Not everyone is naturally good at interviewing (and for those of you out there who are, we forever envy you). Instead of waltzing into the room, radiating confidence and being ready to answer every question thrown your way with utmost poise, sometimes you may find yourself getting caught off guard by a question you aren’t prepared for and then start to lose control over what you’re even saying at all. No matter how poorly the interview may be going (even if it’s all in your head), here are a few things you should absolutely steer clear of saying when you’re interviewing.
If you don’t have the skillsets or experiences that the interviewer is asking you about, there’s no need to apologize. It might seem like the right move, but honestly, it just makes you look weak. Instead, show your willingness to learn and enthusiasm to gain new skills. Always give your lacks a positive spin. If you are eager to learn, and it shows, the interviewer just might overlook your lack of experience.
I don’t know
Your interviewer’s time is precious. Hell, your time is precious as well. Or, at least, you should treat it as such. If you genuinely don’t know what to say, take a quick breath, collect your thoughts for a few seconds, and get right to it again. If you need clarification on a question, by all means, ask your interviewer for some!
What do you do here?
This is a landmine of a question because it shows the interviewer that you failed to do your homework. You didn’t educate yourself on the company beforehand. That makes you look unprofessional. You should, of course, ask your interviewer more detailed questions if you want to learn more about their day-to-day, like what their proudest accomplishment at the company has been so far, or what they love about working there. But don’t go in 100 percent clueless.
I hate my job/colleagues/boss
Positivity! People want to see it. They don’t want to hear all about how much you deplored your last job. At the very least, it is uninteresting for them. At worst, it exhibits to them that you might just have a bad attitude. Remember to be diplomatic. How have you been able to accomplish some of your main goals and tasks (despite having a crappy, unsupportive colleague or boss)? Make any of the positives you’ve taken away from a challenging situation your main focus. Don’t let difficult teammates affect your chances of getting a job you won’t take them with you to!
It’s on my resume
If something is already on your resume, what is the point of the interviewer asking you a question about it, right? Wrong. First of all, you should always aim to accommodate — not make your interviewer look like a fool. Secondly, your resume should only be a short summary of what you’ve accomplished over the course of your career. Plus, now’s the time to add some more details about all of the reasons why you have the experience and skill sets to succeed in the role that you’re interviewing for. Take a moment to throw in any details you couldn’t fit in on your resume and use this as an opportunity to show off your infectious personality.
Interviewing is tough. Nobody is saying that it isn’t. But it is a part of life. So, don’t go in looking like a chump. Do your homework. And part of doing your homework is knowing what not to say just as much as it is knowing what you should say. So, remember, the next time that you score that interview, don’t undermine yourself by saying the wrong things. Good luck out there!
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