5 Phrases Guaranteed To End Any Job Interview

By Amy @BubbleJobs

If you’re preparing for a job interview at the moment, chances are you’re familiarising yourself with the key questions that are most likely to come up and revising the best answers you could possibly give to these questions to give you the best chance of success.

Now, the thing with job interviews is that they can be well… unpredictable! You see, it doesn’t matter how much preparation you do, sometimes all it takes is little slip of the tongue and before you know it your interview has come to an unexpected end and you’re being ushered out of the interview room quick sharp.

If this experience sounds familiar, it might be because during your last job interview you accidentally uttered one of the five killer phrases that are guaranteed to end any job interview in a matter of seconds. Don’t know what phrases we’re referring to? It’s time to fill you in…

1. “Excuse me, I just need to take this call”: Unless it’s a matter of life or death, it is never acceptable to answer a call in the middle of a job interview. Why is this one so bad? Because it suggests you’re not really that interested in the position because you regard the phone call as more important. The same goes for texts and emails too! Think about it; the interview isn’t actually going to go on for that long – so why can’t you just wait?! In the interviewer’s eyes, if you’re willing to act like this in the interview, how will you be willing to behave should you get the actual job?!

self promotion2. “My last boss was a real idiot”: Uh-oh! Slagging off your last employer is never a good call. OK, so your last boss might have been a real idiot but there’s no need to come out and say it. Remember, it’s all about being professional and courteous during the interview… Seriously what employer would want to employ someone who is happy to bad-mouth their former employer at any given opportunity?!

3. “What exactly is the job?”: D’oh! If you’re at the interview stage, you should know what the actual job is by now! Seriously, if we invited someone in for an interview at Bubble and they asked us what exactly the job was when they arrived, we’d be majorly unimpressed. Why? Because it shows they haven’t taken the initiative to research it for themselves and do a bit of digging… and it also shows they haven’t properly read the job ad or spec! OK, there’s nothing wrong with clarifying particular responsibilities within the role, but to ask what exactly the job is as a whole is pretty unacceptable.

4. “How many days holiday do I get a year by the way?”: There’s a time and a place to discuss things like holidays and salaries… and the initial job interview isn’t it! Why? Because asking about these things in the interview suggests that you’re more concerned about the benefits of the job and what the company can do for you as opposed to what you can do for them! Now, there’s nothing wrong with casually mentioning that you’ve got a holiday booked during your initial interview – especially if it’s a bit of an extended holiday! (I did this when I had my Bubble interview) – but to actually enquire as to how many holidays you’re entitled to is a big no-no!

5. “I was too good for my last company”: Wow, there’s nothing like being over-confident is there?! Yes, it’s important to have confidence in your own skills and abilities but there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance – cross it at your peril! Seriously, no employer wants to hear from candidates who think they were better or ‘too good’ for their last employer. Why? Because if they think that about their last company, who’s to say it’s going to be any different next time around?!

Comments 6

  1. Third point is not that clear cut. It happened to me once that the spec was not clear and the role was not defined. It was obvious because the first technical interview was looking for some skills, but the interview with the manager revealed that they were looking for completely different things. When I noticed the difference I asked that question and they told me that it was a new role inside the company, so they didn’t have very clear what they were looking for.

    1. That’s a really interesting point Andres. I think that that can definitely be the case but I think 9 times out of 10, employers are very sure on who they’re looking for and what the role is and try and make this quite clear in the job ad.

  2. My friend once interviewed a man who asked if he could light a cigarette – he didn’t get the job.

    With regards to No. 4, I’ve had interviews where they push me for how much wages I want. I told them that I’m more interested in the role than the money and would rather discuss wages at a later date, but they still pushed me for a number.

    1. Ha I’m not surprised he didn’t get the job 🙂

      And regards point 4 – I think that’s really interesting; I’ve never really heard of an employer pushing for a wage figure at the first interview. I think in a case like this, it’s OK to discuss it – providing they brought it up first!

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