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Phrases To Avoid While Interviewing For Jobs

Maybe it’s an interview for your dream job. Or it’s a job that might lift you out of a financial situation that’s a nightmare. Or perhaps you’re just starting out in a new field where you’re hoping to find both personal fulfillment and professional success. But the interview is pretty critical.

There’s no way around it: You have to interview to get the job. According to experienced hiring managers and career coaches, job candidates all too often make a bad impression with a potential employer by failing to communicate why they would be an asset. Additionally, candidates sometimes share way too much personal – and unnecessary – information that muddies the qualification waters.

According to employment experts, the following statements and topics are best avoided during the interview process if you want to put your best foot forward and walk into that long-awaited job.

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“Sorry I’m late.”

Being late for an interview signals a lack of respect for the interviewer’s time, a tendency to rudeness and self-absorption, and that you’re not taking the interview process seriously. Tardiness can also be considered an indicator of how you’ll operate as an employee. If you’re late to an interview, employers probably won’t waste their time hiring you.

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“Tell me about your company.”

This statement is a red flag that you haven’t done due diligence or research when it comes to the company you want to work for. Potential employers need to know you have a strong desire to work for their company, not just any company that’s hiring. Check out the company’s website, and research the specific job for which you’re interviewing, which will help you convey why you’re a perfect fit.

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“I know there’s a gap in my resume, but…”

If you call attention to a negative, a potential employer may not be open to hearing all of the positives you could bring to a position. If you’re work history doesn’t convey every skill needed for the position or you’ve experienced a period of unemployment, it doesn’t mean you won’t be hired; after all, they’ve already reviewed your resume and called you for interview, which indicates their interest in your qualifications. Don’t be so eager to volunteer a negative about yourself.

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“My greatest weakness is that I work too hard.”

Don’t talk about a “weakness” that’s actually a self-compliment in disguise; employers can usually see right through it. Nobody really buys it. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, regardless of the job for which they’re applying. Be honest, and focus on the skills you have as well as those you’d sincerely like to improve upon.

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“This seems better than my last job.”

You never know who knows who in any given business. Social media has helped people forge connections easier, for extended periods of time, and with a longer reach. All of which means you don’t want to speak ill of a former employer to a potential employer. (Plus it could make a future boss wonder what you might say about him or her if you’re hired and then leave the company.)

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“I have another offer.” 

Those who are on the front lines of hiring recommend that job candidates avoid boasting about how many interviews or offers they have lined up. If, however, an interviewer asks where you are in your job search, you can be honest about other meetings you’ve already had, but follow up by indicating how truly invested you are in securing this one particular job. If an employer feels like they’re just a fallback option, it could cost you the job.

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“How much does this job pay?” 

Too much emphasis on compensation early on can send a message that you’re interested more in the salary than the work. It’s best to wait until the potential employer brings up the issues of money, benefits, vacations days, and the like.

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“Um, yeah…like…I really, uh…”

Professional settings in general and job interviews in particular require that you drop the colloquialisms, slang, and the sloppy syntax you’re comfortable using around friends and acquaintances. Communicating effectively during an interview gives the impression that you’ll be able to communicate effectively on the job.

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“Outside of work, I like to spend my time…”

A job interview is all about what you can bring to a position, a company, or an organization. Focus on skills, experience, education, and past work accomplishments. Truth be told, interviewers aren’t interested in your life story, your Jeopardy obsession, or your aspirations to one day be a renowned graffiti artist.