7 years ago
February 21, 2017

7 Things Job Candidates Should Stop Saying in Interviews

Interviews are where job candidates can shine. Stop blowing your chances of landing the job by saying these phrases. Read on.

Rhys Metler

It’s no surprise that you’re nervous and stressed out when you’re in interviews with potential employers. Trying to find work is a tough time for all job candidates. Although it makes good sense to rehearse and practise before your interview to ensure that you don’t end up a deer in the headlights once you’re in front of your interviewers, you also don’t want to come off as too rehearsed and end up sounding inauthentic and like a robot. You want to stand out as a potential sales candidate, after all.

Job candidates that use clichés that all interviewers have heard time and time again will blow their chances of landing their dream job.

Here are some things you need to stop saying during interviews.

1. “I’m a quick learner”

Saying that you’re a quick learner is just a way to make it obvious that you don’t have the necessary skills or experience needs for the job and it can completely turn off your interviewers. Instead of using this cliché, be honest about your lack of direct knowledge in the area and come prepared with an example about how you’re already trying to master this weakness. If you know that you have no experience for a responsibility described in the job description, then have the titles of some books, articles, or conferences that you’re using to improve.

2. Abstract Buzzwords and Jargon

Quit using abstract business buzzwords like synergy, meta, guru, coopetition, organic growth, visionary, and innovative to try to impress your interviewers. Spewing jargon like that will just make you seem like a fake trying to use all the right words. Instead, use concrete words that better articulate your skills and experience. Speak like a human being talking to another human being.

3. “I’m highly motivated”

Simply stating that you’re a motivated worker doesn’t prove a thing. Why not be motivated to showcase your motivation by actually giving examples of how you went above and beyond your call of duty to improve your past roles, departments, and companies?

4. “I’m a perfectionist”

Really? Do you know how many job candidates before and after you will use being a perfectionist as their biggest weaknesses? Don’t even think about uttering these completely overused words. It’s such a fake weakness that it makes you sound far too rehearsed while also offering no insight into your real potential shortcomings.

Instead, be honest about your areas of weakness but also explain how you’re working to overcome them. Being genuine will get you a lot further.

5. Stating Your Skills and Past Experience

You’ve been invited to partake in these interviews because hiring managers read your resume and liked it. So why go into the interview just repeating the information that’s on your resume? It’s redundant and really doesn’t give your interviewers any new information. This is your time to shine! It’s your time to give detailed examples and share stories that highlight your expertise and experience. Be specific and use measurable examples instead.

6. “I don’t have any questions”

Job candidates should ask questions at the end of their interviews. There’s no way you know everything about the company from your research and the 20 minutes in the interview room. By coming to the interview prepared with a list of questions and bringing a pen and paper to write down questions as the interview is taking place, you’ll show your interviewers that you’re actually interested, curious, and serious about working there.

7. Complimenting an Interviewer

Sure, job candidates should attempt to create lasting connections, but telling your interviewer that you love her shoes or scarf isn’t the way to do it. It can easily be misconstrued as fake. A more genuine connection can be created by instead commenting on the last conference the interviewer spoke at, the book she wrote, or the article about her you read in the Times.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.