Job interviews are a crucial step in the job search process. It is the moment when the recruiter assesses your suitability for the position and the company culture. It is essential to make a good impression and to communicate thoughtfully and professionally.
While management experts insist that the interview should be an exchange and a meeting, rather than a test, it remains a source of nervousness and tension for many.
For job seekers, it can be a moment of anxiety, and this anxiety often generates awkward moments, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. To avoid these as much as possible, here are 10 things you should never say during a professional job interview.
- “What does the company do?” One of the most important things to do before a job interview is to research the company: what does it do exactly, what are its missions, its values… Any question that betrays a lack of knowledge in this area will create a feeling of disinterest in the recruiter.
- “It’s on my resume.” Another essential element for a job interview is to prepare your resume. It’s not just about updating it and adapting it to the company (i.e., before the interview), but creating it.
You should be able to provide a narrative about your education and experience. You may be asked something that is on your resume, to test you orally, or simply to learn more.
- “I don’t have much experience.” Not all job interviews are the same level of stress; the atmosphere sometimes depends on how your profile matches the position.
For example, you may have no experience in a similar job but present related skills acquired through various jobs. Focus on the ones you have, not the ones you lack!
- “My biggest flaw is that I’m a perfectionist.” A classic in any job interview. Not just on this point in particular, but on the string of stereotypical responses, clichés, and platitudes we tend to resort to in moments like this.
To do it right, you need to be honest. Why don’t you think of a challenge you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome it?
- “I don’t know.” A job interview is an opportunity to practice (skills you should already have acquired) in answering difficult questions. The answer “I don’t know” is almost always the open door to disaster.
It’s better to ask the person to clarify what they’re trying to say or ask for a few seconds to think.
- Negative comments about previous jobs One of the most important pieces of advice from experts: never speak ill of the companies and/or people you’ve worked with before, as it is unprofessional and can create mistrust.
It’s better to respond like this: “I learned a lot in my previous job, but I’m now looking to grow in other areas or take on more responsibilities.” It’s a self-affirmation, a formal and honest statement.
- Salary, conditions, and vacation Another important question before a job interview. Should you discuss salary or working conditions? Specialists advise against it. This first meeting is about presenting yourself as a candidate.
However, it may happen that the recruiter brings it up, or you suggest it. “I hope we will discuss these details in the next interview” is a good way to bring it up.
- Unprofessional or disrespectful language This point is so fundamental that it seems superfluous to explain, but you never know. Job interviews are subject to a code of formality, albeit a flexible one, set by recruiters. You need to get used to it.
Don’t go too far in informal communication, always use professional language, and be respectful. Don’t make personal confidences and don’t joke too much.
- “I don’t have any questions.”
According to management experts, this is a rookie mistake that almost no one is aware of. It is, however, a common question.
Even if you think it’s polite to say no, it can be interpreted as disinterest. Think, for example, “What is the most challenging aspect of the job?” or “Who would you like to work with?”.
- Inappropriate Questions Last but not least: Avoid asking inappropriate questions. For example, don’t directly ask how long it will take to get promoted, or if the company is in financial trouble.
It’s best to ask questions that show your interest in the company and the position, such as challenges you might face, development opportunities, etc.
In summary, during a job interview, it is important to prepare well by learning about the company and preparing your CV. It is also essential to communicate in a thoughtful and professional manner avoiding stereotypical responses, negative comments about previous employment, inappropriate questions and unprofessional or disrespectful language. By following these tips, you’ll have a better chance of making a good impression and succeeding in your job interview.