Things You Should Never Say During a Job Interview
There are plenty of articles and information about what you should say during a job interview, but it's just as important to know what not to say. Knowing what to avoid is key to making the best impression, even if you've practiced all the correct answers.
Above all, your desire for the interview is to discuss the role and qualifications in detail and get to the next stage in the interview process. That means avoiding red flags or dropping any messages that might sow seeds of doubt. Here are the top things you shouldn't say during a job interview.
Just Winging It
Before any interview, you should research the company along with the position for which you applied. Going into an interview appearing unprepared and uninformed will only make you look like you're not really interested in the position. Doing your research before your interview shows active enthusiasm. You can even go a step further than general research by talking to a current or past employee who left on good terms.
Expressing Negativity About Your Last Job
While some may think it's easiest not to mention the nature of your departure at all, it's not uncommon to get asked why you left your previous company. Complaining about any former employers during your interview rarely ends well, even if your last job or last boss was absolutely horrible. Be honest, but your tone should always range from neutral to positive when discussing past employment. Rather than saying you left because you were miserable, focus on the basic reasons you started your search, whether it’s a desire for advancement, more flexibility, a more collaborative or inclusive environment, or all three.
Openness To Do Anything
When an employer is looking to fill a role, they're not going to generally opt for someone who proudly claims they'll do whatever needs to be done. While it sounds useful at face value, it can be considered a red flag since employers tend to want someone who is specifically qualified for a role rather than a jack-of-all-trades who can do a bit of everything. That's why it's essential to hone in on your talents and how they specifically apply to the position you want.
Admitting a Lack of Experience Without a “But”
If you're fresh out of school and have heard it's important to be honest in job interviews, you may be inclined to admit to your lack of experience when asked about specific skills or tasks. When doing this, make sure you’re prepared to also share your experience with job tasks that require similar skills. Showing you have an understanding of a similar skill demonstrates your potential to perform the skill they’re asking you about as well as quickly learning it. Make sure to couple that with sharing how you quickly learned new skills at previous jobs in order to promote your agility and ability to pick things up fast. With some enthusiasm for the position and well-researched knowledge about what’s required to perform it, you'll come across as a better fit. Remember, you might not have worked in that position before, but you do have experience that applies to the position’s duties.
“Check My Resume”
The person interviewing you will have already looked over your resume. If they ask you a question that is already answered on your resume, don't reply with the fact that it's on your resume. They know that already. They're asking you to expand on something that's relevant to the position beyond what's written in your resume. For example, if an employer asks if you're familiar with HTML coding when your resume clearly states that you have experience with it, that's your cue to highlight that skill by giving examples of how you've applied the skill in previous work.
“I Have a Great Answer for That”
Hiring managers and interviewers know people practice for their interviews, but it's never good to make that obvious. When you openly say you have a good answer for a question that’s asked, it makes the answer seem manufactured, like you prepared “perfect phrasing” to come across as good as possible. That's often what people do, of course, but it's more of an unspoken thing. You don’t want to shine a light on it. Doing that will make a hiring manager wonder what the “real” answer is to that question.
Connect With the Right Company
Now that you know the things you shouldn't say during a job interview, you're that much closer to securing the job you want. For help with everything else along the way, eHire has got you covered. Our job is to match tech talent with great companies so they can both thrive. Contact us to learn more about how we hand-select tech talent from our personal talent pool.