5 Things You Should Not Say in Your Job Interview

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A job interview makes you feel like you’re right back in the gymnasium at a high school dance when a slow song starts playing. Your every awkward and fumbling move is scrutinized and evaluated, and your fear of being rejected is at a fever-pitch. If you want to make it through to the end of this song and dance without falling flat on your face, remember the things you shouldn’t say and be prepared with the things you should.

5 “I Just Need a Job”

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Obviously, you need a job or you wouldn’t be looking for one. But coming across as desperate works about as well on an interview as it does on a date. The interviewer will think more highly of you if it seems as though you genuinely want to work for his company. Act interested in a job at this company, not just any job.

4 “What Does This Company Do Again?”

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An interviewer is bound to question your interest in the job when it’s obvious you haven’t bothered to research the company before the interview. The interviewer may wonder whether you’re just so desperate for a job—any job—that you don’t care what the company does, or you’re simply lazy. Neither impression will increase your chances of getting a job offer, and ultimately you look like you just don’t care.

3 “When Can I Take a Vacation?”

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Every interviewer knows that company benefits play a role in the relative attractiveness of the job offer. But if you appear too interested in the perks, you risk seeming uninterested in the work itself. When you ask your interviewer how long you have to work before you can take a vacation—before you’ve even been hired—this gives him a pretty good idea where your focus lies. Companies want employees who will put forth their best effort on the job, not ones who are counting the days until their next trip to Tahiti.

2 “I Hated My Last Boss”

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Even if you previously worked for a clone of Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada,” don’t tell that to your interviewer. For all you know, your interviewer is best friends with your former boss. Talking smack about a previous employer speaks negatively about your own character. Loose lips sink ships, and no one wants a two-faced gossip on board. At best, your interviewer will be left thinking, “If I hire her, what will she say about me behind my back?”

1 “I Don’t Have Any Questions”

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At some point, your interviewer may ask whether you have any questions. Don’t fumble around and tell him that you don’t have any, because what he’ll hear is that you’re not really interested in working there. Your apparent lack of curiosity can be fatal to your job prospects. Companies want active, engaged employees who are enthusiastic about the company’s business and their role within it—not passive, mindless drones.

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