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What Not to Say in an Interview

By Kinexus on 16 August 2016

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You’ve made it to the interview stage. Congratulations! You’re one step closer to landing your next exciting job opportunity. However; the next ‘interview stage’, can feel like the most stressful and important part, especially when all the words that come out of your mouth will be analysed and assessed. This is your chance to shine and make your future employer realise why they need you on their team. But say the wrong things here, and your chances of landing that job will diminish.

An interview is just a like a first date; where both parties are getting to know each other a little better. Although everyone should aim to be themselves, here are a few things not to say or bring up in your interview.

“What’s the remuneration like here?’’ 
Bringing remuneration up at your first interview or during the start of the interview may come across as though you only care about these things, and not what you can do for the company.

“So what’s your company all about? Or what do you guys actually do?”
If you’re serious about working for the company, you should already know what they’re about! You will have done research leading up to this interview and should have a very good idea of what their company is ‘’all about’’.

“Don’t get me started on my last boss…”
Even if your previous or current boss is hopeless and drove you insane – it’s not appropriate to discuss. It comes across as petty and may make them wonder what you’ll say about them later on. You should never badmouth a previous employer or colleague.

‘’I’m going through a rough patch”
You may be going through any number of distressing personal events, but if you seriously want this job, your personal life should not be discussed with your interviewer. They may be the most sympathetic person in the world, but they’ll still wonder how you’ll be able to cope, and more importantly, how your job performance will be affected during these times of personal distress.

‘’Oh, S***”
Never curse in an interview. Even if the interviewer let’s one slip, always refrain from doing so yourself, it’s just not professional.

‘’So like, in my last job, I like, ummmm, worked with……’’
Using filler words such as like and um make you sound confused and inarticulate. Always try to communicate without using these words, especially if you want to sound professional and informed. If you have a tendency to use filler words, try to slow down your answers. Take time to think and be comfortable with a few moments silence while you gather your thoughts.

“Sorry I’m so late / early.’’
There is no reason for you to be late or super early to an interview. If you’re late, it shows you have poor time management and If you’re too early (more than 15 minutes), you are just causing an inconvenience to your interviewer. Always aim to be 5 minutes early for your interview. Leave plenty of time to arrive and if you arrive early, go for a walk rather than sitting in reception.

“How much longer will the interview go for?’’
Asking this question makes it seem like you’re in a rush and not prioritising the interview. You may be booked in for a 30 minute interview, but if you’re doing well, have lots of questions or the interviewer wants to dig a little deeper you may be there longer. If you must be out the door at a certain time, you should inform your interviewer at the beginning.

“Sorry- I just need to take this call”
This should never be said in an interview. Turn your phone off and give your interviewer your full attention. Reschedule any expected calls or divert them to someone who can take a message.

“No comment.”
Unless what the interviewer is asking is an illegal or inappropriate question, you should attempt to answer each question to the best of your ability. Ask for clarity if you need too, but choosing not to answer a question makes it seem like you are hiding something.

“Nope, no questions.” 
Having no questions for your interviewer shows them that you haven’t prepared properly and that you might not really be interested in their company. Always prepare some questions, they not only show you are interested in the position and company but it helps you decide if this is the kind of place you want to work in.

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