Not only is it important to say the right things in your job interviews, but in my honest and personal opinion, it’s WAY more important to avoid saying the wrong things.
This is especially true if human resources (HR) is present in any phase of your job interviews (i.e. looking over resumes or over the phone interviews). If you can avoid any interaction with HR, the better, but more likely than not, they’re joining along in the interview process.
Nothing against people with HR degrees but typical HR employers who participate in the job hiring process are there only to weed people out, making their company’s selection pool much smaller. They aren’t looking for good fits, just candidates that say, do, or show something wrong so they can scratch their name off their potential hiring list.
Thus, the words coming out of your mouth are critical. In this week’s post, we’ll go over 5 things to never say in your job interview!
1.) “I Don’t Know”
Just look at these three words. There’s never a time in your job interview to say them.
Now, will you know every single technical question that comes your way in a job interview? Absolutely not, but do not say “I don’t know.” It has the connotation that you aren’t even going to try. So, what’s your alternative?
First off, you should head into your interviews over prepared. The chances of you saying “I don’t know” tremendously decrease with proper preparation. Learn as much as you can about the position and company you’re interviewing for, and please know yourself.
Second, and more importantly, DO NOT LIE or guess at any questions that you aren’t too certain about. It’s unprofessional and can come back and bite you in the a**. See number four on the list down below.
If a situation arrives where you are unsure of a question in a job interview setting, stay calm, be honest, and respond with either, “I’m not too familiar with XYZ” or “I haven’t used or worked with XYZ.” Be direct and never say “I don’t know.”
2.) My Last Boss/Job Was (Insert Negative Comment)
You have no idea how bad this looks. There is never a time in your interviews where you should speak badly about your previous employers and/or workers there. The main reason is because no good will ever come out of it, only bad.
And I don’t really care how true it is, or how badly things were, don’t EVER mention it.
The only thing that’ll run through interviewers minds (especially HR) when you complain and moan about previous jobs/employers is:
- You can’t work with challenging people, and every job you will ever have will deal with difficult people.
- You potentially could trash talk their own company in the future.
So why bother? Don’t do it.
I actually have an extremely bad habit of using this useless word with public speaking or recording videos for social media. My brain starts racing and my mouth can’t keep up, so what do I do? Habitually, I through in a couple of “Ummmm……”’s in there of course.
Such a small word screams nervousness and lack of either confidence or knowledge of the particular subject.
Try this out. Record yourself, then rewind it, and watch it again. You’ll realize how bad “Ummmm” sounds when in a professional setting, so just imagine how interviewers feel when you mumble this word.
The only solution is practice. For interviews, I have no problems with this for some reason. Maybe it’s because I’ve been through so many of them. My tip to you is to intentionally slow down your train of thought, breath, and respond decisively to your future employers questions.
Try any online interview simulator or a friend for help. Practice, practice, practice!
4.) (Insert Lie Here)
I get it, some job interview questions are tough, you lack experience or skills, and you want to sound like you’re the best candidate for the job, so you lie. I’ve done it before, trust me, but not anymore.
Ever wonder why there’s usually an extra person in the room during your job interviews? Whether you’ve noticed or not, one’s asking the questions/recording your answers, while the other is constantly looking at your body language.
Lying without physically displaying some sort of discomfort is extremely hard to do. It takes someone with years of practice, or a psychopath to lie without giving off any hints that something isn’t right. If you lie in your face to face job interviews, 9 times out of 10 they’ll probably notice.
Let’s say you get the job because you’re the bees knees, but you lied in your interview. Now EVERY SINGLE DAY at work you have to remind yourself of this lie. This will lead to an exhausting work environment.
What are the consequences if you get caught? Well it depends, but if you lied about a certain skill set or experience you have or had, you’re:
- Getting fired.
- If you work in a small niche or in a small local community, good luck finding a job without having to move away.
5.) “I Don’t Have Any Questions”
In almost all of my job interviews, the interviewers will always ask at the end if I have any questions. DO NOT SAY YOU DON’T.
If you say this, it insinuates that:
- You’re ready to get the hell out of the interview, and don’t really care.
- You weren’t prepared for the interview.
Like I’ve said previously, you should be over prepared for your job interviews, which includes a list of at least 10 questions for your job interviewers to answer.
And if they do answer all of your questions during the interview, make up a question on the fly during the interview. Hell, write it down, during the interview. They’ll think you’re taking notice, and that will impress them, I promise.
My go to question if I’m out of options is typical questions about the interviewers experience at the company and what they do. Most interviewers don’t talk about themselves (or shouldn’t) when interviewing potential job candidates unless asked.
My biggest piece of advice for perfecting job interview performance is practice and repetition. The more interviews you go through, the better you become at them. And always, always, always ask for feedback after your interviews in a follow-up email AFTER you’ve found out if you’ve landed the job or not! Keep learning from your mistakes.
Hope you all enjoyed this week’s post! If you have any questions regarding the job interview process, don’t hesitate to reach out via email! Lastly, if you’ve missed last week’s post on the Keto diet, click here!
As always, don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“There’s a way to do it better………find it.”
Book of the Month: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley