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5 Things to Never Say During a Job Interview

Whether you’re interviewing for your dream job or just trying to pay the bills, job interviews can be stressful. If you’ve left a job interview wondering if you said the wrong thing, you’ll want to keep reading. Let’s learn the five things you should never say during a job interview.

“How much vacation time would I have?”

Benefits, including time off, are an important factor when deciding on a new job. But asking about the amount of time you’ll receive during the interview isn’t the way to find out. It can make it appear as though you’re only interested in doing the bare minimum and more concerned about your time off the job than on the clock. You can phrase the question differently by asking a broader question about benefits in general. Or if you’re working with a recruiter or an HR rep for the company, direct that question to them, rather than the hiring manager.

“How much would I get paid?”

This is obviously an important question since you and the hiring manager should be on the same page regarding salary. But asking flat out about pay rates, particularly during a first interview, isn’t the tactful way to find out. Once again, a recruiter or your human resources contact are good sources of information to answer these basic questions. If you’re only working one-on-one with the hiring manager, a more tactful way to find out the information is to ask for a benefits sheet.

“What does this company do?”

Even if you’re called in for an interview on short notice, you don’t want to go in uninformed about the position or the company. Ask if it’s possible to schedule the interview to give yourself time to properly research the position. If they insist you come in right away, that could be a red flag that they tend to do things on the fly. If nothing else, do a quick Google and Glassdoor search so you at least understand the basics of the company and culture.

“I don’t have any questions.”

Inevitably, toward the end of the interview, your interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Although you might be tempted to say no so you can end the process, that’s always a mistake. Failing to ask a question can make you seem bored or disinterested. If your interviewer has genuinely covered everything or you just find yourself tongue-tied, some tried-and-true questions include: “Is there growth potential with this position?”; “What does a typical day at the company entail?” or “What is the average tenure of team members?”

“Did I get the job?”

Flat-out asking if you got the job at the end of the interview isn’t just awkward; it’s unrealistic. Hiring managers rarely make snap decisions. Plus, it can make you seem needy and desperate. Rather than asking if you got the job, ask, “What are the next steps in the hiring process?” or “Do you know how quickly you’ll be making a decision?” That allows you to express your interest and enthusiasm without putting anyone on the spot.

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