30+ Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

Congrats with getting to the interviewing stage. A hiring manager has noticed your resume among other candidates and invited you for a personal meeting. The interview is a very important step for the successful job search outcome, so you have to do all your best to impress an interviewer and be selected for the job. However, instead of telling you what to do and how to answer questions, we will show you the most common things to never say in a job interview. Here are 30+ phrases that candidates say during an interview and are never called back again.

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1. What’s The Title of the Role?

This one is a great example of what not to say in an interview. A question like this shows that you haven’t prepared for the interview and didn’t read a job description.

2. That’s a Nice Question!

Don’t even try to feel surprised to hear this interview question. This phrase is not something a recruiter or hiring manager needs to hear. Go straight to answering the question they have asked.

3. I’ve Never Done This Type of Work Before, But...

Recruiters have already gotten familiar with your professional experience, so they are aware that you might miss some skills. During an interview, you should be modest about your skills and abilities. However, there is no need in emphasizing your lack of specific qualification.

4. I Don’t Know

This one is among top things not to say in an interview. Try to find a better way to respond to the question you’ve been asked even if you’re not sure with your answer. It’s time to demonstrate highly developed communication skills.

5. Do People Enjoy Working Here?

Focus on more specific questions related to company culture, working conditions, team, and ask direct questions. If not, talk to current or former employees. 

6. Um, So, Like, and Other Filler Words

This is what not to say in a job interview at all cost. It only shows your poor communication skills, lack of confidence, or intelligence. This is a type of things not to say in an interview.

7. I Don’t Have Any Questions for You

Preparing questions you want to ask recruiters about a position beforehand is your main priority. No question means no interest in a company or role and therefore no job offer for you.

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8. My Boss Was Terrible

The main rule of the interview is not to share with the interviewer any negative thoughts about your previous company, boss, or colleagues. A recruiter will think you will talk the same trash about their company in the future.

9. This Job Is a Stepping Stone for My Next Career Move

Recruiters are looking for long-term professional collaboration. This phrase will show them that you’re not a reliable candidate.

10. How Soon Do You Promote People?

This question will be a sign to your interviewer that you are an arrogant and entitled person. The variant: “How does a career path in your company look like?” is much better.

11. How Much Vacation Days Do I Get?

Recruiters want to know what you can do for the company to help them achieve their goals. Asking about benefits and vacation is a way too early. Wait for the job offer first.

12. Tell Me What You Do Around Here?

You are supposed to do your research before the interview. It’s your main job to find out about a company as much as possible.

13. I’m Very Nervous

Even if you’ve never been more nervous, don’t show it to hiring managers. Any company wants to hire a confident and professional employee. In this case, honesty is not an option.

14. It’s on My Resume

If a recruiter asks something that’s written on your resume, it means you should tell more than there’s in your resume and go into details. It also shows your social skills.

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15. I Have a Great Answer for That

If you prepared answers to the common interview questions, you don’t have to memorize it. You will sound unnatural, and recruiters will feel it.

16. My Biggest Weakness is Perfectionism

Don’t even think you can impress your interviewers with this phrase. It’s an overly used cliche. Try to avoid it and come up with a genuine response.

17. I Think Outside the Box

This phrase is one more cliché and is also among resume buzzwords. Better describe your skills using some real professional situations rather than using buzzwords.

18. So, Yeah…

Even if you are perfectly prepared for an interview, sometimes you can get confused. In this case, try to avoid awkward pauses and do your best to wrap up your answer.

19. When We’ll Be Finished Here?

Even if you have the most important appointment in the world, never show recruiters that you are in a rush. Don’t show you have more important things than this interview.

20. I’m Having a Tough Time Now

Don’t mention your problems and focus on your career life only. None of your life troubles shouldn’t affect your job performance.

21. Sorry, I’m Late

No comments needed in this case. Remember that you have to come to your interview 15 minutes earlier to have time to prepare and take emotions under control.

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22. Sorry, I’m Early

Being late is bad, but being too early is also not a great move. You will make recruiters stop what they’ve been doing to start a conversation with you. Or, what’s worse, they’ll feel guilty they’ve left you sitting in the lobby.

23. I Didn’t Have a Chance to Look

Carefully reading your job description and employer’s website is crucial before the interview. Demonstrate you are enthusiastic, organized, and well-prepared.

24. What Can Stop You From Choosing Me?

This is not the best tactic to make your employer move forward with a hire. However, if you get a response, you will learn how to improve your candidacy during future interviews.

25. I Want to Get Your Job One Day

Don’t make a hiring manager feel threatened that you want to go after their job. Show your ambitions and interest to grow professionally in a slightly different way.

26. What Is the Salary?

Asking about your compensation is the thing that shows your interest, not in a job or company but money. That’s an employer who has to bring up this topic first.

27. I’m a Fast Learner

Try to come up with a professional situation when you had to learn fast and got new skills and knowledge in a short period for successful job performance.

28. How Did I Do?

Once again, confidence in your experience and knowledge is very important to hiring managers. If you were well-prepared, you don’t need to ask this. Trust your expertise and skills.

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29. I Hate My Job

Even if your previous employment period was not perfect, don’t let recruiters know about it. They might wonder, are you going to hate the job if they choose to hire you.

30. Do You Mind If I Take This?

Answering your phone calls and messages during an interview is the most impolite thing. Your cell phone has to be turned off before even the interview starts.

31. I Need This Job

Don’t say this phrase if you don’t want to seem like a desperate job seeker. Interviewers want to see your genuine interest in a particular job, not your willingness to take any job.

32. You Look Great

Compliments regarding your interviewer’s appearance can seem quite creepy and impolite. You can praise their professional abilities only. Remember, you are in the interview.

33. I Applied for This Job Because It Will Give Me…

Instead of thinking about what you will get from this job, think of what skills and experience you can offer to recruiters and team members to help them grow.

34. I’ve Been Wronged at My Last Job

Your complaints about your previous job and how badly you’ve been treated is a red flag for recruiters. They will think about why not to hire you instead of thinking about why to hire you. 

35. Of Course, I Can Do That

You should be completely honest with an employer regarding your skills and abilities. If you think you’re not able to perform a certain type of task, better say it right away. The truth will be eventually revealed.

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36. Do You Want to See My References?

While it’s important to attract and entice a potential employer, showing recruiters the list of references too early may demonstrate your desperation.

37. I Wanted to Follow Up Again

Don’t show that you are overly interested in a job. It will make you a less desirable candidate. Recruiters will consider that you are too willing to leave your current job.

38. I Want to Start My Own Business Soon

Then why are you even having this interview right now? An employer wants a reliable candidate ready for the long-term commitment who will give all their energy to the job.

39. I’ll Do Whatever

Hiring managers are looking for a passionate person who wants to grow professionally and tackle challenges, which correspond to their career interest. Your desire to do whatever is a red flag. No one will hire a candidate who wants any job and any responsibilities. This is another thing what not to say in an interview.

40. What the Hell!

We think you understand that swearing during the interview is forbidden. Still, some people do this. Watch your language even if you get way too emotional.

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