We’ve all done job interviews–either as the candidate looking for a job or as the person interviewing candidates. Lots of different topics come up during job interviews, and conversations can go all over the place. Don’t blow it by using certain words and phrases that should never – ever – come out of your mouth. I don’t have any weaknesses. Really? You’re that perfect? Everyone has weaknesses, but people who say they don’t have weaknesses are just trying to suck up in a job interview. When asked about your weakness, choose something you’ve made positive efforts to improve. You could say “Public speaking sometimes makes me nervous, so I enrolled in a public speaking course where I made several presentations in front of large groups and it has become less of a problem for me.” I’m a single mom so… People say this either because they think people will empathize and appreciate that a single mom is a hard worker or to emphasize how much they need the job so the hiring manager will be compassionate. Focus on what you can do for the company, because everyone needs money. You’re no exception. 3. Almost “I almost got promoted.”What you just said is that you didn’t get promoted, so an interviewer will wonder why. Talking about what you “almost” did takes away from what you might have actually done. 4. Irregardless It might be a legitimate word in the dictionary, but it sounds like you’re trying to be hoity-toity. Or it sounds like you’re trying to use big words because you don’t know the common usage of words in the English language. Just say regardless; that’s what it means anyway. 5. Stuff When asked what you did in your last job, don’t say “I worked with computers and stuff”. Your interviewer may wonder what exactly “stuff” is but lose enough interest to ask.Instead, just tell them what you did. In high school… If you’ve been in the workplace for a while, no one cares that you were on the high school yearbook committee; they care what you’ve done more recently that applies to the job you’re trying to snag. So unless you are still in high school or are under 21, there’s no reason to talk about it unless an interviewer specifically asks about your high school years. 7. Pregnant Just because you may think your interviewer looks like she’s seven months pregnant, don’t congratulate her. Don’t ask when she’s due or if it’s a boy or a girl. It’s a personal question – and what if she isn’t even pregnant? If she brings it up, it’s okay. Similarly, you don’t have to tell an interviewer if you are pregnant and it’s illegal for your pregnancy to be considered in a job interview. Are you married? This is another personal question to avoid. If your interviewer wants to talk about her family life, she’ll bring it up. Likewise, you shouldn’t be asked if you are married. You should only be asked to talk about your own family life if you are discussing whether or not you’re willing to relocate, because that involves the whole family. 9. Boring It’s the kiss of death to say your old job was boring. It makes you look like you couldn’t take initiative in your job or you were possibly a slacker. Instead, say you’re just looking for new challenges instead of that you were bored by your last job. It wasn’t my fault. Of course things happen that weren’t your fault. But if you say “I was fired but it wasn’t my fault” in an interview, it will immediately send up a red flag. You look defensive. Or you look like someone who doesn’t want to take responsibility. Sometimes bad things happen. But try explaining what happened instead and avoid the topic of who was at fault. 11. Nothing If an interviewers asks “What have you been doing since your last job” or “Since you’ve been unemployed for a while, what have you been up to”, don’t say “nothing” or “not much”. Sure, maybe all you’ve been doing is binge watching Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones. But then sign up for a course online or at a local community college and learn something so you can honestly answer that you’ve been learning some new skills. 12. Whatever The right answer to any question is never “whatever”. You might think you’re being polite or showing that you’re flexible, but really, you come across as indecisive. For example, when asked what you would like to drink, don’t say “whatever”. Instead, ask for water or coffee since almost any office has those. What does your company do? If you have to ask this, maybe you shouldn’t be there. Before you go to your job interview, at the very least you should research a little about the company and know who you are hoping to work for. Have a few ideas ready about ways you can help the company do whatever it does – better. My last boss was a real “#!%!!”. Your last boss might have been a nightmare, but complaining about him or her reflects badly on you and makes you look like someone people wouldn’t want to work with. It’s okay to talk about challenges you might have faced, but focus on the positive results you achieved instead of people or sticky situations. I love your glasses. Don’t compliment interviewers on their physical appearance or accessories. It might comes across as inappropriate or even creepy. Paying compliments is fine if they are professionally related, such as a success the company or interviewer has recently had. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.