What not to say in an interview

When you attend an interview, what you say and how you say it is imperative to helping the interviewer determine whether you are a strong candidate and a good fit for their company and culture. One of the things you can do to help you prepare for an interview is to think carefully about the things you don't want to say and the things you want to make sure are covered. In this article, we discuss things you should try to avoid saying during an interview with tips and examples of things you can say instead.

Why what you say in an interview is important

Everything you say during a job interview has the potential to help the interviewer understand your motivations for applying and how your skills and experience would make you the most qualified candidate for the position. Maintaining a positive and professional attitude throughout the interview can give the hiring manager confidence in your ability to fit into the company's culture and to add value to the company.

Here are 10 things we think you should avoid saying during an interview, along with suggestions on what to say instead:

  1. Negativity about a previous employer or job

  2. "I don't know."

  3. Discussions about benefits, holidays and pay

  4. "It's on my CV"

  5. Unprofessional language

  6. "I don't have any questions."

  7. Asking what the company does

  8. Overly prepared answers or cliches

  9. Discussions about your lack of experience

  10. Personal information not relevant to the job or your qualifications

1. Negativity about a previous employer or job

The interviewer may ask you questions like "Why are you looking for a new job?" or "What didn't you like about your previous positions?" Answering these types of questions in a manner that avoids saying anything negative about your previous employer or the job can show your ability to remain professional and positive regardless of the situation. Positive answers to these questions can also give the interviewer confidence that you will be a good addition to their company's culture and that you probably wouldn't say anything negative about them in the future either. When answering questions about your previous employer, try to focus on things the position you are applying to has to offer that your previous employer wasn't able to offer. Example: "While I have enjoyed my time in my current position, I am really looking to apply the skills and experience I have gained in my role over the last five years to a supervisory position where I can help others grow in their success. Unfortunately, my current employer does not have any supervisory positions available and doesn't expect any to become available soon." 2. "I don't know."

The interviewer may ask you a question that you didn't prepare for or that you don't have the answer to. This can be a great opportunity for you to prove your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You can try telling the interviewer you need a minute to think about your response or ask them for the additional information you need to put together an accurate res