7 Things Not To Say in a Job Interview

7 Things Not To Say in a Job Interview [Guest Blog]

7 Things Not To Say in a Job Interview

A job interview can be a nerve wracking experience for the best of us: you know you’re being judged and your answers are being dissected.

You’re also in direct competition with anyone else who might be interviewed for the position. In short, you’re under stress and, as we all know, that’s when verbal slip-ups tend to happen.

The fact is that if you do say something silly, thoughtless or downright inappropriate you probably won’t get a second chance to prove to the interviewer that you aren’t really a bumbling fool!

And the likelihood is that trying to dig yourself out of a conversational hole is only going to get really awkward.

While we can’t guarantee that you won’t make any howlers, we still thought we’d give you a helping hand by listing seven things that you really shouldn’t say in a job interview.

Well, not if you want to leave your interviewer dazzled by your accomplishments instead of telling colleagues “You won’t believe what the last applicant just said to me…” over the water cooler.

1. Don’t mention money

It might seem like it goes hand in hand with a prospective job – after all, not many of us rock up to work day in, day out for the sheer unadulterated bliss of it – but talking about salary really is something to avoid in a first interview.

It makes it look like you’re not actually interested in the job and that you’re only in it for the cold, hard cash.

Likewise, asking how much holiday you’re entitled to off the bat will only make you look like a work shy slacker!

If you make it through to the second round, gauge the situation and see if it seems advisable to start talking numbers.

2. Don’t badmouth your current company

Don’t be tempted to badmouth your current company, boss or colleagues.

It may be the truthful answer to the question “Why do you want to change jobs?” but it won’t reflect well on you. It’ll just make it look like you don’t get on with people or are difficult to manage or work alongside.

A far better approach is to focus on the positives by saying you’d like the opportunity to grow and explain why you feel the position and company would be a great fit for you.

3. Don’t be cocky

Another thing to avoid is coming across too confident.

While we’re not advocating that you hide your light under a bushel, as the admittedly rather odd saying goes, telling your future boss that you see yourself in their position in five years’ time, or blustering that you’re ‘all strengths and no weaknesses’ will win you no fans.

It’s likely that you’ll be asked about any shortcomings but focus on something that would not impact on the job in question.

Better still, give an example of how you overcame upon a weakness to have a positive impact in the workplace.

4. Don’t apologise for being early

While it’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t arrive late to an interview, don’t arrive too early either.

Therefore, saying “Sorry I’m late!” is just plain wrong for reasons we don’t need to go in to. Likewise, “Sorry I’m early” isn’t great either.

If your interviewer is told that you’re waiting for them in reception 25 minutes before your appointment, it puts them under pressure, creating a negative impression of you before you’ve even met.

Arrive 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled time and if you’re there any earlier take a walk around the block to kill a few minutes.

5. Don’t use bad language

Swearing. Cursing. Being risqué. Telling an amusing yet slightly naughty anecdote.

Just don’t.

Even if your interviewer is using casual language or lets the odd profanity slip, keep your language clean and professional.

Think PG rather than X-rated!

6. Don’t tell them you’re nervous

You might be a bag of nerves, but don’t let the interviewer know this.

They’ll expect some candidates to be a little on the apprehensive side, but even if you’re sure they can see you shaking like a leaf, chances are they won’t have picked up on it.

Unless you tell them that is. Therefore statements like “I’m sorry, I’m a little nervous” should be steered well clear of.

They want to know they’re employing someone who has the ability to perform well in their role – not someone who is going to crack under the first sign of pressure.

7. Don’t be too shy to ask questions

Finally, when your interviewer wraps up your conversation with “Do you have any questions for me?” avoid saying “Nope, I think you’ve covered everything!” It might seem like you’re complimenting them on doing a thorough job but in reality it makes you appear uninterested in learning more about the role.


  • About training and the opportunity to develop your skills.
  • What an average day in your future department looks like.
  • The interviewer what they like most about working for the company.
  • Anything you deem relevant

Although we’d like to point out here that asking your interviewer out for a drink, no matter how attractive they are or how much rapport you think you have, is wildly inappropriate!

We hope our advice helps all you future interviewees out there – now go out there and secure that dream job offer!


Thanks Cathy!

All of these are definitely things you should never ask in an interview.

There are ways and means of getting the information that you want to know, but definitely make sure what you’re asking is appropriate.

If you want to find out more about the types of interview you might face, check out this blog post that we wrote: 9 Types of Job Interviews You Need to Be Prepared For

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3 years ago

what to do and what not to do…..