10 Things to Never Say in an Interview (But People Say All...

10 Things to Never Say in an Interview (But People Say All the Time)

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Interviewing is nerve-wracking. Foot-in-mouth happens. Everyone says something foolish in an interview. Sometimes it’s a big enough gaffe to cause an awkward pause. Usually, though, you can recover and laugh it off and continue to talk seriously about the position and your career. A little grammar flub here and a few too many “um”s there aren’t going to cause the damage these ten things will. Avoid them at all cost.

Click on previous and next arrows to navigate through the list. 

1I left my last job because I hated my boss.

So should your interviewer consider this a warning? What will you say about them if it’s not a perfect relationship?

2My spouse cheated on me so I moved here and need a new job....

That’s awful. Truly. I’m sorry. But who shares overly personal information (health, family, finances) with a total stranger?

3I need X amount of money and X number of days off.

Shouldn’t you be telling me how you can do this job and help the company? Is money and missing work all you care about?

4I don’t work well with ____.

It doesn’t matter if it’s groups in general or a type of person (think race, gender, position, etc.). Not playing well with others and openly admitting it doesn’t speak well for you fitting in, well, anywhere.

5I don’t have any questions.

How are you not the least bit curious about this position or the company or my background (as your potential boss)? Do you even really care if I extend an offer?

6My resume tells you everything you need to know.

If that were true, no one would ever interview anyone. Is it too much to ask to have a conversation?

7Is getting here at 8 a.m. really required?

Unless you live two hours away, how can you tell me now, before you’re even hired, that you can’t be bothered to show up on time?

8Are you married?

Wanting to bond with teammates is a good thing; it shows you make your work life a priority. But, again, personal information isn’t to be shared with strangers so don’t put one in that position.

9I don’t have any work-related accomplishments.

You’ve never excelled at a project, had a glowing review, earned a promotion? Nothing? Really? If you haven’t, why should I expect you’ll bring your best to my company? If you have, why haven’t you put enough thought into your career and this interview to have a story handy?

10In five years I want to be doing something completely different....

Unless this is an internship, I don’t want to hear that I’m going to pour a lot of resources into your onboarding and training just to watch you check out in a few short years. Why tell me you’re already planning to do just that?

These statements might be true for you. It’s possible you really did have the world’s worst boss. But there is no reason to bring it up in an interview with someone who doesn’t know the context (there are two sides to every story after all). And if it bears on the job (like not wanting to be stuck in this position for any length of time), maybe you shouldn’t be interviewing there at all….

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