What Not To Say In An Interview

5 mins

Getting to the interview stage of the recruitment process is a wonderful achievement. It provides the perfect platform to prove to the hiring manager that you, above all other candidates, are the right person for the job. It is here that you can emphasise your skills, ambitions and how you will get the job done in your new role.


However much you practice and plan ahead though, this golden opportunity can all too often turn sour in an instant with an ill-judged slip of the tongue or a mind blank in response to a challenging question. This is because interviews are nerve-wracking, highly pressurised encounters that can result in even the most prepared candidate saying something they might come to regret.


Follow our advice on the following tricky questions to ensure that the conversation flows and your abilities are what your interviewer remembers, rather than a poorly worded response or an avoidable faux pas.


Why do you want this job?


This is by far one of the most frequently asked interview questions but so many candidates fail to get the answer right. This biggest error is to subsequently reel off a list the company’s perks and benefits. This shines a light on how good the business in question is but not your own attributes and what you can bring to the role. Instead, use your response as an opportunity to showcase your motivation for landing the role and how engaged and focused you are on making it work.


What is your biggest weakness?


When asked this question, do not be tempted to launch into a self-deprecating attack on yourself. Instead, turn your weaknesses into strengths. Impatience could mean that you respect deadlines and like to get things done on time. If you are a sore loser, you most likely have a strong desire to perform well, win and deliver great results. 


Try to identify the strength that you rely most heavily on, determine what the opposite of that is and this will most likely be your weakness. Be honest with your interviewer and tell them why your weakness is something that can be overcome to produce great results and they will not fail to be impressed with your honesty.


What would your last boss say about you?


You have no idea so just admit that you do not know. Back this up by saying while you cannot speak for your boss, you can share evidence and anecdotes about the value that you brought to the role and, subsequently, the department or business as a whole. If answered wisely, this questions offers the ideal chance to shine a light on your skills, responsibilities and experience. Back this up using real life examples of key moments and achievements in your previous role.


What would your colleagues say about you?


Here, you should adopt a similar starting approach as to the previous question. After that, go on to share details about the contributions you made to your team and how they translated into success or a positive outcome. Provide a specific example and outline the situation, the action taken and the result for everyone involved.


Why should I choose you over the other candidates?


Graciously admit that you do not know the other candidates and then remind the interviewer why you specifically are right for the role, the team and the company as a whole. Displaying a confident, rather than arrogant demeanour, and talking articulately will reassure the interviewer that you are indeed a good fit for the business.


Where do you see yourself in five years time?


This question will inevitably have been raised to tentatively assess how ambitious you are and your commitment to the role on offer. Advise that you do not know where you will be in the next five years but go on to say that you intend to become the best you can be in the available role by developing your skills in that area. Round off by stating that you would hope to bring value to the business and be proud of the work that you do.


Does any of the above strike a chord with you? Please get in touch using the comments below to let us know your most difficult or challenging interview questions and experiences. We look forward to hearing from you!


Keep checking the Oho blog for all the recruitment industry insights and developments you need to know.

  • info@oho.co.uk
  • 020 7622 6244
  • Tintagel House, 92 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TY
Oho Group ltd.
Site by Venn