5 Things You Should Avoid Mentioning In An Interview

After countless tries of applying for jobs, none ever reply. The disappointment is written all over your face and anxiety is slowly building up. You might be led to believe that it is impossible to find jobs. With a little bit of patience, the tide finally is in your favour. You receive an email regarding a job interview. Certainly, you want to give it your best shot!

Before the interview, it is essential to plan out what relevant information about yourself that you want to share. Not everything or every topic is worth mentioning. Below are the things or topics you should avoid mentioning or doing in an interview. Hopefully, these tips would guide you to have a pleasant interview for your chosen job:


1. Don’t try to re-read your resume in front of the interviewers.

It is understandable for your mind to suddenly go blank during the interview. The pressure of wanting the job may cause you to panic, after all. Unfortunately, looking at your resume and trying to re-read the information will not leave a good impression on your interviewers, as it depicts you are nervous and unprepared for the job. They have probably already read your resume and are hoping for you to share something more beyond the details in there!

woman attending an interview and referring to her resume

Instead, you should try: To help you to recall important information, write them down on a cue card or on your device. Read them while you are waiting for your turn during the interview, but try not to refer to them during the interview itself! If you don’t recall the exact words, you can try explaining using your own words. This helps you come across as more genuine too. The same goes for your resume. They would expect you to be knowledgeable about your work history and major achievements. Usually, they will ask for further explanation on certain details in your resume. Try to elaborate on what you have learned in your working history that is related to the job role too!


2. Don’t be clueless about the job role.

It is unwise to attend the interview without having the knowledge and understanding of the responsibilities required for the role. For instance, the statements “I can do whatever job you give me.” or “Any job is fine with me.” is unsuitable. This displays that you are unsure what role you are applying for. The interviewers may also perceive that you are not interested. Ultimately, this would ruin your first impression.


Instead, you should try: Doing tons of research on the job role. Look up other companies’ job descriptions of the same job title. It may not be exactly the same responsibilities, but it’ll help you to have a clearer understanding of what you are signing up for. Nevertheless, if you are still unclear about the job role, you can simply ask them. Try some of these questions:

  • “With whom will I be working the most?”
  • “What is the most difficult component of this work, in your opinion?”


These types of questions will tell you more about the key roles of the job. If you still want to outshine other interview candidates, try to study more of the company itself! This will make you appear eager and enthusiastic to work with them. Try asking this:

  • “This value appears to be one of the company’s basic beliefs, according to your company website. How do you think this job exemplifies that value?” instead of “What are the mission and values of the company?”.


3. Don’t criticize your previous workplace or boss.

Sharing about your negative experience of your previous company is regarded as unprofessional. For instance, if you complain about long working hours or about your previous employers who did not pay you well, the interviewers might think you’ll bring this same attitude and complain about the job or company as well if you face the same situations. This will misrepresent your judgment and destroy any chance you have of getting that job as interviewers may see this as a red flag.


Instead, you should try: When interviewers ask the reason why you left your previous job, provide only positive or neutral answers. Here, you can turn the tables around by informing them why you want to work with them. For example, “I decided to look for a job in a company with greater potential for professional development and harness my skills. I believe by working here, I could jump-start my career to the next level.”


4. Don’t provide clichéd answers.

Landing an interview for your dream job excites you. A lot of preparation has been made and you are set to go. Yet, do you ever notice that you might be giving cliché interview answers? If you are unsure, here are a few cliché interviews answers:


  • I want to work here as this is my dream job.
  • I am passionate about doing this job.
  • My greatest weakness is that I work too much as I am a perfectionist.
  • I am a great fit for the job.
  • I see myself working here in the next XX years.


woman attending an interview


Instead, you should try: Whenever you respond, remind yourself that you want to grab the attention of the interviewers. Saying “This is my dream job,” is not adequate. You need to be able to convince your interviewers about the reasons why they need to hire you. For example, go into why that role interests you and how you can contribute if you are to be hired. Moreover, the phrases “I am passionate about doing this job” or “I am a great fit for the job” is too vague and general. You should be able to explain your experience in detail and show them proof such as your accomplishments or track records to prove that you are indeed the best fit or passionate about the work.


Being honest about your weaknesses could also make you seem humble and approachable. For instance, admit that you are not good at certain things. Then, tell them in what ways and how you can improve on your weaknesses. This will make you trustworthy in their eyes. Finally, discuss that you are interested in sharpening your skills and share some new ideas on how you will contribute to the company. The interviewers might appreciate your ideas and mark you as ambitious.


5. Don’t say you have no follow-up questions.

At the end of the interview, the interviewers would probably ask for your input or if you have any questions. It may seem like a simple question, but are you guilty of replying “No, so far I don’t have any questions?”. Avoid saying this in an interview if you can! You must prepare some follow-up questions as it will leave a good impression on your interest and initiative for the job.


Instead, you should try: You could start by preparing a few questions before the interview. Start by asking them about the job specifics. This will help you to achieve a better understanding of the job responsibilities and duties. For example:

  • “What are the main skills required for this job?”
  • “What type of projects would I be working on if I was accepted for the role?”
  • “Could you list the factors/characteristics that make someone in this role a success?”


Afterwards, you can ask about your potential career growth in that company, as organizations that value professional development are more likely to provide these kinds of opportunities. Try questions such as:

  • “Does your company provide or encourage any training or seminars that focus on employee’s skill growth?”
  • “How do you aid your employees in achieving their best potential?”


Organizations that value professional development are more likely to provide these kinds of opportunities. Lastly, you can also inquire about any performance-related matters related to the role to help you have a better understanding of what’s expected of you if you are hired for the tole. For instance:

  • “How do you measure your employee’s productivity”
  • “What are the KPIs (Key Performance Index) for this role? How do you measure your employee’s performance or success?”


woman making preparations for an interview and writing in a notebook


Finally, here are some quick tips to help you relax before the interview:

  • Always be prepared by doing your research.
  • Arrive early to allow you to be familiar with your surroundings and calm your thoughts. At least come 15 minutes earlier before your interview.
  • Visualize your interview going well.
  • Talk to someone by calling someone that is close to you.
  • Take a deep breath and smile.
  • Make plans after the interview.
  • Remind yourself that mistakes do happen and that is alright.


Going for an interview can be intimidating. Hopefully, these few tips and tricks could aid you before and during your interview. Stay focused and remember that you are only human. All the best in landing your dream job!


For further reading, check out our First Jobber series, with this article on how to stand out in an interview for new graduates!

A poet who enjoys a warm cup of tea. A dreamer who hopes her word reaches the stars. She's someone who loves movies and tv shows. Food is her true love.

Comments (1)

  • Kyna Nasution

    Good job, Suella. I like point no 2. It’s very crucial for candidate to acknowledge their job role before they going to the interview. Do as many research as you can about the job role and company so that you know what to ask and expect from them 🙂


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