What you say during an interview can either boost or harm your chances of landing the job. Even the slightest error could make a massive difference in how the interviewer perceives you. Therefore, being mindful of what you say is critical.
Here are five things that you should never say in an interview
Your interview is an opportunity for you and your potential new employer to determine if you’re a match for each other.
While honesty is always the best policy, there are still some things that you can say that will prevent you from coming across as a likable and competent candidate. Avoid saying:
- “I don’t have any weaknesses.” When asked about your strengths and weaknesses, it’s easy to get carried away with your accomplishments and minimize your flaws. However, claiming that you have no weaknesses is a red flag to interviewers as it shows a lack of self-awareness. Everyone has weaknesses, and it’s perfectly okay to admit them. Rather than claiming that you don’t have any imperfections, it’s preferable to highlight an area where you are striving to improve and what you’re doing to develop yourself in that regard.
- “What is the PTO policy?” Asking about paid time off or vacation days before being offered the position suggests you’re only interested in the job for its benefits. You aren’t as enthusiastic about the position as you are about the potential perks. Instead of asking about time off from work, focus on the job’s duties and responsibilities, and wait for the interviewer to bring up the benefits.
- “Are there flex hours?” You recognize that this role can be done remotely, but asking about the flexibility of the company’s working hours might suggest that you’re more interested in your own schedule than the company’s objectives.Although a flexible schedule might be essential to you (and you’re not alone – out of 4,000 respondents to the FlexJobs 2022 Career Pulse Survey, 63% said they’d choose work-life balance over better pay), it should be something other than your primary focus during the interview process. Instead, inquire about the company’s goals, challenges, and how you can contribute to the firm’s success.
- “My previous project/boss/coworker was the worst.” Even if you did work for or with Atilla the Hun on a project you despised, avoid badmouthing previous team members at all costs. Talking poorly about a former employer, colleague, or project could make the interviewer question your professionalism and work ethic. They might assume you can’t work well with others or are difficult to manage. Keeping your comments constructive and professional is critical, even if the interviewer initiates the discussion. Our pro tip: focus on what you learned from the experience rather than dwelling on the negative aspects.
- “Something personal I’d like to share is … ” Sharing personal information that doesn’t relate to the job could create an awkward atmosphere and make the interviewer uncomfortable. Although building a rapport with the interviewer is crucial, sharing too much personal information during the interview is unnecessary and unprofessional. Stick to answering the interviewer’s questions and avoid divulging personal information unless it’s directly relevant to the job or the company.Every interview is a two-way process where both parties evaluate each other’s fit for the job. Presenting yourself as a professional and thoughtful candidate is essential. Avoiding these five phrases in an interview will help you appear professional and focused on the business’s goals. Remember to focus on the job’s requirements and how you can contribute to the company’s success. Doing so gives you a better chance of making a positive impression and landing the job.
Want help finding your next role? Spinnaker Search specializes in recruiting senior-level IT Talent and works with companies from start-ups to Fortune 500.