There are some things that are better left unsaid. Especially when you are trying your best to impress someone you just met so that they will give agree to give you a job. Saying any of these things will put a serious question mark next to your candidacy.
“Sorry I’m late.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: You shouldn’t be late in the first place. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot. Your interview should show you at your absolute best. If you can’t even make it on time for this, what’s going to be different if you work there?
“How much time off will I get?”
Why you shouldn’t say it: At least try to sound like you want to do some work for the company before you head off on holiday. Administrative things like this will be explained to you in due course, should you receive an offer.
“I know I’m not very experienced but…”
Why you shouldn’t say it: You should be focusing on your strengths not on your weaknesses. Instead, talk about the experience you do have and what you’re great at.
“My old boss/company was awful.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: However justified this may be, don’t bring it up. It could make the interviewer worry that you have trouble getting on with the people you work with and have them thinking ahead to when you will be repeating the same things about this company.
“That’s on my CV.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: If they’re asking you about it, they want to hear what you have to say. They don’t want the bare facts of your resume at this stage. They want to learn more about you and what you can do.
“I’ll just answer this quickly.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Your phone shouldn’t even be on. You should be completely focused on the interview. If you give the impression it’s not a priority for you, you’re hardly likely to be offered the job. Companies want committed employees.
“I’m glad you asked that because I have a great answer.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Look, the interviewer knows you prepared for this, I know you prepared for this, even Jon Snow knows you prepared for this, but you don’t have to advertise the fact that you’re reciting a script. While it’s great to have some things you are ready to talk about, you also need to be able to play it by ear and have a genuine conversation with the interviewer.
“My biggest weakness? I’d have to say perfectionism”
Why you shouldn’t say it: If you can actually say this with a straight face, I’m impressed. Hiring managers want to get some insight into your personality and working style. This answer doesn’t give them anything. Instead, try talking about something that you’ve already improved about yourself.
“I went to [awesome university], doubled my last company’s revenue and got a 10m swimming badge.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: While you may think it’s a good idea to list every accomplishment you can think of, a psychological phenomenon called “Presenter’s Paradox” means it’s actually not. Your listener (in this case, the interviewer) won’t add all your achievements together. Instead, they’ll average them out, meaning one less impressive thing decreases the value of all the amazing things you’ve done.
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