Interview Don'ts: 10 Things to Avoid Saying During an Interview

1. I am sorry I am late.

Don’t be late. Period. Plan ahead and be at least fifteen (15) minutes early to your appointment. To be honest, even when you call ahead to inform that you will be late, the impression is made. So never be late – enough said.

2. I don’t know.

You would have read many articles and heard many people tell you to be honest but that does not mean you can say ‘I don’t know’ to a question that you genuinely don’t know an answer to. Don’t panic. You can start by saying ‘Give me a minute to think …’ and you can always answer by saying ‘I would perhaps solve this by doing this….’ – this approach show you are not sure but you are still willing to analyse the situation and figure out a solution. This is much better than ‘I don’t know’.

3. It is already on my resume.

Don’t make this mistake. When you say this, it shows your irritability. The reason you are asked something that is already on your resume – it really means the interviewer wants you to expand what you have already written in your resume. They want to see if you can articulate what you have written in a conversation – your communications skill is being tested. So, stop sounding sassy and use this moment to shine.


4. My current employer/boss is terrible.

Stop blaming others. Your interviewer will immediately think that this exactly what you will say if you cannot get along with your new boss. If you say that you can’t work with anyone in your previous or current workplace, your interviewer does not know your previous boss – but they see you – so the impression you are setting is that you are difficult to work with. Never speak negatively of anyone.

5. I ‘like’ have these many social media followers and ‘like’ am half-celebrity myself

Sure, you can be a celebrity, but do you have to use ‘like’ after every two or three words in a sentence. This shows immaturity and that you really are not sure what you are saying. This is a job interview not a gossip channel interview for a reality show. So ‘like’ don’t do it.


6. I hate gossips and office politics.

We don’t believe you. Why even bring it up unless you were asked about this, directly. Remember, every office has its politics, as an employee it is important that you don’t allow any type of politics affect your work. Deflect the question back to you how you always prioritise your work more than anything. Here is an example, ‘Office politics are everywhere these days, but my priority will always be my work and wherever I worked I have always put my work above everything else.’

7. Don’t use profanity.

What are you doing? Forget about the job as soon as the ‘bad word’ is out of your mouth. Swearing is the BIGGEST no-no during an interview – and it will always remain unforgivable. So even if your interviewer drops an ‘F’ bomb here and there, you stay far away from this.


8. No – No Questions From Me.

This shows your disinterest. So, prepare in advance. If you really want to impress the interviewers, ask them to explain about the organisation, to give you an overview from an internal perspective. Another popular question that interviewers liked being asked is about the role itself, what is expected aside from what you have read, ‘is there a specific goal in mind for the person assuming this role or how do you see this role developing in the future’. A reminder though, asking questions does not mean you can start asking about the benefits or company leave policies. Don’t rock the boat.

9. How much does this job pay?

Honestly, all of us want to know what the benefits are, how much are we going to be remunerated and what is the yearly bonus structure like. But you don’t bring it up, let the interviewer start the remuneration topic. And be polite, don’t push too hard.


10. Clichés

The most ‘eye rolling’ answers to questions are when candidates use clichés like ‘My greatest weakness is I love working so hard’ or ‘I always think outside the box’ – no you don’t. Stop with the clichés and be you, be real. Use real life examples, speak of an experience you had in your previous role. This would be more genuine and would be helpful for the interviewer to evaluate your fit for the role you are applying for.