Top 10 Things You Should Never Say During a Job Interview

Avoid the wrong answer!

Many job candidates are nervous about participating in a job interview. After much hard work writing countless resumes, cover letters, and job applications, these individuals hope that they will interview well, impress the hiring officer of the company to which they have applied, and finally get hired.

With some practice and preparation, employment interviewing need not be a mystery or a horror. In fact, it can be enjoyable, informative, and even fun. In addition, every interview that you complete will make you more practiced in the art of interviewing. By continuing to interview for jobs, you will learn the range of variety of questions and scenarios that may confront you. Then you will be better prepared to win the job of your dreams!

There are many different comments that are inappropriate to make during a job interview. I gathered these ten things from my years of recruitment development assignments with employers globally.

Ten Things to Never Say in a Job Interview

Don't say:

1. How much does this job pay?

2. What does your company make/do?

3. Slang words or phrases.

4. What are the benefits, vacations, promotions, and bonuses?

5. Curse words or profanity of any kind.

6. Stereotypical language about other people.

7. Anything critical about a former employer.

8. No, I have no questions for you.

9. I don't have any weaknesses.

10. Your life story.

Some Answers Can Say This About You

10 Things to Never Say in a Job Interview

1. How Much Does the Job Pay?

Some applicants ask this question before the interviewer has a chance to even ask his or her own first question, and this is a big mistake.

To ask about money first makes it seem as if all you are after is money, possibly with as little work as possible. As a rule, wages and salaries are not discussed during the first interview. If they are discussed, this will occur at the end of the session and usually via the interviewer asking what salary you expect. Give a range of salaries you can accept, rather than a fixed amount so that you do not limit your earning capabilities too tightly.

You may have three interviews altogether with one company. If money is discussed, it is up to the interviewer from the company to open up that subject. If he asks you how much money you want, have a range of salaries ready to provide. First, however, research how much the job you want really pays in your town and state, then come up with a range of a yearly salary to request. Look at for help with this.

Example: Let's say a Head Chef makes $35,000 a year. When you apply to become a Head Chef, state the range of pay you want as $32,000-$38,000 a year, or similar. Or you could use a broader range, like $30,000-$40,000 a year. Make sure it is a realistic range. For example, if a Sous Chef in your region usually makes $25,000 per year, don't interview at that restaurant and ask for $35,000-$40,000 per year.

2. What Does Your Company Make/Do?

A job candidate must research the company for which they want to work before going into a job interview. Look the company up on the Internet and read as much as you can about it and take notes. Many company websites feature tabs for "About" and "History," so make sure to read them. Try to find the company's annual report and read it. Your local libraries can help you do that.

3. Slang Words or Phrases

The interview is not a casual conversation with friends on a street corner or in a lounge. The interview is a formal conversation and requires the use of good English grammar. There is not time enough during an interview for the interviewer to figure out what you are talking about. On the other hand, even if they do understand you, you are being disrespectful and overly casual by using slang. You will also sound like you are playing and not serious about doing good work, and the interviewer won't take you seriously. Just don't do it.

4. What Are the Benefits, Vacations, Promotions, and Bonuses?

Hiring officers and job interviewers like job candidates with self-confidence, but they do not like people who are selfish. The first interview you have with a company is all about what you can do for them. You are not doing them a favour by interviewing with them, so keep these questions until the second interview or until the interviewer opens up the subject.

The interviewer will ask you why the company should hire you and then you can more fully emphasize your skills, talents and contributions you have to offer them. Be prepared to tell clearly what specific ways you have helped your former employers.

The truth is, our language does betray us. Our words are a direct reflection of our thoughts and anyone who is incapable of expressing himself or herself without the use of profanity is handicapping themselves to an incredible degree.

5. Profanity and Cursing of Any Kind

You must never curse, cuss, or use any kind of profanity in any job interview. Profanity includes scatological references like the word "p*ssed," as in "p*ssed off." That is cursing by using references to bodily functions and it is profanity.

In addition, do not say "damn", "hell", the “F-word”, or, of course, the “N-word”. In addition, women are women and not "girls" or "‘birds."

6. Stereotypical Language.

Do not refer to people of other genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, ethnicities, races, handicaps, religions, or any other diversity by using any slang, negative terms, slurs, or other denigrating language. Ever.

7. Anything Critical About a Former Employer

Bashing a former boss, or criticizing them in any way, lets the interviewer know that you will do the same to them if you leave their company. Instead, you can explain that you had a difference of opinion with your former employer in work philosophies or styles. Do not dwell on your answer about an employer where things did not go so well for you, and make it short.

8. No, I Have No Questions for You.

If you are asked if you have any questions, don't say "No."

Saying NO says to the interviewer that you are not very interested in the company and not very smart. So be smart.

When you research the company before your interview, come up with at least three questions to ask about the company itself during the interview. For example, ask what plans they have to expand in the next 10 years, or ask what new products and services they might be considering. This is not the time to ask about salary and benefits, either.

9. I don't have any weaknesses.

You will likely be asked what strengths and weaknesses you have. If you say you don't have any, the interviewer will believe that you are lying or that you are not thinking.

You can say that you don't like to waste time on small talk and are working on being more friendly in the workplace. This is a positive "weakness." Further, you can choose one of your still-developing skills and describe how you are working to improve it. This type of continuous improvement is always appreciated.

10. Your Life Story

The interviewer will ask you to tell them a little about yourself, but this means where you went to school, what you accomplished in school, where you have worked, and how you have helped your former employers. It can include a little about hobbies and volunteer work, but don't dwell on these things.

Don't tell the employer anything that will lead them to knowing your age (unless you are under 18), race, policies, gender-related orientation, religious beliefs, medical conditions, or other personal information. Legally, until they are offering you a job, the employer is not allowed to even ask you if you are married, have children, or are planning these things in the future.

Interviewers can ask you what certifications and licenses you have relevant to the position.

Finally, do not bring up personal problems in a job interview, including divorce, breaking up with a girlfriend, bankruptcy, etc.