5 Things to Never Say in an Interview

Published in CareersConnect, February 2012

By Cheryl Palmer

In this competitive job market, it is no small matter to land an interview. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than four job seekers for every opening. So when you do land an interview, clearly, you need to make the most of it.

Unfortunately, some job seekers kill their candidacies by saying inappropriate things in the interview. And as most of us know, you will usually not receive feedback from the interviewer to let you know what you did wrong. The only feedback that you will typically get is a form letter thanking you for applying for the position and letting you know that they chose a more qualified candidate.

The following are five things that you should never say in an interview if you want to land the job.

1. Never Ask About Salary in the Interview
It is very possible that the interviewer may ask you, as the interviewee, about your salary requirements, but this is never a topic that you should bring up. It is considered bad form to ask about salary before you are made an offer.

2. Never Say that you do not know anything about the Company
Interviewers will frequently ask: "What do you know about our company?" You should be able to answer this question based on the research you should have already done about the organization. If you don't know anything about the company, it will signal that you are not really interested in working there.

3. Never Say That You Have No Questions
It is typical for an interviewer to ask at the end of the interview: "Do you have any questions?" You should always have questions to ask. You should have questions based on the research that you should have already done on the company.

4. Never Say That You Have No Weaknesses
Another common interview question is: "What are your weaknesses?" You will not come across as credible if you say that you have no weaknesses. Rather, you should talk about a real weakness that is not central to the position that you are seeking and show how you have overcome that weakness.

5. Never, Ever Speak Badly of Your Previous Employer
It may be really tempting if you have had a negative experience with your old employer to tell the truth about how the employer treated you, especially if you are asked why you left the company. But employers will perceive you negatively if you badmouth previous employers, and they will probably assume that you would speak badly of them too if you were hired.

Remember that you do not get a second chance to make a good first impression. You want to really shine in the interview and not give the interviewer a reason to remember negative things about you.

To talk to a career coach about how you can best prepare for interviews, call 877-743-9521 or send an e-mail to cheryl.palmer@calltocareer.com.

About the Author

Cheryl Palmer is a career expert, professional speaker, and the president of "Call to Career." Learn more about Cheryl at www.linkedin.com/in/cherylpalmer. She can be contacted at Cheryl.Palmer@calltocareer.com, or by visiting www.calltocareer.com. Her blog is available at www.calltocareer.com/category/blog. To receive the free report titled, "Top 10 Mistakes that Executives Make," visit her website at www.calltocareer.com. 

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