Worst Things to Say in an Interview

An interview is your opportunity to communicate your skills and talents to your future employer. It's also your change to find out whether the work includes things you're good at and like to do.

During the interview, your focus should remain on communicating your qualifications and the impact you can have on the company. The conversation will likely stray to other topics at some point, but there are certain topics you should avoid in every interview.


Here are three most common topics people make the mistake of focusing on during interviews.

Mistake #1: Focusing on your weaknesses

You'll likely be asked to talk about your weaknesses. Be prepared with an answer in advance, and don’t spend more time than necessary on this point. It's important to be honest, but it’s not helpful to spend too much time on what you're not good at.

Instead, focus on what you're doing to improve in these areas and talk more about the skills where you excel.

Read our article How to answer the interview question: What is your greatest weakness?

Mistake #2: Talking negatively about your current boss or company

Companies are always looking for employees who are positive. If you're complaining about your current boss or company, your potential employer will assume you’ll do the same with them. Even if you currently work for the worst boss at a horrible company, don’t discuss it in an interview with a potential employer.

If you're asked why you're leaving your current role, talk about wanting a new challenge instead of focusing on what you don't like about your current job.

Mistake #3: Focusing on salary or benefits right away

A first interview is not the time to bring up details about the salary or benefits package. Wait to discuss these until you receive a job offer. This includes talking about vacation time, a flexible work schedule, retirement benefits, and insurance plans.

All of these are certainly important, but the conversation isn't very relevant until you've decided the job sounds interesting and the company wants to hire you. In addition, talking about salary too early will weaken your negotiating position. 

Instead, focus on learning more about the day to day work in the role. After you fully understand what  the job requires, you'll be in a much better position to factually negotiate the salary and benefits.