Seven Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

interviwe tipsYou dry cleaned your suit. You've got a dozen copies of your resume, just in case. You arrived early -- but not too early. You silenced your cell phone. You made small talk with the receptionist, and you're pretty sure the two of you will be best friends one day. Now, you're about to confidently head into an interview for a job you're dying to land.

Don't ruin it all by saying any of the following to your interviewer.




1. "My last boss was an idiot."

No matter how terrible your last boss was, or how glad you are to be free of your previous company, keep it to yourself. Not only will you look immature and negative if you start griping, but you also never know whom your interviewer is connected to. Your interviewer and your former boss may be old fraternity brothers, for all you know.

"Do not gossip or speak badly about anyone you've worked with or for, even if they're currently serving time in state prison for what they did," says Gayl Murphy, author of 'Interview Tactics: How to Survive the Media without Getting Clobbered.' "Even if the [interviewer tries to] push you into it. Remember, it's all a test. Be graceful and polite; you could be talking about [his or her] brother-in-law."




2. "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "No."

Unless the interviewer asks you if you're so-and-so here for the nine-o'clock interview, you shouldn't be using one-word answers. An interview is your time to convince the employer that you have the qualifications for the job. Even if the questions don't seem open-ended, answer them as if they are. You don't need to drone on and on, but use every chance you get to prove why you're the right person for the job.

"You want to use as much color and detail as possible when describing your background, experience and your professional journey, but without being long winded because, in reality, it's about your skill set and your valuable experience and expertise. Be specific: use names, dates and places," Murphy says.




3. "Let me tell you what I think about religion and politics..."

Like a first date, an interview is no time to bring up religion or politics. If these touchy subjects can spark heated debates amongst even the closest of friends, imagine what kind of argument you could get into with a stranger.

"When being interviewed for a job, deciding what to say and what to keep to yourself has always been challenging, especially since there are so many different opinions out there," says Murphy. "[But] unless you're going for a job as a pastor or rabbi, it's best to steer clear of religious tenants." Ditto for politics; unless it's a key part of the job, it's best to avoid sharing political opinions.




4. "Of course I know HTML coding/ my way around China/ the nuances of quantitative behavioral finance!"

An interview is not the place to embellish your work or personal experience. If an interviewer asks you about something you don't have experience with, fess up and tell them how willing and able you are to learn new things. If you claim to be something you're not, chances are you'll be found out sooner or later... maybe not during the interview process, but when you find yourself lost in the middle of China a few months after landing the job, your gig will be up.

"Don't make up anything about what you've done that isn't true. It's too easy these days to get busted for anything like that. And they are looking at anything and everything," Murphy says.




5. "Hey man, do you want to grab a drink after this?"

No matter how well you hit it off with your interviewer or how great your conversation goes, your interviewer is not your friend -- even if you find out you're both getting married on the same day or you're both obsessed with college football. The relationship is still a professional one, so resist the urge to spill too many personal or off-topic details, or to start calling your interviewer "buddy," "girl," "hon" or "man."




6. "Hahahaaaaa! AAAAAhaaahahaaa!"

Okay, so someone cracked a joke. It's probable that in the duration of your professional career, you'll come across an interviewer with a good sense of humor. It's even OK to laugh at a joke made during the interview. Just don't die laughing. No one looks professional with cackle-induced teary eyes, teeth and gums-a-blazing.

Should you find yourself surpassing the point of no return in your fit of laughter, take a deep breath, and think about how awful you'll feel if you don't get the job. It may seem like a buzzkill, but there's a time and a place for everything, including hysterics.




7. "I mean, I'm not THAT great."

Now is not the time for modesty, false or otherwise. While you don't want to come across like a used car salesman, you are there to sell yourself. Or, as Murphy puts it: "Know in your bones you have an awesome product." And don't be afraid to sell it.

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Jon

MOST HR PEOPLE ARE SCUMBAGS. They tend to fill the company with personal friends or friends of friends. If they are Mormon it is even worse, they fill the company with church members.
If you are looking for a job in a minority owned business, good luck unless you are in the same minority class. Black owners are the worst, they go out of their way to hire all blacks. How is that in and area with 60% white population that a companies with 40+ employees can be 100% black without discrimination in hiring? Or in company where the CEO is black 100% of the high paying jobs are held by blacks?
Getting a job today is more about who you know than what you know; they could really care less about how you do in the interview, you pretty much got the job before that.
American business has become a collection of greedy Aholes who could care less if you make enough money to feed and support you family; they got theirs and f-you.
As for the bi-lingual requirement, it is about time someone shuts that discrimination down through the courts.

December 19 2010 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
supernova

Randy T, you are obviously ugly.

December 19 2010 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debra


God Bless America! Heaven Knows we need all the blessing, we can get.
Steve,
Good for you! I agree with you and, appreciate you, not using profanity to get your point across.
I tune people out when I hear them talk trashy like that.
Not enough people have any pride anymore I guess, which is probably why they talk that way.
But seriously, wasn't this article about things "not" to say in an interview? how about like DON'T use profanity. Be respectful and courteous? Annnnnd SMILE when you say "hello."

ok. I wish it was easier to FIND products and clothing
made in the U.S.A.
I'm often looking for "Made in the U.S.A" and seldom find it. :(

It's unreal how many people with such bitter attitudes,
criticize others for the situation(s) we're in.
I don't see or hear them trying to CHANGE what they don't like though?

