Don’t say this in a job interview

by | 27.05.21

There are many different ways to blow a job interview and turn off an employer, these range from turning up late for an interview to dressing unprofessionally. But o course the heart of an interview is how you respond to interview questions. Poor answers can make you seem unprepared, uninterested, or lacking in basic common sense. Bad answers to questions or even mediocre ones may reflect negatively on your application. So, it’s important to prepare for interviews in advance so you must practice your answers to common interview questions. By doing this you will come across as confident and qualified making you an attractive proposition at interview. Here are some common interview questions and advise on how not answer them.

Why should we employ you?

Bad Answer: I don’t know

Saying you don’t know to any interview questions indicates that you are unprepared for the interview. This is a difficult question to answer as it is putting you on the spot. The best thing to say in this situation is because you believe you have the skills and experience required for their role.

Tell me about your last job?

Bad Answer: Didn’t you look at my CV?

This is snidey and not the way to answer a question about your employment history. If you are not prepared to discuss your previous jobs then stop seeking employment because without doubt any potential employer is going to want to know about previous roles you have had.

What are your strengths?

Bad Answer: I’m not sure

Don’t miss out on an opportunity. The interviewer wants to know what strengths you have had specifically relating to the job you are being considered for. Do your best to mention strengths that would be relevant to the role you have applied for and give examples of these strengths if you can.

What are your weaknesses?

Bad Answer: I like a drink now and again

You always need to be prepared to share a weakness, but it must be a weakness that is relevant to the workplace not a personal weakness. Make sure any weakness you admit to does not create doubt in your ability to do the job you are applying for. For instance, if it’s a customer service role don’t say you don’t like talking to people.

Why have you have applied for this job?

Bad Answer: Because I need to work

The interviewer needs you to convince them that you want their job. Be specific about why the job is appealing to you and how it fits in with your overall career aspirations. When asked why you want their job show that you have researched the company and prove you are a good fit for the role.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Bad Answer: In your job

Most people hate this question but a good way to answer it is to speak about what you would like to learn and accomplish during that time with an emphasis on excelling in the job for which you are interviewing. If in doubt though a good answer is “in a role where I will be making a positive contribution and where I will be happy”

How do you get on with others?

Bad Answer: I get on with most people

Employers don’t want to employ difficult people and if you indicate in any way that you aren’t easy to get along with you probably won’t get the job. Never moan about previous work colleagues as its important that the interview believes you can get on with everyone. A good way of demonstrating this is to mention collaborative projects you have worked on with colleagues.

Tell me about yourself?

Bad Answer: I am a big Chelsea fan

You may well be the biggest Chelsea fan there is but believe me the interviewer is not interested. What they really want to know is what you’re like as a worker. You should use this question as an opportunity to further promote your professional attributes. For example, if you are applying for a financial role you might say something like “I love figures and enjoy solving mathematical problems”

What do you like to do outside work?

Bad Answer: Why are you interested?

The reason you are asked this question is so that the interviewer can obtain clues to your emotional well-being, whether you are an introvert or extrovert, whether you are caring and do charity work or whether you are a party person. All this information will be important when it comes to you getting a job offer.

It must be terrible being unemployed?

Bad Answer: Its not bad, you get paid for doing nothing

To celebrate the fact that you have been unemployed is not the way to go. Whilst it may have been nice being at home during the Covid Crisis it is not good to boast about it as the interviewer may have had to work all the way through. Its also not a good idea to indicate that living on benefits suits you as that road is not a healthy place to be.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Bad Answer: Downing 15 pints in two hours

Interviewers often get strange responses to this question so be careful how you answer it. The safest route to tsar is to boast about an education accomplishment or something good you have done in the community. If you have achieved something wonderful at work don’t be shy – share this as well.

Do you have any questions?

Bad Answer: Any “me – me – me “ questions

A “me – me – me “ question is something like how much are you paying, how many days holiday do I get, what is your sick policy, when will my salary be reviewed, how quickly is it likely I will be promoted. I could go on and on, but I think you have got the message. Always prepare some questions that relate to the job you’re applying for, the role you will play in the company or the training you will receive. If you don’t have any questions, it can seem like you’re not truly interested in the role and didn’t prepare for the interview.

So there you go, the bottom line is if you want to get a job offer you have to put some work in. An interviewer asks questions in order to get an insight into what you are like and if you have the skills and experience to do the job. Remember no one is going to employ anyone they don’t like, or they think could prove difficult, so work on your social skills they are really important.

Good Luck

Angela Burton