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What NOT to say during an interview!

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience but it’s important that you come across as professional and don't say the wrong thing. No-one’s perfect, and the interviewer will know that, but your challenge is to turn any negatives into positives to present the best version of yourself.

“So…” (See also: like, sorry, just, um)

Using 'so' and 'like' as filler words give the impression that you're unsure of yourself and haven’t prepared sufficiently. If you need to pause, just pause, and use the time to think about what you're going to say next.

“Bad.” (See also: boring, hate, annoying)

Never use negative language in an interview, focus on the positives. Even if what you’re describing turns out to be positive, using negative language sets a bad tone for the whole process.

“Ugh, my previous company was just the WORST.”

Don’t badmouth your previous company. Try and focus on turning everything into a positive – if you had a bad experience with your last employer, try describing what you learnt from it, and how you managed the situation.

“My last boss and I had a terrible relationship.”

The interviewer has no way of knowing whether this was your fault or not, so it could reflect badly on you. Explaining it further could result in you digging yourself into a hole, so it's best to avoid the topic altogether. 

“I’m so nervous.”

Being nervous is a natural part of the interview process, and your interviewer will expect it, but there’s no reason to actually tell them! You're a skilled and professional individual so focus on speaking positively and confidently.

“My weaknesses are…” (Unless the interviewer asks for them)

Don't be self-deprecating, always big yourself up. However, the interviewer may ask you what you think your weaknesses are, in which case tell them - everyone has flaws – and then describe what steps you’re taking to improve.

“I’ll do anything!”  

The interviewer wants to hear how passionate and devoted you are to the role that you’re there to discuss, not that you’ll take any job going. When preparing for the role, think about all the skills you’ve got that make you a good fit, and all of the things that you’ll enjoy about the job if you get it.

“I’m sorry I don’t have much experience.”

Don’t apologise for not having much experience – use it as an opportunity to explain how willing you are to learn, and how you’re going to further your skills.


Obviously you can answer questions using the word no, but when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, it’s best to have some prepared. They don’t have to be complicated, just things that you might want to know e.g. are there opportunities for progression?

“It’s on my CV.”

Not only is this a rude response when asked about your skills or experience, it gives the impression that you’re not willing to expand on anything you’ve done, and that you’re not particularly invested in the interview.

“What's in it for me?”

Don't talk about the salary or benefits in the early stages of the interview process, otherwise it might look like you're only after the money. If you need to confirm salary details, either contact the employer after the interview, or say something like “was the salary estimation on the job advert correct?”

“F$%k.” (See: any other swear word)

This should be a given, but keep your language clean, even if the interviewer swears. Right now you need to sound professional.

“I don’t know.”

Even if you’ve really got no idea what to answer with, don’t say this. Say something like “let me think…” and use the time to really consider your answer. If you absolutely have nothing to say and have gone completely blank, just say: “I’m really not sure on this, but it’s something I’d love to learn more about, and I think this job gives me the opportunity to do that.”

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