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20 Things to Never Say at Interview

Published 30 May 2022

When it comes to a job interview we all want to ensure that we make the very best impression. After all, the reason for the interview is that we want the job. However, we can all be guilty of saying the wrong thing. But don’t worry, we have collated 25 things you should never say at an interview.

“I didn’t get on with my last boss”

There is no need to discuss past working relationships in a negative way. In fact, if you have nothing positive to say then it’s best not to discuss it. 

“I know I don’t have much experience, but…”

Don’t shine a light on the experience you don’t have. 

“It is on my CV”

It might be on your CV but you don’t need to ask your interviewer to refer back to it. Answer the questions as they come to you. 

“I think outside of the box”

This is a very overused comment. 

“Um, I don’t know”

Even if you don’t know, don’t say it. Always answer the question, or ask they to elaborate so you can think of an answer.

“How many holidays am I entitled to?”

As much as this is an important aspect it is a question to avoid asking at the interview stage. 

“Perfectionism is my weakness”

Some people think that perfectionism is a good thing. But stating you are a perfectionist could set you up for a fall. 

“I don’t have any questions”

It doesn’t bode well to not have any questions, so before your interview think about some of the ones you could ask. Even if you feel everything was covered. 

“How soon do you promote employees?”

An employer needs to see that you can do a job first. Don’t run before you can walk. This is important but rephrase to "what does a career path look like here?"

“I Pulled together XYZ reports” or some industry-specific jargon

Only use industry-specific jargon if you are interviewing in the same industry. But it always works to explain a role in laymans terms.

“I’m the top salesperson in my company”

Use examples and answers, highlight what made you good, and why people bought from you.

“I’ll do whatever”

This can come across as desperate or that you are misinformed about the job role. 

“At my last company …” followed by negative comments 

Negative comments about previous jobs will not go down well. 

“So, what will I be doing around here?”

Shows that you are misinformed or haven’t been paying attention. 

Inappropriate language or slang words

Think about the way you say things. 

“I have a holiday booked in a few weeks”

Focus on getting the job. 

“I really hate my current job”

Negative language about previous jobs will give the wrong impression. 

“How much will I get paid?”

Money is important, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. 

“Sorry, I’m late”

This will not give an excellent first impression. 

“What sort of benefits will I get?”

It can show that you have your priorities all wrong. 

What else should you avoid?