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December 23, 2010
Things You Should Not Say During an Interview

Let’s be honest, interviewing for a job is exciting. You’re overwhelmed with anxiety and stress, and you have to appear as though you’re completely at ease. How fun! Then you have to be prepared to answer questions about your abilities and experience while trying to sound humble and gracious. Slam dunk! You also have to balance your professionalism with your ability to seem personable and conversational, which, of course, many can do in their sleep.

Sometimes, the easiest part of the interview is just coming up with the right answer. Most expect the inevitable curveball the interviewer will throw our way. That’s because some are smarter than the interviewer. You figure that if you just appear casual and likeable, they have to hire you. You’re right!

Just in case you feel like you have the whole interview thing figured out, here are the two most important things to remember:

  1. Always use cliché responses or expressions.
  2. Never be honest with yourself.

Here are some of the best answers to some of the most overasked questions. (Try to note the intelligence and originality.)

What  is your biggest strength?

"I give 110 percent."

What is your biggest weakness?

"Sometimes I just work too hard."

Do you have any questions for me?


If you use these answers to the aforementioned questions, you are sure to ace the interview with style and poise. When the ball is in your court, try to do everything you can to mess up what’s going on.

Some final pointers for your five star interview:

  • Ask about your prospective employer’s religious status or church affiliation. Talking about religion in the workplace is always acceptable! People love to talk about the personal faith with potential employees.
  • Ask about your days off up front. Employers love to interview applicants who are already looking to take time off. It doesn’t look like you have motivation at all!
  • Bad-mouth your last boss or previous co-workers. It shows you’re not capable of taking direction and difficult to work with. Employers love to hear bitterness from someone they were looking to hire.
  • Ask when to expect a promotion. You need to know now when they expect to let you move up within the company. Sure, you’re only in the first 10 minutes of your interview, but they should already know how capable and driven you are. 
  • Talk about personal issues. Nothing brings an interview to a swifter close than talk about your divorce or unproductive job search. Be sure to ask your interviewer personal questions as well. It’s the best way to get to know them.

If you follow these rules, consider your job search over. You are guaranteed it will result in the immediate end of your interview. Don’t be a dummy.

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Jaci Russo is a co-founder and senior partner of The Russo Group, a national branding agency located in Lafayette, LA. She is a brand strategist with experience including strategic planning, consumer insight, brand management, national product launches, and media management for clients in a cross section of industries. She speaks to organizations across the country on the power of branding, changing the conversation, message training, and how to brand through social media.

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