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4/24/16 - 5 Phrases That Will Kill Your Chances When Interviewing

by Don Goodman 

All the prep work you do in advance of a job interview won’t help you come off as the best candidate for the job unless you can communicate effectively too! There are certain words and phrases that have a negative connotation when spoken. Know what they are before walking into your next job interview.

Here are tips on what you should avoid saying and how to keep communication positive regardless of what may be discussed or asked of you during the job interview.

1. “I’m A Perfectionist”

In the typical job interview, you’ll likely be asked about a weakness you have. While you probably don’t want to point out a weakness when you’re trying to impress, the answer isn’t to say: “I’m a perfectionist.” Everyone has a weakness, so think ahead about this and be ready to point out how you’ve overcome it or how you’re taking steps to improve on it. Employers want to see that you’re proactive and willing to overcome difficulties and challenges that come your way.

2. “I Don’t Know”

Your effort to come off confident is shot when you say “I don’t know” at the job interview. Yes there are tough interview questions that may come your way or questions that may require a bit more thinking, but that’s okay. Rather than saying “I don’t know” as the easy way out, set yourself up for more time to think through it in order to provide a smart response. You can repeat the question, then say: “That’s a great question! Give me a moment to think through this.” That’ll give you a little more time to come up with a quality answer than to just say: “I don’t know.” It also helps to demonstrate to the interviewer that you remain composed and in control of any pressure that may be put on you.

3. “My Boss Was A Micromanager”

You may be asked what you dislike about your current or previous job, but the job interview is not the time or place to talk bad about how you’re boss is a micromanager or how the company treats its employers unfairly. The focus needs to be on a challenge under the work environment and then how you improved the situation and overcame the challenge. This may be a point where you can also tie in how you’re looking to expand your knowledge and experience in a way your current employer is unable to help fulfill.

4. “I’ll Take Any Job I Can Get”

Coming off desperate is not appealing in many situations, especially for a job. Employers are looking for candidates who are confident and have the experience and skills to do well on the job. They are not hiring based on who is in most need of a job, so don’t play up the point that you’ll take any job you can get or that you were just fired and you’re desperate. That won’t sit well in terms of setting an impression that you’re the best candidate for the job.

5. “What Does Your Company Do?” Or “Where Are The Other Offices Located?”

Yes you want to express you’re interested and have questions for the interviewer, but please don’t ask anything that you should have already researched before you applied for the job. Asking questions like “What does your company do?” or “Where are the other offices located?” only informs the interviewer that you didn’t do your research to understand the company. Much of the information you’re looking for to these questions likely already exist on the company’s website.

As you can see from some of the examples above, a good interview can easily turn bad when the wrong things are said. Always stick to positive communication to help demonstrate your level of confidence and desire to improve as well as your ability to help the employer succeed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job.