An interview allows you to sell yourself to the hiring manager, so everything you say and how you say it matters. In addition, the interview team will use your argument and how you present yourself to determine whether you have the right personality for the role. Thus, it is important to give well-thought-out and relevant points to the position.
As much as employers love honest people, there are things that you should avoid saying in an interview. Remember, you are here to prove to the hiring manager that you can perform the job beyond any reasonable doubt, and thus you do not want them to start second-guessing you.
So, what are the things you should never say in a job interview? Here are 5 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview
Badmouthing Your Previous Employers
However toxic your current working environment is, desist from badmouthing your current employer. Remember, the hiring managers are looking for candidates that will bring value to the company and who will uphold the company’s image. So if you are the type to badmouth your employer, they will disqualify you for fear of you spreading negative views about them in the future.
Also, employees with a positive attitude are the type to achieve much despite small hurdles here and there. Instead of wasting time complaining, they will try to find solutions to pending problems. Thus, throughout the 30 minutes, show them that you are a positive person who can achieve results even in challenging work environments.
So, when asked, “What do you dislike about your current employer?”, try to maintain a positive tone and avoid referring to people. Instead, focus on discussing your duties and maybe the challenges you go through when dispensing these duties. Show them that despite the challenges, you can achieve beyond expectations. Remember, employers, are looking for solution-oriented employees, not the complaining type.
For example, a good answer to this question could be, “While I enjoy my current role, I am looking for a role that will allow me to narrow down and major in one thing. In my current role, I work on various projects, allowing me to gain extensive experience without being a master of none. Although this is a good thing, I cannot work on big projects requiring intensive experience.”
In this answer, you have shown that you are not only a flexible person, but you have a lot of regard for your current role. Secondly, you have demonstrated to the hiring manager that you are an ambitious person with great respect for your personal career development. Thirdly by starting with the word “I enjoy,” you have shown that you are a positive person.
Discussions about Your Lack of Experience
You have read the job overview and modified your resume to suit the job requirements, now is the time to prove to yourself that you can do the job. So, you want to avoid phrases that will create doubt in your future employer, especially your lack of experience in particular things asked during the job interview process. If you are a fresher, try to focus on your relevant academic achievements and skills that will bring value to the company.
If you are changing roles, focus on the transferable skills you have acquired in previous roles and how they will add to the company’s goal. Remember, the recruitment team believes you can do the job by being invited into the job interview, so this is not the time to underscore yourself. Although the job might be new, try to focus on previous roles closely connected to the job. Highlight the problem-solving, customer care, planning, organization, and time management skills you will bring to the company.
For example, if you are trying out for marketing roles from a customer care role, avoid saying, “I do not have experience in marketing…”. Instead, try shaping your answer like this: “Although most of my experience is in customer care, in my previous role, I had the chance to interact with most of the company’s high-profile clients. Interacting with customers has allowed me to learn a variety of consumer behavior and trends. In addition, it has allowed me to learn how to maintain customers in the company for a long time.”
Phrases that Show Lack of Proper Research
You want to avoid any statement or question that shows a lack of proper research into the role and the company. The hiring managers expect you to have read the job description and researched your potential employer. So avoid questions like “What are the skills you are looking for?” These are things you should know before applying for the job. Instead, show the employer that you understand what you are getting into, that before applying for the job, you did your research and are 100% sure you can excel in their company.
So, when they ask you what you know about the company, avoid phrases like “The only thing I know about the company…” or “barely know about the company, there is not much information on the internet about the company…” Even if you have scant information about the company, try phrasing your statement in a way that will cover your insufficient knowledge about the company.
For example, “According to my research, your company is among the global professional service companies offering viable business solutions to high-profile clients worldwide. The company has remained committed to excellence which has allowed it to be rated among the best.”
Also, avoid answering questions with “I do not know…” Although this might be your genuine response, desist from using it. Instead, take a minute to think and come up with a good answer to the question. Again, this is the time to show your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Discussing Benefits and Compensation
Remember you are in the interview to convince the employer to take you up on the job. So, use every little opportunity to show off your skill set. It is pointless for the employer to discuss the benefits with you when they are not sure you are a perfect fit for the role. So, the “What is in it for me?” question can be a great turn-off to hiring managers, especially when they are not confident you can deliver the job.
Avoid asking about pay, vacation time, and bonuses unless the hiring manager brings it up first. Instead, discuss how you plan to get customers or money to the company. Highlight ways you plan to save on the company’s expenditure and increase employee productivity. The opportune time to ask about compensation and benefits is when you are offered the job.
Irrelevant personal information
Also, when answering the interview question, keep it professional and avoid mentioning things that refer to your personal life, such as family, side hustles, and friends. Although some questions might sound individual, try to keep them professional. For example, you will be asked, “What do you do in your free time?” Answer the question directly without mentioning too many details. For example, you can say, “I am a great believer in family, and so I spend most of my free time hanging out with the family.” Also, avoid mentioning details of your family, such as their health status, livelihood source, and names.
Remember that the hiring team is concerned about the skill sets you bring to the company, and your personal life has no place in the interview setting. So, do not bore the recruiting team with irrelevant personal details.
An interview is an opportunity for you to connect the dots in your resume. It is time to show the interviewer you are what you wrote in the application. Anything you say can increase or decrease your chances of getting a job. You are now aware of things you should not say to avoid sabotaging your candidature.
Read more on How to Answer Salary Requirements on Job Application.