What To Say and Not To Say in a Job Interview

Published by MAXSolutions on January 04, 2021
what to say in a job interview

Lots of us find interviews stressful. But you can avoid a lot of worry by being prepared. Knowing what to say in a job interview and the best questions to ask in a job interview will help get rid of pre-interview jitters, and impress hiring managers.

What to say in a job interview?

  • It’s great to meet you – first impressions matter, make sure your professionalism is on show.

  • I am excited to interview for the role – showing you are keen for the role is crucial if you want your interview to go well.

  • This role is a perfect fit for my previous experience – you need to show how the experience on your resume is linked to your ability to succeed in the job you are interviewing for.

  • I am looking to build a career – this shows your interviewers you are looking to commit to their company long term.

  • I am seeking to learn and improve my current skillset – highlight how your self-improvement goals align with the role and fit within the industry.

  • I work well within a team – companies want team players so make sure you emphasize how you can fit within their team.

  • I have read about your company – showing that you have done your research about the company you are interviewing for tells the interviewer you are serious and conscientious.

  • I am adaptable – new technology and processes can change the way we work. It is important to emphasise your ability to pick up new skills and deal with emerging trends.

  • I am motivated – Bosses want self-starters. Showing you are motivated to do your job and succeed are clear indicators to your interviewer that you are a good candidate.

  • Thank you for your time – just like the start of the interview you want a leave a lasting impression that is both positive and professional.

What questions to ask in a job interview?

  • Can you clarify? – a job interview is not all one way. Your interviewers expect questions and it shows your interest in the process

  • What does a normal day look like? – a role description can give a good idea of what the job entails however, it may not always be as accurate or detail the real ins-and-outs of the job.

  • What do you expect from people in this role? – being clear on expectations shows you are a professional, but it also helps you understand if the role is right for you.

  • Where do you see the future of the team going? – showing you are interested in the future of the structure of the company and your team really signals you are thinking long-term about the role.

  • What are the most challenging aspects of the job? – this is another important question to help you understand how suitable the role is for you, but it also shows you are someone that values being prepared.

  • What is your favourite part about working here? – this is an easy way to build rapport with your potential future employer. Placing the focus on them as a person can leave a lasting impression and make the interview less tense.

  • Where do you see the company in 5 years? – this is another job interview question that takes the focus off you for a moment and shows your interest in the role and the company.

  • How would you describe the company’s culture? – showing you care about the values of the company you are interviewing for, tells the interviewers you are not just looking for another job.

  • What professional development opportunities are available? – this is a great job interview question as it shows that you are committed to self-improvement and you are motivated. Two qualities bosses love.

  • When can I expect to hear from you? – this question is near the end of the interview process and further signals to the interviewers that you are invested in the outcome of the interview.


What not to say in an interview?

  • Who are you and what do you do? – with so much free information out there you need to do some research. Check out the interviewers on LinkedIn, read the company’s website, or google them. You have to show a little interest or interviewers won’t take your interest in the role seriously.

  • What are the main responsibilities of the role? – jobs will usually come with a role description. If you are asking questions like these, you may be signalling to the interviewers you don’t really care about the job.

  • I didn’t like my last company – it doesn’t matter how bad of an experience previous jobs were, you don’t want to bring any negativity into the interview. Remember to focus on the positive aspects.

  • My last boss and I did not get along – talking about a bad relationship with your previous boss won’t look great, especially if one of the interviewers could be your new boss. They might be wondering what part you had to play in the poor working relationship.

  • My previous team was terrible – bad-mouthing your previous colleagues doesn’t look great. Even if you had been doing most of the heavy lifting in another job it makes you look self-centred and not a team player.

  • I, like, um, what was the question again – it is ok to be nervous, but not taking time to think about your answers, and fumbling over your own words, isn’t a good look. Thinking too much about the answers you will give and not listening will also make you look uninterested.

  • I see this role as a great stepping-stone – this is an example of what not to say in an interview. You could be a great candidate but if you make it clear the role is only temporary, it’s unlikely they will choose you over other more committed candidates.

  • What the #$%! – if you swear or speak about inappropriate things it’s a pretty clear indicator of a lack of professionalism.

  • It is on my resume – You may have spent a lot of time and effort on your resume, but they wouldn’t have asked you the question if they didn’t want an answer.

  • I facilitate strategic outcomes by utilising an ‘out of the box’ philosophy – your interviewers don’t get a lot of time to work out whether you are the right fit or not. So, make sure you don’t fluff up your speech with jargon or buzz words of little substance. You only have a short time to impress, showing you know your way around a thesaurus is rarely a skill in demand.

We hope this article has helped you figure out  what to say about yourself in an interview. But, if you want to learn more about types of interview questions you may be asked check out our article on 6 types of unusual interview questions and how to answer them.

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