Don’t Drive Your Interviewer Crazy: What Not To Say To Land Your Next Job

17 Mar

1. I’m very hard-working.

This is like saying something as general as "I am nice." Come up with some concrete illustrations of how much harder you work than your peers in past employment situations. Otherwise, you’re throwing an example out there that will make your interviewer mentally check out.

2. I am a team player.

Again, you need to have specific examples of how you successfully worked with others to accomplish an important goal for a former employer. Prior to your interview, take the time to practice what you will say to the prospective employer.

3. I am a loyal employee.

Loyalty can not be articulated verbally. It is a personality trait that is exhibited over time. Your former employers may describe you as loyal, but it is inappropriate for you to say this about yourself in an interview. You can explain situations in your past jobs that exhibit loyalty, but it’s important to let the interviewer come to this conclusion.

4. How much does this job pay?

This is basically the kiss of death during an interview! I tell the job seekers I advise to avoid talking money and compensation – at all costs. Even if the interviewer asks you what your salary requirements are – avoid talking about money. Let the hiring manager know that you are open to discussing compensation, after both of you determine whether or not the business relationship is a good fit for both of you.

5. I love to take on new challenges.

Instead, bring up situations in your past where you actually took on a challenge successfully, and define the success that resulted from your involvement. Remember, it’s imperative that you differentiate yourself from others in the job market, and to do so, you must avoid these overstated, and non-specific statements.

6. My bosses love me.

Keep your interview very professional. Love is a word that does not belong in the professional realm. Your former bosses might have liked the fact that you generated a 22% increase in revenue for their organization, but they don’t love you. Make the interview about what you can do for this new company, and focus on using words that articulate your professionalism.

7. Please, please, please hire me! I need a job!

Nothing says desperation like begging for work. You may really need a job, and you truly may be desperate in your personal life. Bite your tongue, and DO NOT bring your personal problems in to the meeting. The interviewer is looking for someone who is going to provide a needed service to their company. Focus on what you can bring to them – and never make this statement during any conversation with an employer.

8. I’ll do anything the company needs.

This is another example of bringing personal issues in to an interview. Be focused on your target position, and don’t try to be a "jack of all trades."

9. I’m the perfect fit for this job.

Unfortunately for you as the job seeker, this is not your place to say. Only the employer can determine whether or not they want to hire you. If you do your research, know the job description you are applying for inside and out, and can verbally express how your previous employment experiences can be applied to the new position – the interviewer will realize you are a good match.

10. I was never appreciated at my last job.

Let me be blunt here; don’t whine during a job interview. It’s a sign of personality weakness, and it’s never going to result in a job offer. Instead, avoid injecting your personal feelings about your previous jobs, and just talk about the facts.

Remember, knowing what not to say during an interview can be just as important as knowing what you should be saying.

One Response to “Don’t Drive Your Interviewer Crazy: What Not To Say To Land Your Next Job”

  1. Moore to ponder March 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Thank you. That was helpful. I think I already have messed up on #9 regarding a job that I really wanted.

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