Jeff Shuford: 5 things you should never say in a job interview

If you've made it to the interview table, congratulations, you've already made it past the first round of applicants. You moved from the paper table to the interview table, which means they saw something they liked. Make sure to avoid these statements, and you'll have a much better chance of securing the job.

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Jeff Shuford
Jeff Shuford

Interviews can be extremely stressful. No matter what, you always feel like you are one step away from getting booted out the door. But hiring managers aren’t looking to get a few laughs from kicking people to the curb. They don’t want to waste time on applicants that aren’t qualified. So, if you’ve been asked to come to the interview table, then they saw something that they liked in you.

Even so, there are a few statements that you should never say while in an interview. These statements can crush your hopes of securing a job, and they are just a slip of the tongue away. So, here are the five things you should never say in an interview.

1. I’ll Do Whatever It Takes To Get Hired

Most hiring managers aren’t looking to find another ho-hum employee. They want someone who is going to bring value to the position they are interviewing for. When you say “I’ll do whatever it takes to get hired,” you are letting them know that you don’t believe you are the best candidate for this position, but what you want (or need) is a job.

Instead of telling them you’ll do whatever it takes, tell them why you are the best candidate for the position. Be strong and confident in your abilities and help them see you like the critical piece that they have been missing.

2. I Didn’t Like My Last Boss At All

In most cases, hiring managers are the ones who will be directly managing you during the interview. So, this is not the best time to bring up the fact that you hated your previous boss. It does not matter that they are the absolute worst, most incompetent boss you have ever encountered. Instead, you should do your best to refrain from speaking negatively at all about your previous boss, employer, and coworkers.

Whenever you are willing to speak negatively about past encounters, you open yourself up for additional scrutiny. The interviewer might even start to wonder if you weren’t the problem and not the previous management. Do your best to leave these worms in the can.

3. I’m Not Like Every Other Applicant

First off, how do you know that you are different? Unless you know every other applicant (and you shouldn’t), then how can you make this statement?

A hiring manager likes confidence, but not this type. This is almost bragging, and it is very discouraging. Instead of making it out like you are the best-of-the-best, focus on how you can help the company. They aren’t looking at hiring the best, most distinct person. Most of the time they are looking to hire the employee who will integrate well with the company, bring a new passion and drive to the position, and who will help them succeed more than they previously were.

4. I Tend To Party Like It’s 1999

Unless you are applying at Club 99, this is not worth mentioning. Your hiring manager does not need to know that you stay up late, get up early, and drag in each day. This might make them think otherwise.

It’s understandable that you might let this slip during casual conversation, but do not bring this up. The hiring manager is looking for someone who will be dependable, showing up every day to work on time. If you party too hard, you might not come in the next day. Even if you party till the lights go out, the hiring manager does not need to hear this.

5. Life Has Been Rough This Year

And finally, there is no reason to bring up how bad things have been this year. Hiring managers aren’t robots, and they definitely feel sympathy, but like before, they want someone who isn’t focused on all the bad things going on right now. If they feel like you won’t be invested in them, they aren’t going to invest in you.

If you’ve made it to the interview table, congratulations, you’ve already made it past the first round of applicants. You moved from the paper table to the interview table, which means they saw something they liked. Therefore, walk in with confidence that you are potentially the next employee with this company. Make sure to avoid these statements, and you’ll have a much better chance of securing the job.

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