Catherine's Career Corner
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May 30th, 2009
10 Things That You Should Never Ever Say During a Job Interview

job interview

Job interviews can be tough. You spend hours getting ready, make sure to look your best, and feel like you’re ready to take on any question. Unfortunately, with one little slip of the tongue, all your hard work can be undone. If you say any of these 10 things in a job interview, you’re guaranteed to NOT get the job – so don’t even let them cross your mind.

In a job interview, never say…

  1. “Your wife/husband/daughter/dog is smokin’ hot!”
    It doesn’t matter if the person has a photo on their desk of the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. Comments about appearance during a job interview are a no-no. Just imagine if someone said that about your significant other – or worse still, your mom. Avoid this at all costs.
  2. “Dude” or “bro.”
    The person interviewing you is not your friend, no matter how friendly they seem. Using slang during an interview not only shows that you’re not taking the interview seriously but can also give the impression that you’re not intelligent enough to use real words. The only exception might be if you interview with MTV for a VJ job. Other than that, lose the slang and address people by their names.
  3. “I was fired because management was intimidated by how good I am. They’re really stupid there.”
    This is a huge red flag to interviewers. Who would want to hire someone who’s only going to badmouth the company and management later? It’s a defensive statement, even if it is true. Never, ever talk poorly about someone you worked for. Instead, just say “It didn’t work out at that company, but I learned some valuable lessons that will help me in my next job.”
  4.  “Excuse me; I have to take this phone call.” 
    No you don’t. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t even have your cell phone with you in an interview – you’re here to get a job, not hang out and talk on the phone. Leave it in the car or at home. If you really feel like you might die without it, at least silence, hide and ignore it.

5. “I didn’t know you sold clothes.” 
Then why did you apply? If you have no idea what a company does, then you shouldn’t be working there. Do your research before the job interview – find out a bit about the history of the company, what their mission is and who their competitors are. A simple Google search should bring all of this up for you fairly quickly.

6. “Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the priest and the exotic dancer?”
Yowza. Not only is it strange to tell jokes in an interview, it’s even worse to tell inappropriate jokes in an interview. Stay away from topics like religion and sex, and try not to tell jokes that aren’t relevant to the interview. This is not to say you can’t be funny – your personality should shine through. Just remember you’re here to get a job, not practice your stand-up routine.

7. “Whatever. It’s not like you’re going to hire me.”
If you wouldn’t hire yourself, why would anyone else? Even if you don’t think you have a shot at this job, give the interview all you’ve got. A little personality can go a long way and you might just surprise yourself. More than one job has been won because of a person’s upbeat attitude.

8. “4.20 is a holiday here, right?”
You know why this is wrong, right? Don’t discuss illegal activities during a job interview – even if you are just joking. This can land you in a ton of trouble.

9. “I’m living with my mom right now because I’m going through a messy divorce.” 
Personal information is just that – personal. If you need to explain gaps in employment history or any other touchy topic that could affect your employment, keep it simple. “I was out of work for a while because I had some personal issues I was dealing with.” An interviewer doesn’t need to know your life story.

10. “Sorry I’m late. I just hate getting up before noon.”
Don’t be late. Short of an accident, there is no excuse for being late to a job interview – especially oversleeping. Interviewers will notice, will be annoyed, and will assume that since you can’t even make it to an interview on time, you definitely won’t be making it to work on time.

Do you have a list of other things not to say? Please share it with us.
Source: saj-logo
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.

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