Tips on banned interview phrases

young graduate woman being interviewed for a job

When you’re searching for a job, landing an interview feels like a huge success.

However, for some of the positions the interview is only one step in a long hiring process and dozens of people may be interviewed. Therefore, leaving a great impression is key! Don’t take yourself out of the competition by saying one of these job-interview killers:

“Sorry I’m late.”

Even if you have to leave ridiculously early, find a way to be on time to your interview. If you can’t even manage to be on time for your interview, how late will you be after you get hired.

“Do you mind if I get this?”

Answering a call or a text during an interview is rude and gives the impression the interview and getting hired aren’t your priorities. Best way to avoid this? Cinema-scenario: Turn your phone on mute or off completely.

“I have other interviews with…”

Job seekers often think these other interviews – if they even exist – will be seen as a little warning to the employers that they might lose them if they don’t act right away. The problem with that strategy, is that it will only work on someone who is desperate and lacks confidence in their ability to find another candidate which isn’t usually the case.

“I’m not sure if I’m a good fit for this job, but…”

Have confidence in yourself, you’re not alone! Most of us are unsure until we’re hired if we could do 100 percent of the job perfectly on day one. And it’s okay, you’re not actually expected to be able to. If you can do 75 percent or more, go ahead and apply. The interview is the opportunity to spotlight your strengths and show confidence in your abilities, rather than your doubts or deficits.

“I’m applying for this job because it will give me …”

You may think talking about the skills or experience you’ll get from the job is a compliment to the company, but it just puts the focus on you. What should you do instead? Talk about what you will contribute to your new employer and why you will be a valuable asset to the team.

“How much holiday do I get?”

It’s very important to ask questions during a job interview, but not ones about taking time off. You are just about to start a new position, and don’t want to seem like someone who can’t wait to shoot off again.

About the author

Sinead Bunting is the VP of Marketing for Monster in Europe, the global jobs website.

She is responsible for all marketing in Europe, specialising in digital marketing and brand transformation.

Sinead is passionate about encouraging diversity in business which has resulted in a number of initiatives that champion groups, who need an extra helping hand in their career. This has included nationwide ‘Monster Confidence’ tours, working with Stemettes to help female school children and uni students feel confident to achieve in their STEM careers and realise their potential.

She is the author and co-founder of the Tech Talent Charter, an industry-wide collective, whose aim is to deliver a more diverse tech workforce. The charter is supported by the UK government and currently has over 170 signatories such as Monster, Cisco, Vodafone, HP and Global Radio, all working together to move the dial in this critical area.

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