Interviews are some of the most stressful scenarios in the modern workforce. You spend hours cultivating your resume and applying for a job, hoping to land an interview. And then once you land it…it can feel daunting and intimidating. How do you show your personality and skill set in just a few minutes? How do you thoughtfully respond to questions that you might not have expected? Let’s explore what not to say in an interview. Knowing what things to avoid builds you strong guidelines, making you more prepared, comfortable, and ready to nail your next interview.
“My previous boss was a horrible person, and that created a negative atmosphere in my prior job.” According to Indeed, it is important to stay away from negative comments about previous jobs or employers. As Indeed explains, “Positive answers…can also give the interviewer confidence that you will be a good addition to their company’s culture and that you probably wouldn’t say anything negative about them in the future either.” Companies want positive employees, so if you show negativity in your interview, they may think of you as a negative person. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your past work experience, Indeed suggests highlighting positive aspects of the current position you’re applying for that were not available elsewhere. For example, instead of saying that your previous work environment was made toxic by the frustrating management, explain that you are eager to work in the positive and collaborative environment offered in this new position.
“Um…like…uh….haha…” No filler words! Filler words act as their name implies–they fill up space. Instead of using filler words to give you time to prepare your answer, simply ask for a moment to gather your thoughts. For instance, saying, “Can you give me a moment to collect my thoughts about that topic?” demonstrates that you care about the interviewer’s question and your answer. Additionally, the short moment of gathering your thoughts will allow the interviewers to collect their own thoughts, while increasing their eagerness to hear your answer. Glassdoor also suggests rehearsing your responses out loud before your interview in order to practice speaking sans filler words.
“No, I can’t think of any questions for you all.” Glassdoor emphasizes the importance of preparing questions for your interviewers. Glassdoor frames the questions as opportunities, explaining that “questions you ask are an opportunity to display the deep knowledge you have of the company.” Spend some time researching the company before your interview, and jot down some questions you have. That way, when they ask for questions, you will come across as prepared, knowledgeable, and eager to learn.
Whether you’ve done several interviews or you’re gearing up for your first, utilize the tips above in order to increase your preparation, confidence, and rapport. As your internal confidence increases, you will appear more comfortable and confident to your interviewers.