paycheck will arrive before being hired could appear desperate or like you’re only motivated by money.
“How much does this job pay and what benefits will I get?”
Tuck these questions in your back pocket until you’ve made it past the initial phases of the hiring process. You don’t necessarily have to wait until the very end to broach conversations about pay or benefits, but they certainly shouldn’t take place in the first interview. It sends the wrong message about your priorities.
Curse words or potentially offensive/inappropriate jokes of any kind.
While cursing or joking around may be part of your personality or common among your friends, it’s imperative that you not swear or insult the hiring manager during an interview (or ever, really!). Infusing a bit of your sense of humor into the interview process is fine—you should be yourself, after all—but be sure you never, ever cross the line. It’s highly unprofessional.
If you are about to begin the interview process, keep these tips in mind as you are answering questions. Be confident, be yourself, and be professional and you'll ace the interview. For more interview tips be sure to head to our talent blog or contact us today.
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