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10 Sentences to Avoid at a Job Interview

Your main objective in an interview is to convince the interviewer and the hiring manager why you, above all other candidates, are the best person for the job. You want the interviewer to walk away feeling like you have the right set of skills and the motivation to make an impact in the role. It’s just as important to know what the hiring manager will consider a concern. So, what are these concerns? Below are the top 10 probable red flags that you should be aware of.

1. "I did not have time to prepare" Do your research. You want to walk into an interview knowing everything about the position and the company. You want to show that you have done your homework well and know enough about the organization and the role. Do some online research, and try to find current or past employees you can talk to. Prepare interview questions and how you could go about answering them.

2. “My last company was unprofessional.” You never, ever want to badmouth a former employer in an interview. Even if you truly had a toxic job or boss, your interviewer could wonder whether you would do the same to their company when the time came. Keep your tone somewhere between neutral and positive, focusing on what you’ve learned from each experience and what you’re hoping to achieve in the future. This especially applies when you’re talking about why you’re leaving.

3. “I know I don’t have much experience, but...” When you apologize for experience you don’t have, you’re essentially saying that you’re not a great hire, that you’re not quite the right fit for the role. Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, stay positive, focus on your strengths, and immediately launch into your transferable skills and enthusiasm for the position.

4. “It’s on my resume.” The Interviewer knows what is on your resume. If they ask you about a particular job or experience, they want you to tell them more than you have written. They’re also evaluating your communication and social skills. If you are being asked about a certain skill, don’t reference your resume, and instead use it as your moment to shine.

5. “Um, I don’t know.” Even if you practice, and practice, and practice, you could still get a question that stumps you. But saying “I don’t know” is rarely the right approach. Two strategies that work well are repeating the question thoughtfully before answering or saying (slowly), “Now, that is a great question. I think I would have to say…” Still stumped? Ask for what you need—whether that’s a pen and paper, a glass of water, or a quick minute to think.

6. Dont memorize word for word Even if you have practiced your answers to most interview questions very well, don’t memorize them word for word. Make your reply sound thoughtful and genuine rather than scripted. Interviewers don’t tend to hire detached people who can’t seem to have a genuine conversation. Certainly, walk in prepared, but don't memorize or over-rehearse the practice questions.

7. “My greatest weakness has to be perfection.” Chances are, hiring managers have heard this one before. And apart from being a cliché, it also doesn’t offer much of a true insight into your work style or personality. Try a more genuine response—You can use a non-essential skill (for the job) and indicate the steps you are taking to build on the shortfall.

8. “Um, you know, like…” Filler words like “like” and “um” can make you look like you lack confidence—or worse, the ability to communicate clearly on the job. Try these tips to erase “like” from your vocabulary for good.

Some other words you can avoid can be found here

9. “Sh*t, I’m so sorry.” You’re better off keeping your language professional.

10. “Thanks, but I don’t have any questions." Not having any questions for the interviewer says that you’re not interested enough to learn. Prepare some thoughtful questions to ask ahead of time to help finish your interview strong


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