The words and phrases you use during a job interview can and will affect its outcome. Certain words can change the tone and energy of an interview. These same words, when used too much, can also hurt your chances of getting the job.

In an interview, you are judged by what you say. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled the following list of words and phrases you should avoid saying during the job interview process.

1. anything negative about your former company, boss, or colleagues

Never say anything negative about other people or companies during your interview. Take the high road. When you speak ill of others, it can give the interviewer a negative impression of you.


2. ‘I don’t know’ 

Even if you truly don’t know the answer to a question, reframe it. For example, ‘That’s a great question, but I don’t have the answer in front of me, I’ll have to get back to you with that. Can I follow up with you after the interview?’

Reframing the question will also give you a second to collect your thoughts. This is a good strategy if your mind goes blank or you can’t think of a response right away.

3. ‘it’s on my resume’

Even if that’s true, this is a chance for you to explain the context and provide more details than what’s listed on your resume. Expect interviewers to probe deeper and request more information about things that include in your resume and cover letter.

4. ‘hate’

Hate is a strong word choice. There’s nothing you should hate enough for it to come up in an interview. Focus on the positive.

5. curse words

This is just unnecessary in a professional environment. Swearing could give the interview a negative impression of you. You never know how people will react to swear words, especially in the work environment.

Women having a conversation
Women having a conversation

6. ‘fired’

Even if you were let go from a role, this word in particular has a negative connotation. Reframe why you left your previous role and keep it short. 

7. ‘stuff’

This is a generic word that doesn’t describe what you actually did. Be specific about your responsibilities. Instead of ‘I was responsible for social media stuff’ say ‘I was responsible for writing copy for social media ads, scheduling them and doing the post-mortem reporting.’

8. ‘can’t’

Don’t leave the impression you aren’t able to do something. Even if you’re not sure, frame it as something you’re open to learning.

9. ‘sure’

This is a halfway word, that isn’t quite a ‘yes’. Either say yes, or don’t.

10. ‘what does your company do?’

You should have researched this before the interview. Avoid asking questions about the company that you should already know.

11. ‘my biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist’

Don’t say this or any other cliche answers that interviewers have heard a thousand times before. Be as honest as you can, and customize your answers based on your experiences and the role you’re applying for.

12. ‘I don’t have any questions’

At the end of most interviews, your interviewer will probably ask if you have any follow-up questions. You should always use this opportunity to show that you’re invested in the role. Have two or three strong questions prepared that you could ask at the end of the interview.

Avoid using the above words and phrases in your next job interview. It can be challenging, but it will greatly help you in your candidacy. At Randstad Luxembourg, we can help you find jobs in your area that match your skills and knowledge. Send us your application today to get more out of your job search.

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