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Answers to Avoid in an Interview

Tell me something about yourself.

This question is intended to get to know a little bit about your personality. But it’s more to understand how the experience applies to the kind of talent that the position demands. Speaking about hobbies is okay, but certainly avoid marital status, politics and religion. Alternatively, guide your examples towards past encounters, accomplishments and awards.

Why should we recruit you?

Many other applicants are probably interviewed by the hiring manager, so a generic response such as the above will not make you memorable. Instead, you can clarify what you can do that the other candidates can’t. If you can back up your extraordinary qualities with anecdotal proof of past successes, even better.

What did you like the least about the previous role you held?

It’s not a nice look to talk negatively about a past boss, or gripe about what the business has been willing to give you. This reflects poorly on your character and shows the attitude of a victim. This question is intended to understand what activities you would not want to do to make sure that you will be miserable doing the current role would not require work. The interviewer needs to make sure that the position’s day-to-day activities are a good match for you.

In 5 years, where are you going to see yourself?

As long as it’s just the way it starts, this answer is perfect. Follow up on what goals you have on what you would like to do and how you would like the business to benefit. Would you like to see yourself in a managerial role? Would you like to be the brain behind a viral marketing idea (because you’ve done it before!)? What goals do you have that will pique the attention of the interviewer and demonstrate that their team will be a strong help to you.

Why do you have an interest in this role?

Keep away from everything, such as its proximity to your house, ambiguous or superficial. You can still provide examples of successful projects you have led, if you can.

Have you got any questions?

At the end of an interview, if you have no questions, maybe you’re not interested in the work, the hiring manager, or the business. Even if all prepared questions have been answered, it can lead to follow-up inquiries just by being involved in the discussion.

If you can’t think of any dialogue-related questions you have just had: a good follow-up to ask is if they think you’d be a good match, or if there are any hesitations and if you can answer them. This question shows: 1.) you’re optimistic because you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable role where you’re going to have to think on your feet and, 2.) it provides you an opportunity to persuade the hiring manager or provide extra context that might affect the decision in your favor.

A good rule of thumb is to stay away from negativity or ambiguous answers with an answer to every question. Your responses should instead illustrate what you are good at, what you have achieved, and how you can relate it to this job for which you are interviewing.

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