Believe it or not, landing an interview is the easy part of job hunting. The hard part is convincing the hiring manager that you are — above all other candidates — the best person for the job.

Most job seekers will prepare and practice answers to common interview questions. Equally as important is knowing what not to say. Here are 6 common gaffes to avoid in interviews:


“What does your company do?”

Never go into an interview without knowing what the company does. You should always do as much research as you can on your potential employer. This shows the interviewer that you are passionate about the opportunity. Plus, in the course of your research, you might find something about the company that will make you want the job even more — or send you running for the hills.


“My last boss was terrible”

Badmouthing your former boss or company is a bad idea.  It’s a small world, and you never know if your former boss or coworker has a relationship with the person interviewing you. Additionally, you could come off as a complainer, and companies want to hire people with positive attitudes. First impressions are everything, and speaking ill of a former employer will leave a bad taste in the hiring managers mouth.


“I’ll do anything”

Employers are looking for someone who would do anything for the job. When you say something like “I don’t really care about the responsibilities of the positions, I’ll do anything,” you show that you lack passion for the position. It also tells the employer that you are just here for a job until something better comes along.


“How much vacation time do I get?”

Vacation time is important to everyone. But if you start asking about vacation time right off the bat, it raises a serious red flag for employers. To them, you haven’t even started yet and you are already asking about time off. Employers may take this as an unwillingness to work hard. They don’t want to hire someone who is just in it for the paid vacation — they need someone who is ready to help the company reach its goals.


“I want to work here because it will give me …”

An interview isn’t a time to ask what you will gain from working at the company. Employers want to know what you bring to the table. They want to know how you will help them sell more products, improve the company, and grow the business. If you’re asked why you want to work there, focus on what you can do for them, not what you will get out of it.


“I don’t know”

You’ve prepared for your interview, confident that you can handle anything they throw at you. Then suddenly, they ask you a question and you draw a blank. We’ve all been there before. Rather than saying “I don’t know,” you’re better off winging it. Try repeating the question to give yourself more time to think, or take a cue from politicians and side-step the question while segueing to something else. Anything is better than saying “I don’t know.”


Are you ready to find your next career opportunity?

Now that you know what not to say, it’s time to land an interview. Burchard & Associates, one of the leading recruiting firms in St. Louis, is constantly looking for qualified professionals like you. We work with area employers to find them the best talent available. If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, contact us today or search our available jobs.