6 Phrases You Should Never Use in a Job Interview

6 Things Never Tell in a Job Interview

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Have you ever asked yourself why you didn’t pass a job interview? Even though you were over qualified for that job opening and you aced the interview like a pro? Showing up late for an interview is definitely an instant ground for disqualification, obviously. But what most of us don’t know is that there are more subtle ways to raise a red flag during a job interview.

It come’s in the form of phrases that we think are harmless; or we think can help us land the job, but sadly, these are some of the most common phrases that would make a hiring manager question whether you are the right hire for the job.

We listed down 6 of the most common phrases that you should never mention in a job interview. Try to look back at your last interview, your might have mentioned one or two of these phrases. Make sure to avoid these phrases on your next interview.


1. “I’m a quick learner, self-motivated, and highly adaptable with any type of job.”

Impressive traits, a role model for every employee, buzzwords that can trigger any hiring managers interest, but do you have the evidence to back them up? If you can’t elaborate on these, they will just be superficial words that interviewers have heard of many times before. You’ll just end up showing a lack of authenticity.

If you want to use this words to describe yourself, make sure you give examples of situations wherein being a quick learner led you to learn a new skill which became and added value to your position in the company, or how adaptable you were when you were transferred to the sales department and became the top selling agent of the year even though it was your first time in doing a sales job. Try to provide as much details as you can, how you did it and how it made a difference in your career.


2. “No, I don’t know how to do that.”

No two jobs are exactly alike, odds are, you won’t be familiar with every single task given to you on your first day of work. It’s okay, most employers won’t expect you to know everything in a snap. But saying “no” just leaves a negative impression on you and makes you sound unwilling to learn.

Try not to answer “no”, instead, do it with a qualifying response. Example, when asked about a new type of photo editing software that you have no experience using, you can talk about a similar system that you have knowledge on and how they relate with each other. Or you can cite an example how you quickly mastered a totally new software which was critical to your previous job, this is to show that you’ll be able to get up to speed immediately.


3. “I’ll do anything.”

Taking on any challenge an employer might throw at you might seem like a good thing, it shows how highly motivated and adaptable you are, and how much you want the job. But in reality, you’ll only sound desperate and that you just need this job now until you’re able to find something better.

Attending the interview already shows that you want the job, but you’ll also need to prove the you are the right person for that job. So instead of taking on every challenge thrown at you even though your unfamiliar with that task, just be honest, tell the interviewer what you specialize in and what you haven’t done before but are interested in doing. This leaves you interviewer the impression that you in it for the long haul.


4. “I expect to get a salary of X amount”

Most interviewers use the oldest trick in the book of asking ‘How much is your expected salary?’, even though the job opening has been advertised with a salary range of between X and Y amount.

Salary and benefits are definitely very important, but to just throw out a number when asked during an interview is too presumptuous, specially if you are in the early stages of the process. Instead, negotiate that once you get invited for a job offer, give them the impression that you are flexible rather than demanding.

5. “What is it again that your company does?”

Yes, there has been many occasions where applicants have asked this question. Usually nearing the end of the interview session when the hiring manager asks the applicant if they have any question about the job vacancy or the company. This is a dead give away that an applicant did not do research on the company.

Instead, try to use this opportunity to ask questions about interesting facts that you’ve found about the company during your research about them. Example, you found out that the company only offers their products within your city, you can ask them if they have plans on expanding their market and open provincial operations.


6. “I did not like working at my previous company”

Never ever whine about or bad mouth your previous employer. Yes, you might genuinely have a bad experience working with them but this won’t earn you points with the new employer. You might think that this can give the new company a competitive advantage if they are in the same line of business, because now they know what the other company’s weakness are, but your wrong. This only raises the question with the new employer, whether this is how your going to be if they hire you, or if at some point you don’t get your way with things, will you also bad mouth them? If you whine about how bad your previous company was, who’s to say you won’t do the same with the new one?


So always remember, that even though you had the best intentions in saying these things, you never know how it would backfire and stab you in the back. Some interviewers might be forgiving and may give you a second chance at redemption, but it’s always best to do it right the first time.

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