Interview Responses to Avoid at All Costs


Business interview

An interview is your opportunity to sell yourself. Regardless of how much you may look the part, you need to answer the questions correctly to get the job. Interviewers ask key questions and look for certain types of answers. Honesty is always the best policy, but remember that it is okay not to offer information that was not asked.

Never bash your former employer.

It doesn’t matter if your last boss was the Wicked Witch of the Workforce, don’t say anything negative about your former employer. Instead of saying that you left your last job to get away from your boss that micromanages like it’s going out of style, say that you are looking for an employer that wants to utilize your talents and allow you to truly contribute to the company. Instead of saying what you hated about your last employer, focus on what you love about the employer that you are interviewing with.

Avoid slang.

It doesn’t matter if everyone you know uses double negatives and slang, don’t use them in your interview responses. Always make sure that you look and sound very intelligent and articulate in an interview. You might be a college graduate from an ivy league school, but if you speak like you dropped out of grade school in your interview, there’s a good chance that you won’t be getting the job. An interview is the place to be as professional as possible.

Always have questions.

Almost all interviews end with the interviewer asking you if you have any questions about the position or the company. Be certain to have some questions. However, avoid questions about pay, vacation time, hours, bonuses, and similar things that depend on you actually having the job. Instead, do some research on the company that you are interviewing with and ask a question about something that you read. This shows that you are interested about the company and have done some research.

Never say you were fired.

When asked why you left your last place of employment, never under any circumstances should you say that you were fired, even if you were. You could say instead that you and your manager agreed that your last position may not have been the best fit. Do not lie about why you left, but avoid using the words fired, terminated, and let go in your explanation of why you are no longer with your previous company.

Don’t lie.

It’s better to admit that there is something that you don’t know than to lie. If you find yourself put on the spot with a question that you don’t know how to answer, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a moment or two to consider your answer. When you give the interviewer a well thought out response to the question that was posed, you can also make a point of emphasizing that you don’t make snap judgments and decisions, but instead prefer to think through how you are going to answer the situation. In many situations, this type of personality trait can be an asset.

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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.


4 Responses to “Interview Responses to Avoid at All Costs”
  1. Alex says:

    Hi Erin,

    Great advice. Especially on lying or “liberally embellishing”.

    Also, I know when I’ve interviewed people, its been especially annoying to have them ask in great detail about all the benefits and vacation early in the first meeting (but usually its with younger interviewees).


    Interview Coach

  2. Lori Walters says:

    I agree that no one should bash their former employers as it may come as negative. You can always say you wanted to explore other options you have at hand. Also, I would suggest that one should do a bit of research of the company before coming to the interview. It helps a lot if you can interact with the interviewer if you know something about the company.

    Lori Walters
    Comforter Sets Queen


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