Things not to say at a job interview

July 17, 2017

In the fiercely competitive job industry, when you are on a job hunt, landing an interview can feel like an achievement -- and it is. That first interview is your chance to make the best first impression on your prospective employer and you need to make sure you say all the right things! You need to prepare and practice your answers well so that you don’t commit a gaffe at the last moment.  

One way of making sure of that is to look for jobs through, where you can record a perfect audio profile to introduce yourself to employers and also take pre-screening interviews for job positions of your choice, through the portal.  You can schedule to take the interviews at a date and time convenient to you. 

But, you also need to be aware of a few job killer statements that you should completely avoid during a job interview. Here are a few statements/questions that are a complete no-no at interviews:

1. What are the perks that I can expect? Any perks or salary negotiation should take place in the last stage of the job interview process in a designated round for negotiations. Talking about Salary or perks more than required will give Interviewer an opinion that you aren’t passionate about work but basic motive of working is money. 

2. What exactly does your Company Do? You are expected to research about the company before coming for the Interview. Thus not asking any questions would raise a question about your sincerity. 

3. My last company / Boss Sucks! Talking bad things about the last job/boss would make the Interviewer think you will repeat this if they hire you and you go out. It creates a bitter impression about you, so avoid talking anything negative about the last job.

4. I love your eyes! Any comment about the physical appearance of the interviewer should be completely avoided. If at all, you want to compliment anything, keep it professional. 

5. I just want this job at any cost. Showing desperation about the job is not advisable. Interviewer needs to be convinced at the end of the interview that you are the right fit. Being desperate about the job would give him a thought there is something about you that is not getting you a job elsewhere.

6. The last company fired me. Put this more gracefully such as - the vision of the company and mine didn’t match.

7. My biggest weakness is I am a hard worker. This has been an old jargon now. When asked about weakness, answering it and then explaining how you are working on it, is the right approach instead of throwing around common jargons. For example, you could say, "I get nervous about speaking in front of large groups -- so I enrolled in Toastmasters, and now I am getting better at it. "

8. I don’t know! If you have no idea about the answer, try giving it a shot, or say that you are not sure and you would find out and get back.

9. I am a perfectionist. Let the Interviewer judge if you are a perfectionist. Never boast about yourself unnecessarily. If you are planning to use perfectionist as a weakness, this doesn’t work now, because the Interviewer very well knows every candidate has some or the other weakness.

10. Sorry, I am late. Even if the interview is early in the morning, reach half an hour before the reporting time. Being late to the Interview is highly unprofessional.

11. Bloody Hell! Using curse words can make you look cool but the interviewer may not be fond of them. So avoid using them completely. If you are habitual of using them, keep a conscious thought not to use it through the course of the interview.

12. I am not a good team player. When asked about a weakness, never use I am not a good team player as the answer. Being a good team player is a basic requirement of almost all jobs these days.

13. I don’t have any questions. Always come to the interview with a list of questions to ask from. This will make you seem interested in the position and the company, as well as it will show initiative skills. Silence here is the deadliest offender.

14. Do you mind if I take this phone call? It’s never okay to take a phone call or use your mobile phone in the interview. It would make the Interviewer think you are not valuing his time. And it may also make you look uninterested in the interview.

15. It’s on my Resume. Yes, the interviewer has already read your resume, but if he asks a question means he wants to hear it from you.

16. Interviews make me nervous. Even if you are nervous, don’t admit it. Interviewer would want to hire someone confident.

17. Can I work from home? The company may be cool about it, but do not give an impression of routing to alternative work solutions initially.

18. I think out of the box. Avoid clichés; skip overused business phrases, and instead describe your skills and abilities using stories about things you’ve actually done.

19. I will like to start my own business soon. Most employers want to hire people who are going to work for them for a while keeping in mind the cost of hiring and training, so any suspicion wherein you would leave the job soon, you probably won’t get the job.

20. When can I expect this interview to finish? Sometimes a scheduled interview may extend as the employer develops interest in you and wants to complete the process soon. If you ask him such a question, he may lose interest and lose the excitement.

21. I am going through a really tough phase of my life. While some employers may be really sympathetic about your personal problems, it may also give them an impression that your personal problems will affect your performance at work.

22. I just wanted to follow up – again. This would make you look like anxious to leave the current role and even if the Interviewer saw you as a strong candidate, they may give a second thought about you.  

23. Would you not like to see my letter of recommendation/references? Interviewing is a lot similar to dating. It’s important to entice with your value and attract the Interviewer to call you for the next date. Offering up your references too soon will make you look desperate. Plus, you want to keep your references for the best use.

Now that you know what not to do at the interview, you are all set to grab that job! So go ahead and start scheduling interviews on