What not to say in an interview

by | 20.01.22

Its always intimidating when you attend an interview for a job, whether you are fresh out of education or an experienced worker, no-one finds interviews easy. As employer expectations move forward at an ever-faster rate it can be challenging to present yourself in the best way for each interviewer. That being said there are some things you should never say in an interview, here are some of them:

“This job will look good on my CV”

This is a clear signal that you will be using the Companies name to set yourself up for your next job somewhere else. Whilst no employer expects you to stay forever and ever equally no employer wants to invest their time, money and effort in developing you if you are using them as a stepping stone to get your ultimate destination.

“I can do that – no problem “

Don’t ever try to bluff your way through an interview. Be completely honest about your skills and experience. Don’t ever say you can do something that you can’t do. If you did manage to get a job fibbing about your ability, I promise you when you start the job unless you are a super quick learner you will be found out pretty quickly.

“How did I do?”

Confidence in your skills is important. If you have prepared for the interview, done your homework researching the organisation and have advised the person interviewing you of examples of your experience and how you would fit in the job, then there is no question that you’ve done amazing. Trust your skills and experience, vocalise them well in the interview then there is every chance you will get the job.

“I’m a quick learner”

Saying that you are a quick learner tells the interview that you have a gap in your skill set. It may be that you do have but instead of you can pick up new skills quickly give an example of how you have had to do this in the past. More importantly promote what you are good at and how you could add value to the organisation.

“I was badly treated in my last role”

Complaining about your last employer is a definite no-go. Any potential employer will see this as a big red flag. It also injects a negative tone into the interview and sends it off course and the employer will be looking for reasons for not employing you, rather than reasons for giving you the job.

“What does this job pay”

If you want to stop the interview dead in its tracks, then ask this question. Rather than allowing the interviewer to focus on your ability to do the job you will plant the idea that your only interest in the job is the money. Wait for the employer to bring up the salary then use this opportunity to reinforce your interest in the role and that the salary is a secondary consideration

“I want your job”

One of the quickest ways to get up an interviewer’s nose is to tell them that you want their job. Yes, you should show ambition and interest in advancing with the company. But to say you want someone’s job frankly is just crass. Talk about how you want to get and formulate a long-term career but never ever say you want someone’s job.

“How quickly will I be promoted”

Hold on, hold on, you haven’t  even got the job yet and you are asking about promotion. Obviously getting on in your career and earning more money is on your mind but this is really one of the worse questions to ask in an interview. Asking about the next promotion during an interview devalues the position you have applied for. Basically, what you are saying is I’ve come for your customer service, but I really want to have the manager role.

“I don’t have any questions”

When you are asked by an interviewer “do you have any questions” speak up. By this time in the interview, you should have a multitude of questions about the Company and the job. Employers want engaged, dedicated employers so this is your time to demonstrate your enthusiasm by asking intelligent job-related questions. Not to have any questions will tell the interviewer you are not increased in the job.

“What would stop you from employing me”

A pushy candidate may think this is a clever way to get a job offer from an employer. However, the danger is you are putting the interviewer on the spot and risking them taking a dislike to you. A better question to ask is “what is the next step” and to reiterate   how much you want the job.

“I don’t know how”

Saying “I don’t know how” without following it up with a way that you would use resources to find out shows a lack of initiative and problem solving skills for instance if you don’t know how to use a specific software there is nothing wrong in admitting it as long as you demonstrate now you will learn it. i.e. an online training course. This shows you are prepared to go the extra mile to get the job.

“My weakness is…”

It is very rare that any job candidate ticks every single box that a prospective employer has. All candidates will have weaknesses. These will include gaps in their skills and personal weaknesses. Gaps in your skills and experience will usually be evident on your CV, personal weakness are probably best kept to yourself.

“I didn’t get a chance to research you”

  Looking at an employer’s website before you attend an interview isn’t enough. Show that you’re prepared, organised and enthusiastic by also looking at their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn sites. These resources can provide real time information about what the employer is currently doing.

“What are your perks?”

It’s amazing how often a candidate will ask in an interview about benefit packages and holiday entitlement. This is pretty naff. You haven’t got the job yet so slow down. Benefits are never negotiable so expect the normal i.e.: 20 days holidays and a pension scheme and if you are offered any more then that is bonus. Never appear selfish in an interview – it’s not all about you.

So, there you go there are a lot of things that should not be said in an interview, the general rule of thumb though is not be negative, not to ask “me, me, me questions and not to ask inappropriate questions. Preparing for your interview is crucial so you can make an excellent impression and be able to show you are right for the position a hopefully get a job offer.

Good Luck

Angela Burton