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13 Phrases You Should NEVER Say In An Interview

One sentence. That’s all it takes to derail your chances at the dream job you’ve been pining after for months – maybe even years. Employers focus on why they should hire you, but they’re really looking for reasons not to hire you.

Read on to find out the worst phrases that you should avoid in interviews and need to keep in the vault:

  1. Like, um, ya know…”
    You might not possess the skills of a polished presenter, but using an abundance of filler words makes you seem unclear and insecure. These are not the qualities employers look for in a candidate.
  2. “No. I don’t have any questions.”
    You might as well pack up your stuff and leave now. Not asking questions makes you seem unprepared. And even worse, it can lead the interviewer to believe that you are uninterested in the job and company. It’s best to ask three to five questions at most. You don’t want to annoy them with 20 questions, but you certainly need to ask a few.
  3. “I….I….I…”
    Your interview is a time to speak about your qualifications, but real savvy interviewees know it’s best to talk about the needs of the company, and how you are the person to fill those needs. If you find yourself repeating, “I need” over and over, you’re probably focusing exclusively on your needs when you should be focusing on the needs of the company.
  4. “I’d rather not answer that.”
    If their inquiry is illegal then this response is okay. Withholding information is a huge red flag that you’re hiding something. You need to prepare reasonable answers to difficult questions and be sure to answer them all.
  5. “Cuss words”
    Cursing in the workplace is common at many organizations. But you’re not a member of the organization yet. If you curse during your interview, you’ll probably never be a member of that organization. Again, sailor talk isn’t all-bad. Some studies show that people who use colorful language are more honest. But, it’s a big no-no during an interview. There is no benefit and the downside is enormous. You risk coming off as unprofessional and offensive.
  6. “The perks are awesome!”
    The perks may be awesome, but you won’t have to worry about them because you’ve just blurted yourself out of the job. Talking about the free car washes, unlimited snacks in the kitchen, and casual Fridays makes you seem like you don’t care about the job, only the benefits. If you really want the perks – don’t talk about the perks.
  7. “That’s a good question.”
    While this might seem harmless, it can come across as a stalling tactic. It’s better to take a moment to think and then provide a thoughtful answer rather than commenting on the quality of the question.
  8. “I don’t know.”
    If you’re unsure about something, it’s better to say, “I’ll need to look into that further, but here’s what I do know…” This shows that you’re honest but also resourceful and willing to find the answer.
  9. “What does your company do?”
    This shows a lack of preparation and genuine interest in the role. Always research the company beforehand and have a clear understanding of their business and values.
  10.   “I just need a job.”
    Employers want to hire someone passionate about the role and the company, not someone who just needs any job. Highlight why you’re excited about this specific opportunity.
  11.   “I don’t have any weaknesses.”
    Claiming you have no weaknesses can make you appear arrogant or dishonest. Instead, mention a real weakness and how you’re working to improve it, demonstrating self-awareness and a commitment to growth.
  12.   “How soon can I take vacation?”
    Asking about vacation time too early in the process can signal that you’re more interested in time off than the job itself. It’s better to discuss benefits and time off after you’ve received an offer.
  13.   “My previous boss was terrible.”
    Speaking negatively about past employers or colleagues reflects poorly on you. It can make you seem unprofessional and difficult to work with. Focus on what you learned from previous roles instead.


About Allen Recruitment

We are a team of expert recruitment consultants with offices in Irelandthe UK, the NetherlandsSpainFranceSweden, Belgium and Poland, providing recruitment solutions and job opportunities all over Europe. We offer temporary, permanent, contract and contingency roles in a variety of industries such as IT, Tech, Finance, Telecom, E-commerce, Engineering and more.


Posted in: Allen Agency / Job Seeking Resources

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