“I’m not so excited about this role…but I have to pay my rent.” “So how much vacation time would I get?” “Honestly? I’m quitting because I hate my boss.” It’s crucial to know what not to say at a job interview because one cringeworthy remark can cost you the job. These statements are instant job interview dealbreakers.
I’m Not Good At Working With People:
“Maybe it isn’t your number one strength and you prefer working by yourself at times. That is fine. But highlighting that you are a completely independent, autonomous person that can’t harmonize and work alongside others is a big red flag. It is impossible to grow a company or do anything by yourself — having an understanding of that on a deeper level is indicative of how someone works and interacts with others.” — Amanda Greenberg, CEO and cofounder of Baloonr
I’m So OCD:
“Never say you are ‘so OCD’ in a job interview when trying to communicate that you are really organized or detail oriented. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness that impacts millions of people. Claiming you are OCD about your work is offensive and hurtful to those who suffer from OCD. You never know the mental history of your interviewer or her network. If you have been diagnosed with OCD, it is your choice to disclose that information in a job interview. However, if you use the phrase ‘I’m so OCD’ to trivialize the disorder, it’s an immediate red flag to employers that support mental health advocacy.” — Eileen Carey, CEO of Glassbreakers
I’m Curious About Your Vacation Policy:
“If you haven’t even been hired, you shouldn’t be asking about when and how often you can get away. Employers and human resources managers want to see enthusiasm about the work you would be doing — not about leaving ASAP.” — Kate Gremillion, CEO and founder of Mavenly + Co.
I’m Leaving My Job Because The Company Is Toxic:
“Never speak disparagingly about a boss, colleague or company. If you are leaving a stressful or toxic work environment and are asked why you are seeking a new job, there are many things you can say without being negative. For example, you’re seeking a new opportunity because you’d like to be more challenged professionally, learn new skills or work for a larger organization. Companies want to hire positive people, not people who will bring negativity into the workplace.” — Alyssa Gelbard, president and founder of Resume Strategists
I’m Not Excited About This Role:
“I once had a job candidate tell me that they were not really that excited about the position. It doesn’t matter if you see a job as a stepping stone or just a way into a company, you need to show excitement for the position at hand.” — Jenna Tanenbaum, founder of Greenblender
I Don’t Have Any Questions:
“‘Nope, I don’t have any questions.’ I don’t care if you have talked to thirty people at the company by this interview. If you’re hungry, you should want to know every single detail about the company. To me, not asking a question means that you are not interested enough to have done your research prior to meeting me, and you did not think critically about the interview process as a whole.” — Liz Wessel, CEO and cofounder of WayUp
As my dream mentor, 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon, would say, “Shut it down. Dealbreaker.” Avoid any statements that leave the job interviewer thinking, “Did she really just say that?”
Elana Lyn Gross is a content strategist at mllnnl, journalist and the founder of Elana Lyn. Elana Lyn is a professional and personal development site that provides millennial women with actionable job search, career and wellness advice.
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