7 Things We All Say In Interviews That Interviewers Are Tired Of Hearing


There’s a lot that goes through your mind when you attend a job interview. 

Although you might be terrified and think you’ve got the answers to all the interviewer’s questions, you have to make sure you’re not just saying things they’re tired of hearing! Answering their questions with one of these cliché phrases might just cost you the job!

I really want this job.

You might be passionate about the job, and mean well, but this sounds too much like “I really need this job”. Don’t come across as desperate, but rather explain why you’d love to work at their firm, or what inspires you about the position. Interviewers love to hear your passion and motivation to work for them, not to just work period.

My weakness? I’m a perfectionist.

Oh dear, this sounds arrogant. Maybe you’re a perfectionist, but chances are you don’t want to say something negative about yourself, so you make something up that doesn’t sound too bad.

Be honest and give them a real answer. For example: “My weakness is my time management. I always get my work done in time, but it would be less stressful if I’d start earlier.” or “I am terrible with names. I always remember what people have said, but I totally forget their name.”or “My desk is a chaos, but I know exactly where everything is.” It doesn’t have to be big, but make sure you’re honest.

Anything about vacations.

In the same category; sick days, maternity leave, leaving policies and everything else that has nothing to do with what you’re applying for…the job itself. Don’t ask about those details in your first conversation, but make sure they like you first. If those details are very important to you, save them for a later conversation, or only bring it up if they ask if you have any vacations planned.

What’s in it for me?

You probably won’t say those actual words, but you might say something that means the same. “Are there any chances for a promotion?” makes you sound like you’re saying this job isn’t good enough, and “How much will I earn?” makes you sound greedy. Again; save those questions for a later moment, when it’s clear you like the job, and your future boss likes you.

I’m looking for something more interesting.

The reason you’re applying for this job, should be because you love it. Because it’s something you’ve been hoping for, and now it finally came on your path. Not because your current job is boring, or your boss is a jerk and this feels like a way out. Also; never say negative things about your current boss, because who says you won’t do the same about the next one?

I’m really nervous.

You don’t need to say this, because it’s kinda obvious.

Most of us find it nerve-wracking to apply for a job. Not only because you really want it (or need it), but because you’re being judged, and the judging part makes you insecure. It shouldn’t. Who knows, you might hate the job or your future boss! Remember; you’re just talking about a job you might love, and seeing whether you’re compatible with the team. No stress.

I don’t know.

In the same category; “I’ll try”, “maybe” and “I guess”. Those phrases make you sound insecure and uncertain. Not good. Even when you’re nervous, you should be certain about what you want and who you are. Chances are, you’re just a little shy and selling yourself short. Don’t worry, there’s hope for all of us. Remember, Beyoncé felt the same, which is why she created Sasha Fierce.

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  1. Good point!
    In some case the fault is on the interviewers that always do the same questions. They should get more creative too :)

    Usually when I was asked what was my weakness I used to say – Impatient – it has always worked well :)


  2. I definitely agree that you shouldn’t talk about vacation in the first interview or until you’re serious about wanting the position but I feel the latter part of this advice is not great: “If those details are very important to you, save them for a later conversation, or only bring it up if they ask if you have any vacations planned”

    Benefits and perks should always be brought up if you want the position. Don’t just shrug and accept a job without making sure they are offering adequate vacation, health care, etc. The wording of that paragraph suggests that you should be passive in these discussions which is bad advice.

  3. I think the worst interview question is “What are your weaknesses?” They might as well say, “We know you have faults and we want to know what are they.” Unfortunately prospective employers almost always ask this, as it’s been a standard question for years and years. I like to change the wording during the interview and say, “I like to think there are areas that I’m challenged in.” And then I proceed to mention one, such as the forgetful of names mentioned above. I don’t believe anyone is weak, but we all have challenges.

  4. Sheri, your suggestion is actually INVALUABLE. {“I like to change the wording during the interview and say, “I like to think there are areas that I’m challenged in.” } This is gold. Thank you for your insight!! I mean, I really dislike the word ‘weakness’ so reframing it with ‘areas that I’m challenged in’ makes that terrible awkward question easier to answer.

  5. I’ve been advised to re-phrase this as ‘an area I’ve been working on’. Not only does it remove the negative connotation but also demonstrates that alongside self-awareness you have the capability to improve.

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