Four Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

There comes a time in every college graduate’s life when they must go and find that first real-world, post-college job.  It can be difficult to transition to a life of job duties and responsibilities when the last four years have been dedicated to making the most out of the college experience. Yet just as the seasons must change, so must life responsibilities and obligations. Many college graduates are perusing the job market and going on face-to-face interviews these days. For some college graduates, interviews feel like a breezy walk in the park; for others, job interviews are as terrifying as free-falling from the sky without a parachute. If you’re one of the thousands of students who are out and about looking for a job, here are four things you should never say during job interviews.

“My previous employer was awful.”

Trashing a former employer is one of the most common mistakes in job interviews. Let’s face it: everyone has had a terrible employer before, but there is absolutely no reason to openly criticize or bash them in front of potential employers. Remember, the people interviewing you know how difficult it is to be in a position of power and responsibility, so they are more than likely going to sympathize with your former boss as opposed to you. When you sit around and slam other people you’ve worked for, they’ll suspect you’ll probably treat them similarly. Therefore, completely avoid openly chastising your former employers during any job interviews.

“What does your company do?”

Before you go on any job interviews, you should do research on the companies you’ll be meeting with. It might feel overwhelming to learn all their details, but, believe me, the last thing you want to do is walk into an interview and not know the first thing about the company you have an opportunity to work for. Not only will your cluelessness be blatantly obvious to interviewers, you’ll also lack a certain confidence. No, you don’t have to memorize every employees’ name; as long as you try to find out solid details, such as the number of employees at the company, when the company was founded, the kind of work the company does, how many departments there are at the company, the awards/honors the company has received, and any other substantial details and facts about the company, you should be in good shape.

“I don’t have a required salary.”

There comes a time in every interview where you will be asked you if you have any specific salary requirements. This is by far the most crucial moment in any and every job interview. Not only will your answer heavily influence the yearly salary you’ll be offered should you get the job, it’ll also demonstrate your power of negotiation. Whenever the time comes that your interviewers ask, “Do you have any salary requirements,” always, always have an answer prepared. You don’t have to be stern or intimidating in your response, but you should answer with an air of confidence. Make it sound like you believe you’re worth the amount that you’re requiring. If you’re unsure of the salary you should ask for, try speaking to professionals in your industry and find out what a fair starting salary is. When you find it out, always add a little to your requirement, in light of the fact that your potential employer may offer you something a bit lower.

“No, I don’t have any questions.”

We’re all relieved at the end of an interview, but right before your interview ends there will come a moment when your interviewers will ask if you have any questions for them. The absolute worst way you can respond to this question is to say, “No, I don’t have any.” Why, you might ask? Well, your interviewers have just dedicated an amount of time getting to know you, so when you don’t seize the opportunity to get to know all of them it sends out that message that you simply don’t care about them or the job. Being apathetic will almost certainly knock you out of the running for any job, so go ahead and write out a list of three standard questions you can ask at the end of interviews. They don’t have to be anything earth-shattering or riveting; they just have to get the job done.

Employers are constantly on the search for new talent, and oftentimes they can tell solely by an interview whether or not a person is the right fit for a job. Whenever you go on any upcoming job interviews, always make sure to never utter these four dreadful phrases.

Samantha Gray is a freelance writer for She has a passion for giving advice to students who are looking for their first post-college job. Questions and comments may be sent to