You landed a job interview, which is a huge accomplishment. It’s likely you are only one out of many candidates who will be interviewed, so it’s important to make a good impression. You want to show your knowledge of the company, your desire for the job and how your skills and experience make you an excellent fit. You also want to find out more about the job, so you can decide if it’s right for you. But it’s important to know what not to say at an interview, to avoid painting yourself in a bad light and giving interviewers the wrong impression of you. Here are seven things not to say at an interview:
1) “I will be CEO of your company” when asked where you see yourself in 5 years
While it’s important to show ambition and confidence, saying something like this can make you appear arrogant and insincere. Try to focus more on what skills you would like to have developed at that point, experiences you would like to have had, and the level of stability you would like to achieve in your career and personal life.
2) “I’m tired”
Complaints such as these are one of the major things not to say at an interview, especially today. Employers are beginning to hire more for emotional intelligence and personality since these components make employees easier to train and work better with others. So, if you complain in the interview, the hiring manager will assume you will do the same on the job and be a negative influence on the company.
3) “What are the pay and benefits?”
It’s natural to be curious about the salary and benefits the job offers, since this is one of the big factors that will determine whether you want it. But there will be plenty of time to discuss this once you are offered the job. When it comes to what not to say at an interview, this one is almost a surefire opportunity killer. Asking about salary too early can make you appear as though you only care about money instead of what you can contribute to the company. Unless the hiring manager brings it up, leave this topic alone for now.
4) “I hate my boss” or “I hate my job”
Badmouthing your boss, or anyone for that matter, is a huge no-no in job interviews. The hiring manager will wonder what you are going to say about them. They also are likely to assume that it’s you that was the problem at your last job, not your boss or the job itself.
5) “I’m proficient at WTAs on a PSB basis”
One of the important things not to say at an interview is language the interviewer won’t understand. While you want to sound professional and experienced, if you start throwing out jargon from your last job that the hiring manager interviewing you isn’t familiar with, he or she is likely to tune you out.
6) “I don’t know your company’s latest products”
Most hiring managers expect you to have done extensive research on the company. This means not only understanding what the company’s mission is, but also reviewing the latest company news, becoming familiar with all their products and learning the names and job titles of the company’s key players.
7) “I don’t have any weaknesses”
Acting like you have no room for improvement is also among the things not to say at an interview. When you are asked about your biggest weakness, try to find something that won’t directly affect the responsibilities you will be given at the job if you get it. Or discuss a weakness you have worked to overcome and explain what you did to improve on it. For example, maybe in the past you multi-tasked too often and found you get more done by focusing on one thing at a time.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.