Never say this in a job interview

by | 03.05.24

Your number one goal in an interview is to convey why you above all other candidates are the best person for the job.  You want the person who interviews you to walk away feeling like you have the right set of skills and the drive to do the job well.  So, it’s important that you don’t raise any red flags.  Here are some things that you should never say in an interview:

I didn’t have time to prepare

The number one rule when you have an interview is to do your research.  You should never go to an interview knowing nothing about the Company or the job you are going for.  The employer will want to see you have done your homework.

My last Company was toxic

No matter how bad your last job was, you must never, ever bad mouth a former employer in an interview.  Even if you truly had a toxic job or boss the person who is interviewing you doesn’t know that and could wonder whether you will talking badly about their Company next.


It’s on my CV

Here is the thing the person interviewing you knows its on your CV.  If they are asking about a particular job or experience they want you to tell them more than you have written.  They are also asking this so they can evaluate your communication and social skills.

Um, I don’t know

Even if you practice and practice and practice there still could be a question that stumps you.  But saying ‘I don’t know’ is not the right approach.  Buy some time by asking the person who is interviewing you to repeat the question and hopefully a suitable answer will pop into your brain.

I’m going to start my own business in the future

Entrepreneurial ambitions are great – but if you are applying for a job to work for someone else you probably want to not mention the fact that this is ultimately what you want to do.  Employers want people who are going to be with them long term, not someone who will move on quickly.

Don’t use jargon

Business speak is fine as long as people know what you are talking about but jargon that you use on a day to day basis is not.  We see CV’s everyday with so much jargon in that it is impossible for us to find the individuals jobs and that’s simply because we don’t have a clue what they do.

Sh*t I’m so sorry

You would think that no one would swear in an interview but you would be surprised how often people still do it.  Even if the person who interviews you drops a few bad words you are better keeping your language professional.

Do you want to see my references?

When an employer wants to see your references believe me they will ask for them.  The same can be said for qualifications and certificates.  Never go to an interview laden down with references from all and sundry as well as copies of certificates, including your 25 meter swimming certificate from the year dot.

You don’t have any questions

Not having any questions for the interviewer say’s that you’re not interested in the job, so you must ask at least two or three questions.  Don’t prepare them before hand as this looks to contrived.  Listen to what’s being said to you in the interview and list mentally what you would like more information on and you’ve got your questions.

What’s in it for me?

When you bust in with WIIFM (what’s in it for me) questions you look both greedy and frankly unappealing. The person interviewing you wants to know what you can do for them – not what you want from them.  If you start asking about salary, benefits or promotion then you will come across as entitled, not focused on the job and only interested in what you are going to get out of it.

So to summarise make your interview professional and about you as a person and the skills and experience you can bring to the Company then you can’t go wrong.

Angela Burton