What successful applicants avoid saying in interviews

6 things successful applicants avoid saying in job interviews

When you go into a job interview there’s one single outcome that you’re aiming for: success. You’ll need to show off your skill and knowledge, appear to be interested and keen, and show that you’re a great person to work with.

It’s important to ask questions to find out if the role is right for you, just as it is vital that you let the interviewer know that you’d be a great candidate for the job. But be very wary of saying any of the following:

1.  “What’s the salary?”

Yes, ultimately we all work because we need to support ourselves financially. That’s a given. So instead of reminding your potential employer that you’d be turning up to work to get paid, show them that you want the job because you’re passionate and would enjoy the chance to work with them. Asking about money straight away is guaranteed to be a turn-off for anyone interviewing.

2. “What does this company do?”

Really? You can’t have made it all the way to an interview without doing some research about the company! You are bound to be asked what you know about the company and how the role you’re applying for would fit into their work – so make sure you do some reading before you get to your interview! At the very least Google the company and check out their website or social media pages. But if you want to make a stand-out impression, try calling the HR team for some more information a week before your interview. Show them that you’re keen!

3. “My current job or boss sucks”

No matter how ‘over it’ you are at your current job – do not say this at an interview! You might be tired of the project you’re working on, you might have fallen out with a co-worker, your boss might be making your life a living hell. But an interview is the wrong place to vent about this!

4.  “How much holiday time will I get?”

Are you thinking of taking a break before you’ve even started? That might not look so great to your interviewer. Be careful when asking about how much time you can take off – the question make it seem as though you have a poor work ethic.

5. “I’m the best candidate”

You’re the best? Prove it! Although the purpose of a job interview is to show off your best professional assets, make sure that you don’t sound arrogant while convincing your interviewer that you’re the best. Describe why you believe you’re the ideal fit for the job on offer by sharing anecdotes about your work and professional experiences rather than out-right bragging.

6. “I can’t think of any questions for you”

Have you ever made it to the end of an interview and been asked if you have any questions? That’s probably because you haven’t asked enough, or any, throughout the conversation. Nothing shows enthusiasm and interest more than asking for more information about the job, the team, and the company that you really want to work with! So make sure that your interview is a two-way dialogue of questions and answers. And if you’re prompted for more questions at the end – have some extra queries up your sleeve just in case!

Tips on what NOT to say during an interview:

  • Always research the company you are interviewing with
  • Wait for an appropriate time to bring up the salary
  • Never complain about your current boss or team
  • Have a set of questions prepared to ask the interviewer

What does an interviewer want from a candidate?

Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and imagine what you would think, or how you would respond if the roles were reversed and a candidate asked you about their prospective salary or holiday time.


CPA Career Mentor


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