I also agree,Credit scores have NO place in hiring a new employee.
If they want to prevent a hire, let them look to see if you are a Sex Offender, or been in trouble with the law, but NOT because you had trouble paying bills. Sometimes that is because you were without a job,...did they consider that? probably not.
"In God We Trust" Debra

December 19 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack

Genuflecting and kow towing will probably be useful skills soon if we don't as citizens start voting in our own interests and turn alot of the rascals out at election time. Starting with Mr. Bush-lite, the Blue Dogs and the lock step Republicans. Job interviews-what a joke for us older folk. Oh yes! I forgot, I can say "Welcome to Walmart."

December 19 2010 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Duane

PLEASE PEOPLE OF THE U.S.A., I AM ASKING ALL TO NOT USE SELF CHECK OUT REGISTERS AT GROCERY STORES AND SUCH. IF YOU DO THE MATH WHEN PLACES LIKE SUPER WALLY WORLD AND THEY USUALLY HAVE BETWEEN FOUR AND SIX SUCH REGISTERS ON BOTH SIDEA OF THIER STORES WHICH MEANS BETWEEN EIGHT AND TWELVE REGITERS THAT HAVE TAKEN AWAY FROM THE SAME AMOUNT OF JOBS FROM DESPERATE AMERICANS WHO WOULD BE HAPPY TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE AND TRY TO GET BY IN THIS ECONOMY.
PLEASE HELP SAVE THE AMERICAN JOBS BY SIMPLY REFUSING TO USE THESE REGISTERS YOU WILL BE HELPING GET DESPERATELY NEEDED JOBS, AND IF YOU ADD UP ALL THESES TYPE OF STORES USING THIS CHECK OUT METHOD ESPECIALLY IN 24/7 STORES IT ADDS UP COUNTY TO COUNTY IN OUR COUNTRY TO AN AMAZING AMOUNT OF JOBS THAT WE THE PEOPLE CAN BRING BACK BY SIMPLY BOYCOTTING THE USE OF THESE AUTOMATED JOB DESTROYERS. THANK YOU AND PLEASE IF YOU BELIEVE IN MY THEORY YOU AS WELL AS MYSELF CAN BE HELPING SOME JOBS BACK TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.I WILL STOP RANTING NOW,BUT WE ALSO NEED TO REMEMBER WE INVENTED WINDOWS AND REVOLUTIONIZED THE PERSONAL COMPUTER YET THEY ARE ALL MADE OVER SEAS WHILE MR GATES COUNTS HIS BILLIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE.THANKS BILL AND UPON YOUR NEXT INVENTIONS PLEASE KEEP THE JOBS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SO SOME OF LESS FORTUNATE CAN EAT.

December 19 2010 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mmayzak

Sorry, your mommy is not here to tell you it's OK, it's not. It's a very competitive world out there - and several will lose.

I placed 2% of the candidates I spoke to last year... 2%... the rest were simple not 'placeable'. May have been 'hireable' - but that is not my world.

The world is about WINNING employment - not for the slobby, uneducated, all about me mentality. No wonder we'll push the work out of this country!

Are you really telling me a hard working family man in Mexico or Pakistan or China is WORSE at the work than a lazy american woker who feels they are constantly owed something??

We've created a culture of entitlement, in a world that doesn't care about you...

I pity you lazy folks who won't WORK... there is so much work out there for someone who will WORK - be one of those.

December 19 2010 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mmayzak's comment
Jon

I'll bet 75% of that 2% you placed have helped pull their company to the brink of BK. I have worked for a Fortune 500 company (now BK) and a 5th ranked Forbes top 100 small company (now bk) who were both pulled down by over-educated and under qualified "placed" executives and professionals. These guys jump from job to job pulling down every position they hold. Some of the guys who have PhDs and MBAs I've found to be so stupid and out of touch that I personally would not have hired them for a data entry job.

December 20 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mmayzak

Employment is not an entitlement... everyone discriminates... to fat, to old, to un-educated, to sick, to many bad references... to bad.

December 19 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wannawork

There should not be ANY bilingual requirements or preferences for any common everyday job that does not deal directly with international trade. So basically, when we are at the drive-thru at McD's ordering a burger, you can understand what they say. Or getting the right car parts (O'Reily's) the first time because neither of you can understand each other. Speaking Spanish should not be a preference over ANY English only speaking fully qualified applicant!

If I were to move to another coutry with a different base language, then I would fully expect to learn that local language to function and not expect everything to be bi-lingual or hire specific employees merely to accomodate my presence there.

Just as new immigrants to this country should feel proudly obligated (if not being required) to learn the language of the land to assimilate themselves into functioning members of society within this country just as most of our ancestors did through Ellis Island and were very proud to do so rather than the current trend of expecting this nation, and it's citizens to accomodate them.

December 19 2010 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carol K.

It is very true. No matter how much experience one has for a particular job, if you are not young and attractive, you pretty much are facing an uphill climb in trying to get a job with a company. Also, if you are disabled, you might as well forget trying to work for anyone other than yourself.

I know from experience of trying to get a part-time seasonal job at a Borders book store, that I did not get hired because I am past the age of 30. I refused to color my gray hair (I believe that comes under the realm of age discrimination). However, try to prove it. The hiring team gets around this by saying that they couldn't verify any of the references I listed. (I checked with the people I listed as references and they said that NO ONE called from Borders to verify my background).

Most of the businesses today are founded on lies and deception. Too bad! Our great country used to be #1 in not only business, but in health care, education, and economic mobility.

Yes, we need a revolution. But WHO will lead us?





December 19 2010 at 5:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

"You have great tits?" When is lunch?" "How many weeks Vaca do I get?"
"How often are raises?" "How long are breaks and when are they?" and probably last thing to say is "How serious is this company about prosecuting sex harrassment charges?" Id say these are prob not good things to say, No??

December 19 2010 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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