Don’t you dare say these things in an interview…

I am amazed at some of the things candidates say in an interview, especially during their first interview. While I certainly can appreciate a candidate being inquisitive and prepared to ask questions, I’ve compiled a list of 10 things to NEVER say in an interview. If you say one of these things on my list, you could squash any chances of getting hired.

1. “I Dislike my Current Company.”

This is a bad phrase to use because you never want to turn the tone of the interview into a negative one. Even if you may be having a bad experience at your current job, all this does is make you look like you are difficult to manage. If you start speak ill of your current company, the interviewer will feel that you will do the same when or if you ever leave their company. Alternatively, when you are asked why you are leaving, focus more on your positive ambitions for the the future and what excites you about this potential job.

2. “I Don’t Have Any Questions.”

When you say this, it makes you seem unmotivated. You want to show interviewers how motivated you are to get the role. Make sure and do your research on your potential employer to discover interesting facts or opportunities that you can discuss. Additionally, you may also wish to get some more information about your role or company culture. Remember, the interview process is not one-sided!

3. “I Don’t Know.”

This response shows unpreparedness. Be prepared to talk about the company. Additionally, you need to be prepared for anything you will be asked about your own resume.  Lastly, avoid making things up on the fly or outright lying. If you get the job based on a claim on your resume, be prepared to back it up.

4. “What’s the Salary?”

During your first interview, asking about compensation is not the right time.  If you are working with a recruiter, defer to that recruiter by saying,  “Mike at Top Talent knows where I need to be.  I am sure you two can work out something that is fair for my experience.”  When you get the interviewer pumped about you, your base salary will be an afterthought, with the company open to negotiation. If you are pressed on the issue, tell them that it all depends on other aspects of the job like raises, vacation time, training, or advancement opportunities.

5. “How Many Holidays Do I Get?” 

When the goal of the interview is to show how interested you are in working there, and you ask  how much time you get to spend away from the job, it’s not a good look. Avoid asking about Paid Time Off (PTO) or holidays.

6. “What is it Your Company Does?”

It is not the interviewer’s job to tell you what the company does. Some companies see your lack of research as laziness.  Find out as much about the company and its competitors as you can.  It’s better to be over prepared than to be unprepared.

7. “I’m Really Nervous.”

Even if you are more nervous than a piglet at a hog roast, lack of confidence is not appealing. Do your best to keep your nerves to yourself. Project confidence as much as you can!

8. “Honestly…”

When you say this, it subconsciously implies that what you have been saying up until this point has not been honest.  Be careful that you don’t share  candid information or an observation that could fly in the interviewer’s face.

9. “I’m Not Sure What I Really Want to Do”

During an interview, your interest and future needs to be around that position and the upward potential that the position creates. They want someone who will be passionate and feel fulfilled in the position. Those that get hired stick out from the person who “just needs a job”.

10. “Like, Um, You Know, Whatever”

This comes with practice, but filler words do you a bigger disservice than you realize. Words like “Like”, “Um”, “Ya Know”, or “Whatever” convey stalling, unpreparedness and lack of confidence. Practice slowing down your speech and using pauses to think rather than trying to fill empty air with filler words.

By avoiding these 10 phrases, you’ll be landing your dream job in no time!

About Us:

With over 90 years of Logistics experience, Top Talent is a recognized leader in Talent Acquisition for Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain., Let us put our team to work for you. To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.

– Michael Monson
Top Talent LLC
President and CEO