What you should not say at an interview

The interview is obviously the major opportunity to impress and maximise your opportunity to secure the job.  

Irrespective of what type of interview it is there are certain things that you should not say at the interview. 

So, let’s look at some of them 

‘Sorry I’m late’.  If you find yourself saying this there is a very strong chance you have not fully prepared yourself for the interview.  Location, parking, time to travel all play a big part in you arriving at the interview on time (10 minutes before) and none of these cannot be researched or practiced prior to the event.  Turning up late immediately gives the wrong impression along with placing additional pressure on you as you will likely arrive flustered. 

‘My last boss was useless’.  No matter how bad your previous boss was the interview is not the best place to share your views.  An interview is not the place for negativity so make sure you come across as positive and you have practiced responses to questions that could lead you to being negative such as ‘why did you leave your last position?’. 

‘Doing your job’.  A favourite interview question ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time, many will be tempted to respond with ‘doing your job’ in the belief that you will come across as keen and ambitious.  A better answer would be crafted around you initially acknowledging that you are keen to secure this initial job and then you would hope that youhard work and dedication would be rewarded with more responsibilities. 

‘Sorry, I’ll just turn that off’.  That embarrassing moment in an interview when you realise you have left your mobile on followed by that awkward silence as you fumble frantically to turn it off.  Even switching it to vibrate can distract you and your interviewer as it buzzes in your pocket followed by those intermittent vibrations as it informs you that someone has left a voice mail.   Make sure you turn it off! 

‘What is the sickness entitlement?’.  Place yourself in the position of the interviewer being asked this question, what is he/she immediately going to think?  Yes, exactly! 

‘I don’t have any questions for you’.  You know you are very close to the end of the interview when this question comes your way, responding with any variation of ‘no’ is not great.  Always prepare good questions before the interview as these will further promote your genuine interest in the role.  If you do find yourself with no questions to ask it would be better to respond with a version of ‘I did have some questions, but you have answered them during the interview’. 

‘Can you tell me about your company?’.  This question might as well be replaced with this statement ‘I’ve done no research on your company’ and you can imagine what the interviewer would think if they heard this.  Quite the opposite, you can expect to be asked ‘can you tell me a bit about what we do here?’ at a very early stage of the interview.  Unless you are joining the Secret Service, you should be looking forward to being asked this question having previously researched their website and completed various Google searches.  A great tip is to see if the company has online published newsletters and check their social media channels out as recent company news could be quite useful at the interview. 


The above is not an exhaustive list but a sample of what you should not say at an interview.  If you have any further suggestions to add to the above please get in touch, email enquiry@demobjob.co.uk