Straight talk: 13 things never to say in your job interview


Job interviews can be stressful, especially if you are new to the job market or have had a hard time securing a job.

Thankfully, many resources are available to assist job seekers with their resumes and mock interviews, from LinkedIn to your local department of labor.

RELATED: 5 smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview

Though serving up a clean, impressive resume helps, you may not realize the power of your words during a job interview.

Those who are able to secure job interviews are mindful of their approach and communication with interviewers, according to Liz Ryan, CEO/founder of Human Workplace, author of "Reinvention Roadmap" and contributor to Forbes.com’s #LikeAboss series.

“It is easy to get rattled on a job interview and blurt out something you didn't plan to say,” Ryan writes.

“That's why it is vital to consciously calm and center yourself before and during every job interview.”

Below, Ryan and other career experts offer some key things that eager job seekers should and should never say during the course of an interview.

  • Don't complain about your last job. Remember to stay positive during the interviewing process. Think good thoughts; don't dwell on the negative.
  • Don't ask the purpose of the company. Do your research beforehand. Be prepared to ask a few questions about the company's culture and community involvement − something you would not find on the company's website.
  • Don't talk about your inexperience. Again, focus on the positive. Play up your strengths, emphasizing how you can be an asset to the company.
  • Don't be a braggart, saying you're a hard worker or a fast  learner. Otherwise, you may be seen as begging for the job. Instead, you may want to specify ways you have helped previous companies or even your church or community organizations as a volunteer.
  • Don't discuss potential conflicts with your scheduling before you are offered the job. Those details can be worked out later.
  • Don't say you were fired from your last job or that you left on bad terms. If you are asked why you left your last job, you can say, "It was time for me to leave." Saying you left "on bad terms" is subjective and negative.
  • Don't ask about the vacation policy, according to Catherine Conlan, contributing writer with Monster.com.
  • Don't say your don’t have weaknesses. Turn the concept of weakness on its head by saying  how you have learned from them.
  • Don't share your oddities - whether beliefs or hobbies.
  • Don't flatter your interviewer, according to Lillian Childress of Glassdoor.
  • Don't complain about past coworkers or companies. Instead you can discuss past challenges you have faced on jobs and what you have learned from them.
  • Don't say you want this job to help you with your next career move. Instead ask about opportunities for advancement within this company.
  • Don't use filler words and phrases such as "like" or "at the end of the day."


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