5 things not to say in a job interview

If you have been fortunate (and smart) enough to get an interview the last thing you want to do is waste the opportunity by saying the wrong thing. In the latest job seeking article from Go Zambia Jobs we explore 5 things that you should NOT say during a job interview.

1. Sorry I’m late

Turning up late for an interview sends various negative signals to an employer. It signals that you have poor time-management skills and that you lack the basic organisational ability to attend a pre-arranged meeting at the correct time. If you are unable to attend the interview at the correct time will you be able to attend work meetings on time? To avoid this issue be sure to plan your journey in advance and to leave additional time to allow for events such as transport problems.

2. Which job is this again?

A lack of knowledge about the role indicates to the employer that you have either poor preparation skills or that you are not truly interested in the role. The interview is your opportunity to shine and to demonstrate your suitability for the role. You may only get one chance to impress so if you really want the job be prepared. Always re-read the job description and your application prior to the interview. If the interview was arranged by a recruitment agent be sure to contact the recruitment agent in order to obtain as much information about the role as possible. Think about the questions you may be asked and prepare answers that highlight your suitability. Remember the 5Ps – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

3. Just let me take this call

Taking telephone calls during an interview shows a lack of respect for the interviewer and the interview process. Unless there is an emergency (in which you would let the employer know at the start of the interview) always turn off your telephone or place it on silent. There is nothing worse than a good interview being ruined by a childish or inappropriate ringtone.

4. My current boss is terrible

Speaking badly of your current or former employer is unprofessional and could reflect poorly on your ability to manage workplace relationships. An interview is not the time or place to state the reasons why you do not like your boss or current job. Instead, the interview is a brief window of time where you can demonstrate your skills, experience and suitability for a new job. Furthermore, remember that you will need to provide references to new employers so burning your bridges with your current or former employers is not usually a good idea.

5. I want your job

A favourite interview question is, “Where do you see yourself in x years time?” As much as you may want to say “In x years time I see myself doing your job” try to avoid such an answer. Instead, try to focus on the skills and experience you hope to develop. Stating that you want the interviewers job could make the interviewer feel threatened and could therefore reduce your chances of getting the job. Similarly, avoid answers such as “In x years time I see myself working for a different company – this job is a temporary one before something I get something better.” Again, this could reduce your chances of getting the job. Employers will not want to waste time and effort employing you if they think you are going to leave. Remember that you can increase your chances of providing a “good” answer by preparing your answer in advance as part of your interview preparation.


What are the worst things that you have heard during an interview? Share your tips and help others below.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

Search for Jobs

To search for the latest jobs in Zambia visit: www.gozambiajobs.com/jobs