When preparing some of our excellent candidates to go out for interviews with our clients we may give advice on how to ace the interview. This could be extra insight into the firm or the interviewer, particular strengths that the candidate has or clear constructive feedback from their interview with us.

Rarely however, do we advise a candidate on what not to say in an interview. 

What we know about interviewing is that almost every interview has a ‘hook’. This is the single distinguishing factor that the interviewer remembers about the interviewee. We hope to help you ensure that your hook is a good hook like ‘the guy who seemed really passionate about his work’ rather than a bad hook like ‘the guy who made disparaging comments about his previous employer’


Here are a few things to avoid saying in an interview and reasons why:

1.) Negativity in any way, shape or form. Don’t be negative about your current job, boss, firm, your salary, your tube ride, the weather, anything! Prospective employers are not looking for someone who is going to bring negativity into their team. Think positive thoughts before your interview and use positive words and body language during the conversation to leave a great impression.

2.) Asking about comp. and benefits from the get go. All firms want someone who is passionate, bringing up what the compensation will be in the first few minutes of an interview will tell your interviewer that all you’re interested in is money (even if this isn’t your intention). Save your questions regarding salary, bonus schemes and company benefits for the latter stages of the process.

3.) Ask about working hours. Similar to asking about the salary, asking about what the working hours are may suggest to the interviewer that you might not be dedicated to working the hours necessary, even if you absolutely are. There may be very good reasons why you need to know the working hours but it is a question that should be brought up with your recruitment consultant prior to an interview.

4.) Belittle yourself in any way. You need to be your most confident charming self (not overconfident or arrogant).  Interviewers only have what they get in the interview to make their decision as to whether they should bring you forward in the process, give them as many reasons why they should rather than reasons not to.

5.) Oversharing. Don’t talk about your personal life too much, a few details about what your circumstances are is absolutely fine and will add character to your interview but talking about personal struggles should be avoided. By being too deep in an interview you risk making your interviewer feeling uncomfortable.

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