What NOT to Say In Your Next Job Interview

Job interviews are often awkward, however, there are things that you should say and things that you should not be telling your hiring manager if you want the job. Generally, if you’re invited for a job interview, you’re 75% of the way to be successful in that role.

Hiring managers do not have time to interview every candidate on the market, and therefore if you’re chosen for an interview, the hiring manager will only be doing this because they think that you have the correct profile for their needs.

What NOT to Say in An Interview

Job interviews are always a tricky area to get right. No matter how good you think you’re under pressure, you’re still going to be a little nervous, especially if you want the job.In an average year, I interview around 400 candidates for my clients. Each week I am surprised at how many candidates say ridiculous things during their interview that can quickly be taken out of context to mean that something other than you intended it to mean. 

Let Me Give You an Example

“I want to leave my current role because my current boss is a terrible person who mistreats me and does not respect me”. This may be true, but you cannot say this in an interview no matter what your old manager did to you. It could well be true, but it also could be true that your manager was trying to help you, but you have taken this as he has no respect for you. Either way, I would not hire you. 

Here’s Why

I don’t want to hire you because I know that you like to moan. If I hired you and tried to improve your knowledge, you might take it on-board. You might also decide that I’m not giving you enough respect and start to complain about me to my managers. This could cause me problems in the future.

Why would I take the risk?

15 Further Examples

During your job interview, you’re trying to come across as a professional person with relevant knowledge and skills that the hiring manager can use and make their life easier. If you want to be successful in your next job interview, here are 15 examples of what NOT to Say In An Interview.

  • “I am desperate for the job” – being desperate for a job is not a great thing as it leads to follow-up questions as to why you’re so desperate for the job? It’s great to be excited by the role, but you don’t want to come across as desperate.
  • “I want this job as it will allow me to pay for my children while I look for a better job that I want”-; Another excellent example of where this may be true, but you need to give the impression that you’re in for the long haul.
  • “Let me get rid of this call”… It’s not OK to take phone calls during your job interview, and no, I don’t understand why you left your phone on. Switch your phone off.
  • “What’s your sickness policy”… this says that the candidate will be ill on a regular basis and will most likely waste my time.
  • “My job was too difficult, and I had to work long hours”… this shows that I cannot count on you, and even if I need you to do something, it’s more than likely you’re going to let me down.
  • “I am earning 40K now, and my salary expectations are 80K”…… Yeah right, I am going to give you a 100% increase in your salary. You earn 40K because you’re worth 40K. If you were worth, 80K someone would be paying it too you right now. By telling me that you want a 100% increase it makes me think that you are a dreamer.
  • “I am a junior right now, but I am looking for a director role”… Yes, we all have stories about a friend who got a lucky break and got a director job, but; let’s be realistic, unless you’re fortunate or it’s your friend’s company, you’re not going to get the top job with two years of experience.
  • “Never swear in an interview”… It’s not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • “Never lie or say you do things you don’t”… you will always get found out at some point, and it’s a complicated question to answer when someone asks you the question.
  • “Why did you not get through your probation period” – If you have been sacked, tell them you were sacked and the reasons why. Trying to answer questions to do with probation periods or similar, only leads to more difficult questions.
  • “What does your company do”… you should know this already, if you don’t, all it says, is that you could not be bothered to do any job interview preparation.
  • “I don’t have any questions for you”, there is nothing else you want to know about the company? I am sure this is not true. It’s more likley you have not done your job interview preparation and have forgotten all those questions you wanted to ask. To kick you off, here are 11 questions you should be asking at the end of your job interview.
  • “My old boss was not good at his job”… whatever your thoughts of your old boss, keep this to yourself. It doesn’t look good in an interview if you start complaining about your former manager.
  • “Well I was born in 1975, and I went to school”…. honestly I do not care about your life story and the last thing I want to hear today at this interview is you ramble on about your life story.
  • “Personal information”…. legally employers are not allowed to ask you anything that will enable them to find out your age, race, gender orientation, religious beliefs, medical conditions or other very personal information until they offer you a job. Do NOT tell them as this even the smallest thing can annoy the employer for the most stupid reason…
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Nick Jones

My name Nick Jones, I am a professional Head-Hunter with over 20 years of experience working all over the world. I specialise in out-of-the-box job search strategies to get your CV directly to the hiring manager, thus skipping any ATS portals or recruiters who think they're important.

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