During an interview, what you say and how you say can help an interviewer determine if you are a strong candidate for a Software Engineering role and a good fit for their company and culture. You can prepare for an interview by thinking carefully about the things you want to make sure are covered—and what you don't want to say.
In this blog, we discuss things you should try to avoid saying or asking during a job interview with tips and examples of things you can say instead.
1. “I hate my job”
No matter how unpleasant your current working environment is, your potential new employer is unlikely to want to hear about it. You might come across as unprofessional and after all, if you’re willing to speak badly about your current company, you might do the same with your future one. Perhaps you might even come across as difficult to manage.
That’s not to say that you can’t be partially honest about your reasons for moving, you just need to be extra careful about your phrasing, and be sure to reinforce that there are aspects of your role that you enjoy and excel at.
2. “I don’t have any experience in that”
It’s VERY LIKELY that the job you’re applying to will have some aspects that are new to you. This is totally okay, and something your prospective employer will fully expect. However, phrasing it in this way without offering any further explanation can come across as a little negative as well as blunt and unenthusiastic.
Instead, in an area of discussion that you’re a little unfamiliar with, explain what you know already, and express that you’re very keen to learn more. Similarly, talk about any experience you have that’s similar, and the relevant skills you have that will allow you to learn and adapt.
3. "I don't know."
The interviewer may ask you a question that you didn't prepare for or that you don't have the answer to. This can be a great opportunity for you to prove your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The interviewer will definitely understand if you need a minute to think about your response or ask them for the additional information you need to put together an accurate response. Try saying: "That's a great question. If you don't mind, I would like to take a minute to think about it."
4. "I don't have any questions."
Most interviewers will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. An important part of preparing for an interview is to think about meaningful questions you can ask the employer that will show your interest in the company or the position. This shows you are genuinely interested and took the time to research the company a bit further than most.
5. “I didn’t have the time to research your company.”
This is the one thing that will absolutely put off any potential employer. Before a job interview, make the time to research the company, the role and the person who is interviewing you and go all in on the prep. This reflects your serious interest in the potential role.