10 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

Here are 10 things you should NEVER say in a job interview:

1. “What does your company do?”

When walking into a job interview, you should know everything you possibly can about the job you want. By researching the company before the interview, you show the employer that you care about what they do, who they are, and what their mission is. By understanding those things, you can tailor specific interview answers. Your interviewer will be impressed.

2. “What kind of benefits like vacations and bonuses will I get?”

This is a huge turn-off. You want the job so you can work, not so you can NOT work, right? This type of question leaves a bad taste in the employer’s mouth.

3. When asked about your weaknesses, don’t say: “None,” or “Chocolate.”

This question is meant to test your self-awareness. It is tough because it is a question that requires you to expose your flaws, which, in an interview situation, you are trying to keep hidden as much as possible. You can turn this question into a strength. Practice it. It is asked in interviews often. Knock it out of the park, and you’ll be sure to impress.

In order to answer this question properly, you have to break it down into two segments: (1) what your weakness is/was; and (2) how you have improved on it. Here are some examples:

I used to be pretty unorganized. But, I’ve figured out a way to keep track of all my projects on (Google Calendar, Outlook, Evernote, etc.). By using that tool, my organization skills have really improved.

As a bit of a perfectionist, I used to spend more time on projects than I probably should have. But, I’ve been able to overcome that and become more confident in my work product and decisions.

4. “My last boss was an idiot.”

Speaking ill about prior co-workers and supervisors is a big mistake. Even if what you say is 100% true and your boss was an “idiot,” it causes the interviewer to think, “well, maybe you were the problem,” or worse, that you subjectively think that you know how to run a business better than him or her. The last thing a potential employer wants is for someone to question their business acumen or decision-making.

Follow the “Thumper Rule”: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

5. “Dude” or “Bro”

Use professional language. “Sir” and “Ma’am” are always appropriate.

6. When asked if you have any questions, don’t say: “Nope”

At the end of an interview, when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for him or her, you have a golden opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Most people will politely say, “no” or “I don’t think so,” promptly ending the interview. But here is how you can use this seemingly unimportant question to your advantage:

Ask something highly relevant and specific to the job you are applying for. If the company you are interviewing with has a blog, for example, ask a question from one of the articles that you read. Or, if the company has placed their mission statement online, say something to this effect: “Your mission statement says that you ‘will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.’ How has advancing technology helped you accomplish that mission?”


The interviewer will immediately realize that you have done your research, that you care about the company’s mission statement, that you care about their customers, and that you are interested in their business processes. That is bound to leave a lasting impression. All of that came from a simple, well-thought out question that the interviewer didn’t see coming. Like I said, it’s a golden opportunity to impress.

7. “I need to check with my neighbor to make sure she can drop me off in the mornings”

The employer should not have to question whether you will be able to arrive to work, and do so on time.

8. “Well, I was born on April 2, 1988….”

Do not tell your life story. Give the interviewer the information he or she needs to understand how you will contribute to the job offered.

9. “Sorry I was late, my husband and I were fighting.  It happens all the time.”

Keep the family drama in the family. If you are willing to bring it up in the interview, the interviewer will immediately know that you will bring home drama to work. That’s no bueno.

10. When asked why you want the job, don’t say: “I really think your job will fit into my life plan”

The job is not about you. It’s about how your skills, experience and education can contribute to the specific needs of the company. If it fits into your life plan, then bonus.


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