Five Phrases to Avoid in a Job Interview

phrases to avoid in job interview

April 20, 2020

Congrats! You just landed an interview for your dream job at your dream organization…(Restaurant Technologies)…and you have started preparing responses to sample interview questions you found online. You know what you are going to say and have the perfect answers to provide hiring managers on why you are the best fit for the position.

But…have you ever thought about what not to say?

Maybe you’re reflecting about that one time you told your [not] future boss how you and ”some former colleagues had a tough day and everyone decided to go to happy hour. And boy oh boy, it sure was a happy hour! One thing led to the next let and, well, let’s just say I wasn’t feeling too great the next day at the office…” While it might be a good story, it is better to leave that one for your friends or family. We all have a cringe-worthy interview or two, which is why it is important to be aware of a few key phrases you should definitely not mention during your interview.

Here are five phrases you should NOT say in an interview:

  • “So… what does this company do?”

Do your research! This is a golden rule of interviewing. Demonstrate that you know the fundamentals of the organization. Being prepared shows your enthusiasm about the products and services the company has to offer and proves you are eager to contribute to the success of the company.

  • “Umm, I don’t know”

No matter how many practice interview questions you run through, there is going to be a question you didn’t expect. “I don’t know” implies your inability to think through a problem and you might even seem disengaged from the conversation. Instead, ask for a minute to conjure up a thoughtful response. “Tell me more about that,” is a way to let the interviewer rephrase their question, which might help you provide a better answer. No matter what, take a breath, pause, and collect your thoughts before dishing out an “I don’t know.”

  • “My boss is the absolute worst”

If you’re talking negatively about your old boss, your potential new boss is discovering how you’ll one day talk about him/her. It puts a sour taste in the Manager’s mouth. If you don’t have anything nice to say about your former boss, keep the conversation focused on your positive, professional experiences.

  • “I don’t have the skills required for this role, but I am a quick learner”

It’s great you’re a quick learner, but let the hiring manager decide whether or not they believe you have the skills for the role. If you don’t think you have the right skill set, look at the qualifications for the position prior to applying and accepting an interview. If this is where you want to be – take some online courses, or reach out to other peers and colleagues to see how you can grow and improve in those areas. Be confident and focus on the skills you do have!

  • “Nope, I don’t have any questions”

Curiosity shows your interest in the company and the role. While you’ve done your initial research of the company, there is a lot you do not know. Bring at least three questions with you to the interview.

If you are having a hard time coming up with questions, here are a few that work for almost any role:

“What will the day-to-day look like in this role?”

“What is the culture like here?”

“When can I expect to hear from you?”

There are probably a couple other things you should not mention in an interview: personal stories, medical history, all your past failures… but if you are aware of these 5 common phrases, you can avoid them. Focus on your skill set, and selling yourself. You are headed in the right direction toward landing your next great job!

If you think you'd be a perfect fit for Restaurant Technologies, check out our available jobs here.

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