In a job interview, you should be honest about what type of employee you are and what you're looking for out of a workplace. However, there are some phrases or ways of saying things that will set off alarm bells in an interviewer's mind. Here are 10 things you shouldn't say in a job interview, paired with a more interview-polite and appealing version.
DON'T SAY: I hate being micro-managed.
WHY NOT: Your future boss doesn't want to have a hard time dealing with you.
DO SAY: I prefer to have weekly, rather than daily, meetings to touch base.
DON'T SAY: I don't like working within large teams.
WHY NOT: It sounds like you don't get along well with others.
DO SAY: I prefer working within smaller teams with more direct lines of communication.
DON'T SAY: I don't like working outside of work.
WHY NOT: You might come off as lacking enthusiasm for the job.
DO SAY: I prefer a clear end to the work day, other than dealing with emergencies.
DON'T SAY: Why is your company performing poorly?
WHY NOT: No organization wants to hear that type of negativity.
DO SAY: What are the biggest challenges you see ahead for your team? How did you all respond to X or Y event that occured recently?
DON'T SAY: I need constant check-ins and 1-on-1s.
WHY NOT: You might come off as being needy and resource-intensive.
DO SAY: I like knowing about my performance and checking in on what's working and what's not on a semi-regular basis.
DON'T SAY: How quickly can I get a promotion?
WHY NOT: You'll look entitled and unexcited about the opportunity at hand.
DO SAY: Is there room for growth from this role? Can you tell me about a typical career path within this organization?
DON'T SAY: I hate working alone.
WHY NOT: Most employers want to know that you can handle tasks independently.
DO SAY: I prefer working on projects with others, whether internal or external to the organization. I'm a people person!
DON'T SAY: I hated my last job and need things to change.
WHY NOT: No one likes to hear badmouthing.
DO SAY: I'm looking for an organization that does things a little differently in X and Y ways.
DON'T SAY: I need you to pay me more to take this job.
WHY NOT: It's a negotiation, and in every negotiation, you have to provide valid reasons.
DO SAY: I'm excited about this opportunity, but I have some concerns about the compensation.
DON'T SAY: I don't like it when I can't change the process.
WHY NOT: If you need flexibility at work to innovate or try new things, say so politely.
DO SAY: I always like trying new ways to tackle old tasks and problems. How much flexibility exists within the role in regards to how things get done?