Career advice

Six things you shouldn’t say in an interview

You don’t want your first impression on your prospective new boss to be a bad one. So, greeting your interviewer with the wrong name or mentioning the wrong company are both ways of ensuring you won’t get off to a flying start.
Aside from the obvious, such as arriving on time, being appropriately dressed and not using slang or profanities; there are a few things to remember during your interview. Your attitude and body language should reflect your interest in the role, the organisation and the interviewer.
There are also plenty of things you shouldn’t say in an interview, below are some examples of what to avoid:

1. What does your company do?

Showing a lack of knowledge proves a lack of interest. There are no excuses for not conducting any research on the organisation. You should know their service back to front and you should also be aware of any issues that they are currently facing.

2. I hated my last boss.

Aside from being completely unprofessional, bad mouthing old managers and colleagues will only put you in a negative light; the hiring manager might assume you were the problem.

3. No, I don’t have any questions.

Part of your preparation should have been deciding what you wanted to know about the role or organisation that might not come up in the interview. Even if your questions have already been covered, asking the interviewer to clarify or go into more detail will show your interest.

4. I don’t have any weaknesses.

Telling your interviewer you have no weaknesses is practically the same as saying you’re perfect. Chances are you’re not. This question will almost certainly come up, so prepare an answer beforehand that puts a positive spin on your weakness.

5. I’ll be needing the following days off...

The interview is not the time to discuss this. If you have a holiday booked or an important event to attend you can bring this up as part of your negotiations if an offer is made.

6. How long will it be before I’m promoted/given a pay rise?

You might sound like you’re expecting to be rewarded for doing very little work and that you’d regard the role you’re interviewing for very highly, if you ask this question.
There are also topics of conversation you should avoid in an interview. For instance (unless interviewing for a related post) avoid discussing your religious and political affiliations. Your interviewer might find it inappropriate, or worse offensive.
Use your common sense, and be respectful during your interview and you should be able to avoid any mistakes. If you need more interview advice, take a look at our articles on how body language affects your interview technique and how to make a great impression.