What Not to Say in Job Interviews


During job interviews your objectives are to compel the hiring manager to choose you over the other candidates.  You will need to subtly convince them that your skills and personality are the best choice for the job.  As you are preparing for your moment in the sun, be aware that there are some things that most hiring managers will consider red flags.  Just a couple of these slip-ups, and it won’t matter how great your references or skills are.

Avoid Excessive Flattery During Job Interviews

They can be easily misinterpreted as being insincere or inappropriately flirtatious. The latter can be a huge H.R. concern.   The best way to show appreciation is with thoughtful responses.

Don’t Complain About Your Present Job

One way to set yourself up as a positive person is by not complaining about recent positions or supervisors. If you are seeking work that offers more growth opportunity than what you currently have, say so subtly. “One reason this position is attractive is because of its learning opportunities.”  Not how much you disliked your last boss or co-worker.

Steer Clear of Using Ladder Climbing Language

Employers want to hire qualified people who will stay and grow in their positions. Hiring is costly and time consuming. Don’t allude to your desire for the job as being linked to your next career move. Focus on the present: You want to learn, grow, and contribute to this organization that is actively hiring.

Stay Away from Asking the Wrong Questions

Hiring manager expect that you will have questions about company culture and duties.  But, steer clear of these questions in job interviews:

  • How soon can I get a raise?
  • How soon can I take a vacation after I start?
  • What are the job requirements?
  • How much warning before drug tests?
  • What is your (interviewer’s) background?
  • Do you do background checks?
  • What does your company do?
  • Does the company monitor email or internet usage?
  • How long is the probation period?


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