Interviews are nerve-racking for most people, and where the nerves are all over the place, a candidate can land his foot in his mouth and ruin things for himself. For a job interview candidate, keeping your cool can never be overstated and no matter how nervous you are, don’t let it show. While you prepare, take note of the things you never say in an interview
Thank you very much for the question
People usually say this to buy time when they do not have an immediate answer to the question. The problem is that this is a tired trick that practically everyone knows and admitting that you have been thrown off by the question is not a good look. Also, thanking someone for asking you a question sounds a bit ridiculous or patronizing at best. No matter how you consider it, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to thank the panel for each of the questions they ask so its best to not say ‘’Thank you for the question”
Please, what role is it?
This is the topmost among things you never say in an interview; it betrays a lack of interest in the position, the company and the interview process as a whole. At every interview, the panel expects you to be armed with knowledge about the role and even the industry at large, so showing up without knowing what you are showing up to is a bad look. In these days where you can apply for several jobs online in a few minutes, it is possible to not know what role you have been called to interview for, but those enquiries should be made before the day of the interview. Ask whoever called or emailed to invite you for the interview to provide further details before you show up.
I haven’t really done this before…
If you have been honest on your resume, the panel is already aware where your competencies lie. Telling the panel that you are not qualified for the role is you making excuses even before you start the job. Use your previous experiences to answer all the questions to the best of your abilities without giving disclaimers regarding why your answers might be wrong. Granted that you may have applied for several jobs that may not match your skill set exactly but you still have to prepare for the interview and put in a lot of effort
You won’t find anyone more qualified
Confidence is great for a job interview but when it crosses the line into conceitedness, it is a turn off for many interviewers. No matter how qualified you seem for the position, comparing yourself to all the other applicants is in poor taste. Instead of talking about others, talk about how qualified you are for the position and exactly what makes you qualified. Even if you turned out better than all the other candidates, you have betrayed a condescending attitude which may likely not go down well with the panel.
I have no idea
You are most likely being hired for the skills and ideas you bring to the team, and the interview is where you pitch your ideas on how you can meaningfully contribute to the organisation. When you have no idea what the answer to a question is, tell the panel you are unsure and still present what idea you have. Let the panel know that you have put some thought and effort into answering the question even though it is unfamiliar territory.