Job interviews can feel like a form of torture, not just for the shy introverted types, but also for the talkative, honest types who cannot understand the concept of “TMI” (too much information). This is neither a post on how to lie nor stretch the truth in a job interview.
Instead, we offer advice on the phrases you should never say during an interview, as they may give the hiring manager the wrong impression. After all, knowing what to say, and what not to say, carry equal importance in a job interview.
1. “Now, I realize I don’t have the experience you require, but…”
This phrase is often provoked after the interviewer asks, “You do not have experience in this industry. What makes you believe you are a great fit?” Now, when you applied for the job you knew it was a long shot. So, here is where you get to explain what inspired you to apply in the first place.
The last thing you should start doing is point out your own flaws. Aside, the statement itself almost sounds apologetic, as if you knew the job was a poor fit for you. Saying this statement leaves a hiring manager wondering, “So, why did you apply?” It is up to you convince them why you are a great fit. The missing experience is already obvious.
2. “So, what does this job pay?”
Before your job interview, use Glassdoor and LinkedIn to come up with an estimate of what the position will pay. Asking this question too soon during the interview process sets a bad tone for your job interview.
Salary is an obvious motivating factor in finding the right job. So, companies want to find out in your job interview that money is not your only motivation. They want to know if they decide to pay you that you will care about the company and work you do.
3. “I’d rather not talk about my last boss.”
Unfortunately, saying such a thing in a job interview indicates the relationship with your last boss was difficult. You may believe you are helping yourself by avoiding a difficult topic, but you were the one who agreed to the job interview and put the job experience on your resume. Of course, they are going to ask you about it.
Job candidates have also made the mistake of speaking negatively about their bosses in job interviews. Even if you can prove that your last boss was terrible, you should never start speaking negatively during a job interview.
At the end of the day, you will leave the hiring manager thinking, “This person has unresolved issues.” or “This person will do the same to me one day.” The hiring manager and company need to feel they can trust you from the very first job interview up until the time you leave the company.
4. “I’m ok. I do not have any questions.”
The job interview is over and the hiring manager wanted to know if you had any questions about the job or the company. Saying the above phrase indicates to the hiring manager that you have no interest in the job or the company. Not having any questions is a quick way to get yourself eliminated from the hiring process.
Note: If you have no interest in the job or company after the interview, not asking questions is also a way to politely let them know you don’t need another job interview.
Why we often say TMI
You may still say these phrases during a job interview, and later, kick yourself for doing it. Do not worry because it happens to everyone at some point. Why? It is psychological.
Job interviews are quiet Q&A sessions between two or more strangers that occur in rooms behind closed doors. This often leads anxious job seekers into a false sense of intimacy or security. As a result, job seekers may feel comfortable saying anything to anyone like two passengers on an airplane. And they may forget the boundaries in play during a job interview.
As a job seeker, you have to remember the hiring manager works for a company. He or she is trying to make the best hiring decision. They may be friendly and professional, but they are not your friends during the job interview process.