When preparing for an interview, you spend a lot of time thinking about what you will say—as you should. There’s an equally important list of things you should never utter during an interview. Here are three statements that are likely to break (not make) the interview.
“My last manager was the worst.” It may be true that your previous supervisor was incompetent or insufferable, but bad-mouthing former employers to potential future employers will never win you points. Situations can prove excellent examples of showing how you respond in adverse circumstances—if done diplomatically and framed positively. For example, “My manager and I had different communication styles. At first that caused some friction and inefficiency. Understanding our differing styles helped me to be more aware of the way I communicate and vary the way I do things as the situation called for. This has made me a more flexible teammate that can work well with a broad range of people.”
“I don’t have any experience with that.” If you’re shifting positions or industries, your résumé may not correspond exactly with the position’s description. While your interviewer may see that you haven’t done something in the past, your job is to demonstrate that you can in the future. Show your transferable skills and the way you’d approach a specific task. Highlight that your perspective from another industry or department gives you fresh insight.
“I have to take this call.” If you have better things to do than interview, why should they seriously consider you for the job. An important caveat: many people who would never dream of taking a call during an interview, will still glance at the caller ID to see who’s calling or take a surreptitious look at a text. The principle is that you are giving your undivided attention to this job because you value the opportunity and respect your interviewer’s time. Don’t undermine that message by sneaking a peak. The text can wait.