What NOT to Say in a Job Interview | Top Universities

What NOT to Say in a Job Interview

By Guest Writer

Updated March 7, 2016 Updated March 7, 2016

Guest post: Swati Srivastava

Whether you are a recent college graduate looking for your first job or an experienced professional, committing gaffes in a job interview can cost you the role! You must have practiced several mock interviews, preparing yourself to answer the most common job interview questions. But, you should also be careful to avoid saying anything the hiring manager would definitely NOT want to hear!

Here are some things you should strictly avoid saying during a job interview:     

#1: What is the role/company all about? 

Reasons to avoid: This statement is enough to deliver the message that you did not do any research! It is vital that you search online and get a clear understanding of the company’s background, areas of business, the job description you are applying for and other related aspects. Being well-prepared for the job interview will makes you feel more confident and leave a good impression.

#2: My previous employer was terrible.

Reasons to avoid: This is a highly unprofessional statement for any hiring manager. Badmouthing your previous company or boss makes you sound like a complainer and possibly a difficult person to get along with. Instead, if asked about your previous jobs, share what you learned from the experiences.

#3: I am a problem solver, dedicated and a hard-working person… 

Reasons to avoid: These terms are industry jargon and cannot stand alone as noteworthy skills. Any job-seeker can use these phrases, without quantifying their skills. Instead, mention specific skills that are relevant to your profession and that you can demonstrate through examples. For instance, if you say you are results-oriented, support this by mentioning accomplishments from your previous job, such as overachieving a target by 80%.

#4: Greatest weakness? I don’t have any weaknesses! 

Reasons to avoid: No one is perfect. If you say you don’t have any weaknesses, the hiring manager will get the message that you’re overconfident or lack the willingness to analyze your shortcomings. This question is usually asked to get insights into your awareness of areas for improvement. Use this opportunity to show how you are working to develop your skills, and how the current job opportunity would match your own goals.

#5: I am also interviewing with ABC Corp. 

Reasons to avoid: It is never advisable to mention the other companies you are interviewing with, as conveying this to a hiring manager makes you look less interested in their company. Surely, you wouldn’t want the interviewer to think that you are taking this company as a back-up option if other choices fall through. Any employer seeks to hire a potential employee who is enthusiastic for the job role offered and keen to work with their company.

#6: Thanks, but I don't have any questions to ask. 

Reasons to avoid: Most interviewers give a chance for job applicants to ask questions, to clear any doubts or simply encourage two-way communication. At this time, if you say nothing, it gives a signal that either you are not confident about sharing what’s on your mind, or you just don’t really care that much. Try to ask questions that will help increase your knowledge about the company and the role, while showing how focused and interested you are. Examples include:

  • What would I be expected to accomplish in the first three months?
  • What new products or services does the company plan to introduce?
  • Do you offer any training to enhance my knowledge and skills for this role?
  • Which other staff members would I be working most closely with?

In a competitive jobs market, you can’t afford to lose any opportunity through badly chosen words. So remember these phrases to avoid in your next job interview.

Good luck!

Swati Srivastava is an avid writer who loves to share ideas and career tips for job seekers and professionals. Her blog posts, news stories, and articles are focused on the extensive domain of employment sector in the Gulf. Currently she is writing for Naukrigulf.com. You can follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

This article was originally published in March 2016 .

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