Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview
A job interview is like a romantic date. Here is how you can charm your way into the job of your dreams.
The interview pitfalls are endless. While everything in your resume may indicate that you are the right person for the job, just a wrong phrase, or even a word, is enough to ruin your effort. The hiring manager will remember the blunder and not the sales you (claim to) have made for your previous company.
Avoid the following phrases, and everything will go well.
“So, what are you guys doing here?”
If you do not know the No1 interview rule, you better not show up at all. We always research the company; we always learn as much as we can; we are the ones who have to convince them that we are the best fit for their business.
“We didn’t do well with my boss”
Even if your boss was Darth Vader, your tone when talking about them should be as neutral as possible. Gossiping about former coworkers shows that you were the bad apple and that there was a reason why others didn’t like you.
“Sorry, I’m nervous about this interview”
If you have such anxiety now, what will you do when the first crisis pops up? Or when the deadline is so tight and the risk so high that the fate of the project is at stake? Be cool, be calm.
“I can do anything”
This phrase shows something between arrogance and despair. No one can play all the roles at once. Anyone willing to take on anything is probably good at nothing.
“I may not have much experience, but …”
After the “but,” they have stopped listening to you. You might as well say, “I am not fit, and I know it,” it’s the same thing. Find phrases that emphasize your strengths, don’t apologize for the weak ones.
“It’s all in my resume”
Of course, it is. But when they ask you, they want to hear it from you, with your own spoken words. Or they may want to evaluate the way you communicate and describe. Where do you look when you speak, body language, etc. It’s your chance to make an impression, don’t throw it away.
“My biggest flaw is perfectionism”
Yeah, and your intelligence is your most onerous burden. They’ve heard it thousands of times, and the only reason they don’t tell you “thank you very much, we’re done,” is politeness. Tell them about something that was previously a weakness for you and what you did to overcome it.
“I speak five languages, and I ride a bicycle”
Never put something really striking in the same sentence with something insignificant. In the mind of the listener, the two things tend to create a mediocre average. Say the first part alone and let it make the right impression.
“Thinking Out of the Box”
What a coincidence! The same as the other twenty applicants I’ve seen since morning.
“… building a collaborative network with strategic alliances …”
Are you sure the other person didn’t fall asleep? Forget the abstract descriptions and talk with images and numbers. “I spoke to an audience of 150 people” or “I increased sales by 25%” are elements that create image and impression. That’s how they will remember you.
“How much vacation do we get?”
Unless they offer you the job, don’t start bargaining about what you will gain from it. The purpose here is to make them want you because you will benefit the company and make their life easy. Now it’s not the time to list your requests.
“I have no questions”
So, you are not too interested in our company, right?
“I was drinking at the bar, and there walks that chick…”
When they asked what kind of person you are, they didn’t mean this. Stories from your life, your holidays, your evenings, your hobbies, etc., it’s better to keep them for your friends. They have no place in a job interview, even if it’s the most “relaxed” and comfortable company in the world.
“I’ll get the Kobe beef and a Chateaux Margaux”
When the interview is in the form of a dinner paid by the company, don’t order anything you wouldn’t get if you paid for it yourself.
“I plan to start my own business as soon as possible”
Congratulations, I hope you do. But we won’t be your stepping stone.
“What the hell…”
“Street talk” has no place in an interview. Be as formal as you can. How you talk in an interview is a stark representation of how you will talk to your colleagues, your clients, or your boss.
“How long will this take?”
How (the hell) would they know? Depending on how the conversation goes, it can take ten minutes or half an hour. If you constantly look at your watch, you will give the impression that you prefer to be somewhere else. Well, they won’t stand in your way.
“Sorry I’m late”
No, that doesn’t exist. Just don’t be late. So simple.
“You know, I’m going through a difficult phase in my life…”
Well, who doesn’t? And the fact that you use it in the interview means that you will use it at work as an excuse when your performance drops. Keep your problems to yourself.
“Hello, it’s me again. Any news?”
Of course, you have to be interested in how you did it, but that doesn’t mean you have to bother with emails and phone calls every so often. They won’t think you’re eager to undertake tasks; they’ll think that you’re a stressed person who has neither patience nor common sense.