12 Interview Phrases That Will Torpedo Your Job Hunt

  • 12 Interview Phrases That Will Torpedo Your Job Hunt

    12 Interview Phrases That Will Torpedo Your Job Hunt

    As outsourced recruitment providers, we’ve seen candidates of all kinds struggle their way through interviews, make mistakes, and torpedo themselves with their own words. People say that all rules have exceptions, but we’ve found that the following list of phrases are almost guaranteed to ruin your chances of landing the job you want.

    1. My last boss was awful…

    Cardinal rule: Never bash a previous employer. Ever. Spreading negativity and talking trash about your previous job roles will make interviewers question how you’ll fit in to their company culture, and what you may say about them should you decide to leave.

    2. I don’t have any questions…

    Perhaps the second quickest way to cast doubt on your fitness for the job (aside from bashing your former employer) is to come unprepared for the interview. This one’s a given. Research the job and come be ready with questions that prove you’ve done your homework.

    3. I love your watch/hair/bag/tie…

    Flattery will get you nowhere. Avoid personal compliments like these and keep things professional. If you simply must compliment, keep it focused on observations about the company that indicates you’ve researched them ahead of time: “I’m impressed with the public outreach your company has performed in the last X years…” and so on.

    4. Um, so, like, ah…

    These, ah, “filler” words in our speech are, uh, natural, but when they start to, ah, dominate what you’re saying, they make you sound unprofessional. You’re not Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park. Keep your speech focused, confident, and free of these toxic time wasters.

    5. Do people like working here?

    This is a fair question, but don’t present it this way. Instead, ask the recruiter directly about the company culture and make it clear that you’re interested in fitting into the system they’ve established.

    6. I know I don’t have much experience, but…

    Full stop. Don’t draw attention to your shortcomings. Like Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers said back in 1945, you have to accentuate the positive. Focus on the skills you do have and try to sell yourself on those attributes.

    7. I don’t have any weaknesses…

    Okay, hotshot. We get that the “what’s your biggest weakness” question is tough to answer, but stating that you’re flawless doesn’t exactly indicate self-awareness. Everyone has weaknesses, so try to come up with something. Being honest with this question is a quick way to earn trust points with the interviewer.

    8. I think outside the box…

    You and everyone else. These types of clichés won’t get you far in today’s recruiting environment. Instead of saying this, prove it to them by describing previous projects where your creativity produced results.

    9. How much vacation will I get/Can I work from home/What kind of benefits do you offer…

    This one is tricky. As an applicant, it’s your right to ask about the compensation and benefits that the job will provide. However, there’s a time and a place for everything—and your initial interview isn’t the right time. Avoid discussing what the company can do for you and focus on what you can do for the company.

    10. I really need this job…

    While this may be true, you don’t want to appear desperate. If the recruiter believes you’re grasping at whatever opportunities come your way, it’ll cast doubt on your interest in their organization.

    11. I don’t have a car/I have a vacation coming up/I’ll need time off…

    Avoid any statements that indicate a lack of availability. The company likely has a laundry list of candidates who are ready to work, so this type of statement won’t win you any points.

    12. Interviews make me nervous…

    Recruiters understand that interviews can be nerve-wracking, but you should avoid saying it out loud. Companies want candidates who are confident in themselves and their abilities and stating that you crumble under pressure isn’t a great way to start your relationship.

    While these are some of the worst offenders, there are plenty more out there. If you’re an organization interested in refining the quality of candidates coming through your door, contact Urgenci for an assessment of your recruiting practices.

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