The 10 Worst Things You Can Say in a Job Interview

Categories Lifestyle

Keep these phrases well hidden when you front up at the interview panel.

“Sorry I’m late”

Rocking up late to an interview is about as damaging to your chances of landing the gig as disclosing an ISIS membership in the ‘other interests’ section of your resume.

“I’m so nervous”

Job interviews are a lot like dates: you need to project confidence, rather than insecurity. Chest out, chin up, firm handshake, steady voice — no need to knock yourself down before you’ve even started.

“How many candidates are you interviewing for the role?”

Sizing yourself up against rivals whiffs of insecurity. Would you ask a date how many men she’s seeing?

“Tomorrow I’ve got an interview with . . .”

Again, just like a date, trying to whip up a sense of urgency to pressure the interviewer to snap you up fast only works if the company is struggling to attract talent — not the sort of place you want to be, anyway.

“I hated my last boss”

Let’s extend the dating analogy — ever been for a drink with someone who complains about a long list of crazy exes? You end up suspecting the common denominator of being the crazy one. Same goes for ex-bosses, so keep conversation about former workplaces positive.

“Um . . . ah . . . roughly . . . I reckon”

Interviewers love specifics — signing a $4.5 million deal, increasing social media engagement by 37%, managing a team of 27 employees. Not, “Yeah, around 11 or 12 stores I seem to recall, from memory”, betraying your lack of prep.

“When can I go on leave?”

You haven’t even got the job and you’re already planning an escape. Dodge anything that hints to the interviewer, ‘What’s in it for me?’

“Money’s not important”

The instinct to blurt this out is understandable, but resist the urge — because if money wasn’t important, you’d quit your job to donate your time to charity. Be confident in what you’re worth — anything else says, ‘I’ll do anything!’

“Nah, no other questions”

If you were serious about the job, you’d be keen to ask what the average day looks like, who’s in your team, examples of projects you’ll be working on, why the position is available — not thoughtlessly wrapping up the interview in a hurry.

“How did I do?”

Asking for an appraisal straight after the fact thrusts the interviewer into an uncomfortable position before they’ve even had time to formulate a proper judgement — especially if you ask with knee-knocking self doubt.