Poor Interview Answers

Giving the right answers and individual is easier said than done, and a lot of people put their foot in it with things they subsequently wish they had rather not said.

Remember an interview you are not in a race, and whilst the employer would prefer a fluent conversation, if you really do need a post to think them take it rather than speak out of turn.

Please see below for more advice on interview answers


Examples of bad answers to questions at interview

When you are at interview should remember that a lot of the time there are no set right answers. At the same time, some of your answers could put you at a distinct disadvantage if you're not careful. So think before you speak.

Some of the things employers may not want to hear you say at interview include;

  • I don't know
  • I never thought of that
  • Erm....
  • I'm not prepared to...
  • It depends on the money
  • I don't really like...
  • What is the sick pay like?
  • How much maternity/paternity leave do you get?

Of course, some of the above are perfectly valid answers. For example, if you asked a technical question, or even a trick question where there is no definite answer, then it is not a problem to say that you don't know. However, if the interviewer is asking you a question that he/she expects you to know, then it doesn't help your cause if you don't know.
Also, a lot of employers are perfectly happy to pay for staff to go on maternity/paternity leave, as well as general sick leave. However, at interview they want to know what you can do for them, they are less interested in having to tell you what they can do for you if for some reason you are off work. So try to keep your answers positive rather than potentially negative.

The same goes for talking about money. Yes, pay is an issue for a lot of people, and it is commonly discussed at interview. At the same time, it shouldn't remain your primary focus. Your main intention should be letting the employer know that you are the right person for the job.

About this article's author
This interview answers article is based on extracts from a book by our senior consultant, Paul Hichens.  

Reproduction is prohibited without prior consent.

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