7 Things you Should not Say in an Interview
September 25, 2019
CATEGORY : Interview

Just like public speaking, interviews can cause anxiety. A few minutes before you face the hiring supervisor, you may experience palm’s sweating, heart racing, and knees weakening. Your experience is akin to lining up before a vaccine injection or a scheduled dental checkup.

He/she would use the question to probe your career history, know your skills, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Most HR personnel are trained in psychology or human behavioral sciences. By observing your mannerisms and using a couple of probing questions, they’ll know if you’re telling the truth and they’ll assess your confidence level.

Saying inappropriate things to an interviewer may or might sabotage your chances of getting hired. Remember that companies hire people to solve a problem and such problem solvers only come from positive people, not from pessimistic. Knowing not to say these 7 things in an interview can help you stand out among applicants, decrease anxiety moments and finally get that sweet offer letter.

1. How much is the salary?

Asking first about the salary in your first interview is a big No. These are the reasons why asking the salary first is a bad idea.

  • You’re lowering your chances of negotiating the offer.

  • You’re leaving the impression that money is your only motivator. Hiring personnel must know you first and what can you bring to solve a company problem. 

Tips: Do this instead:

  • Let the manager bring the salary topic as they will surely ask you about your salary expectations. 
  • Negotiate a salary by knowing first about the challenges and responsibilities of the job, considering the perks and benefits, and being careful after saying no if you really need a job. 
  • Research your industry and the salary range. Use this salary calculator and salary research.

2. I’m sorry, I’m late

No matter what are the reasons, unless you’re in an emergency, saying that you have been late because of a traffic jam or your pet spilled your coffee, won’t make a cut. Always give a time allowance to accommodate traffic, walking scenes and delays. 

3. I hate my boss - Mr/Miss A and B

Badmouthing your ex-company and your boss communicates to the hiring manager that you have some ethical issues on your side or you’re a whiner instead of a problem solver. You might have some legitimate reasons such as your boss’s incompetence or his/her loose cannon temper but saying about your superiors in a bad light can ruin your chances of getting that job. Here are the reasons not to blast your ex-boss:

  • Your may or might-to-be soon-employer could ask about your character references and they might contact the former boss that you are at odds with.

  • The internet has made the world smaller.

  • You may come across as a complainer who has more talk but has fewer actions.

  • Gossips are everywhere. He/She may even be an acquaintance of your ex-boss.

Tip: Forgive and move on. You may have valid reasons but you can say about them in private or say your frustration story to your close friend or relatives.

4. I hate my XYZ company 

When you feel hating your job and your boss, usually it’s a person or your superior that you're dealing with - and that has nothing to do with the entire company. Speaking ill about your former employer may or might bring these undesirable outcomes.

  • You may end up hurting or offending your innocent former colleagues.

  • You may meet your former colleagues and that they can join your current company as well. 

  • Your hiring manager will also think that you will bad-mouth their company if ever you get hired.

  • The internet made the world smaller.

  • No one likes a complainer.

Tip: Forgive & move-on. Think about when you have been given a chance when you have less experience or skills or have been jobless.

5. Is it possible to date a co-worker?

Some people get their boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses through their job but a workplace is not a venue for romantic encounters. Office romance can be a bad idea as most companies are wary of flying kisses between Mr Right and Miss Right. Here’s a survey: The state of office romance. Here are the reasons:

  • Heartbreaks can affect your performance.

  • Gossips are everywhere.

  • It’s not going to be fun working with your ex who might be dating somebody in your team.

  • Working with your ex or former love flame daily is very uncomfortable and awkward.

Tip: There are situations that office romance results in success and there’s even a couple that works together. If you can’t resist the urge, take the risk but make sure that your romantic urge is discrete or better if you have options finding your soulmate, you can choose other locations such as interest groups, social media, dating sites and networks, or even at church. 

6. How do you promote or soon promote your employees?

Asking this question can sound entitled and arrogant similar to asking about the salary first before the HR asks your salary expectations. Instead of asking about promotion ask “I’m interested in staying in your company, what is the typical career path for someone in this role?”.

7. No, I have no questions

“No, I have no questions”, can mean you lack of interest. The Hiring manager question - “Do you have questions?” tries to test your knowledge and interest in the company.  Hiring Managers ask this company knowledge question right after the resume/skills/experiences probing questions. 

Tip: Ask these questions:

  1. What is a typical daily routine?

  2. Is this an urgent hiring?

  3. When can I expect to hear from you?

  4. Would you like a list of references?

The bottom line

These 7 things not to say in an interview can mean a difference between getting a second interview/job offer or waiting for an empty promise of a second call - “we will inform you and we will call you’’. There are more than these 7 lists but these 7 are the most frequently said during the first or second interviews. 


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