Interviews are stressful and nerves can make us engage our mouths before engaging our brains. Avoid these 21 vocal faux pas and enhance your chances of success.
1) “Hang on, my phone’s ringing.”
Switch off your phone before the interview. If you forget and it rings, apologise and ask for permission to turn it off.
2) “What does the company do?”
If you don’t have the intelligence to do some research, this question will sink your chances entirely.
3) “I thought you’d forgotten me!”
It is not unusual for interviews to start late. Complaining, even with a smile, will not impress.
4) “Weaknesses? None!”
This is a classic interview question and not having an answer prepared is a classic way to wreck your chances.
5) “I’m desperate to get this!”
Telling the interviewer this won’t help and suggests you have only applied for financial reasons.
6) ‘Hi, sorry I’m late!”
Make sure you arrive early. If you are unavoidably late, apologise and move on.
7) “Are you single? Do you play golf?”
If the interviewer offers personal information, this is fine; otherwise, don’t ask personal questions.
8) “What’s the boss like? There are lots of rumours.”
There may well be rumours, but this is not the time to gossip.
9) “Who should I steer clear of?”
Looking for trouble even before you are hired is definitely the wrong tactic.
10) “What if I don’t like anyone?”
This question suggests you might not be a team player.
11) “Bloody hell, that’s a tough question!”
You may think this, but don’t say it. Swearing will make you seem unprofessional.
12) “This business needs me!”
It’s great to be enthusiastic and full of ideas; however, it’s not great to tell the interviewer how to run the company.
13) “How long will this take?”
Don’t make the interview seem like an inconvenience.
14) “So, have I got the job?”
Feedback is best left until later. Don’t embarrass yourself or the interviewer by asking at the time.
15) “Can I have a drink?”
Don’t ask for a drink without being offered one, and make sure any offer is accepted or declined politely.
16) “Can you believe this government?”
Entering into political discussion is likely to cause awkwardness. It is a broad topic and people’s views are all different’ therefore, steer clear.
17) “I thought you would have nicer offices.”
Criticising anything – the décor, the quality of coffee – is off limits. Focus on the interview.
18) “Hi, what can I tell you?
Whilst you may be nervous, make sure you introduce yourself and then speak when you are spoken to, no matter how keen you are to get the interview over with.
Any attempt to be over familiar or using slang will not go down well. Don’t be disrespectful; instead, show your class.
20) “How did you manage to get your job?”
This is none of your business and will be seen as disrespectful and condescending; instead, ask about the career path available to you.
21) ‘Me, myself and I.”
The interviewer will want to get an idea of your skills and personality, of course, but keep your answers focused on the company rather than on yourself.
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