When Silence is Golden: 5 Things to Never Say in a Job Interview

please never say: “I would say my greatest weakness is working too hard, loving too deeply, and having strengths that are too strong.” Photo Courtesy: WOCinTech

While most of our interview faux pas might not be as hilarious as the ones in the “DJ Play My Song,” short, it’s still easy to slip up with something that red-flags your job interview process.

Here are five things you should never say in a job interview:


1) “It’s on my resume”

You should always bring your resume to a job interview, and chances are the prospective employer has already looked at it before you sit down.

But most employers scan a resume at best. So when someone asks you what your experience is, or what your responsibilities were at your previous job, they want to hear it from you.

This is your chance to elaborate on your work and what you bring to the table. While your resume might list a bunch of impressive statistics and accomplishments, what the employer wants to learn more about is your personal experience at the job.

Remember, an interview isn’t just to find out if a candidate is qualified. The employer really wants to know if you’re the right personality fit for their company. Do you have the, “go-with-the-flow” attitude that a company with constantly-changing clients requires? Are you someone who can handle a corporate environment with strict dress codes and behavior? How you conduct yourself has as much to do with getting the job as your skill set does.

2) “I could do this job in my sleep”

It’s understandable to want to broadcast your ability to do the job. But even if you could crush the job while blindfolded, announcing that fact can come across as both insulting (“Oh really? You think this job is a cakewalk?”) and presumptuous.

Just because you did held this same position at another job doesn’t mean you know what the priorities of this new company is. Find out what it is this employer cares about most and talk about how you can help solve their problems.

3) “My last boss was so unorganized”

Trash talking a previous employer is about the biggest no-no you can make. If you gossip about your last boss, why wouldn’t your interviewer assume you’ll do the same about your new boss?

4) “I’ll do whatever it is you guys need”

There’s a difference between being flexible and being desperate. Telling the interviewer you’re willing to mop the floors and empty the garbage screams “Please hire me–no one else will!”

The employer wants their applicant to care about this particular job, not just any job. If you want to let them know that you’re flexible with your responsibilities, let them know that you’re excited about the available position, then talk about what tangential skills you can bring to the company.

If the job is in sales, speak about your experience in that area. Then you can follow up with additional resume bling, like, “I’ve also have had the opportunity to publicly speak at industry conferences.” Let the potential employer make his or her own inferences.

5) “Nope, No Questions”

Most employers will wrap up the interview by asking you if you have any questions for him or her. This is your opportunity to let them know that you’ve done your research. Telling the employer that you don’t have any questions demonstrates a lack of both interest in the company and any sense of curiosity.

Even if you don’t have any questions you need answered, come prepared to ask some anyway, such as: “I read on your website that the company is branching out into video. Could you tell me more about your plans?”

Of course, the questions should be relevant to the subject at hand. A question like, “what are your thoughts about yoga?” will hardly make a great impression.

Interviews can be difficult and stressful if you’re not prepared. But saying something inappropriate can derail your opportunity no matter how much you’ve readied yourself. Just be positive, engaged and curious–and leave the rest behind.