Are you having trouble landing a job and you’re not sure why? The right skills and an impressive resume may get you an interview, but getting hired is another story.

Experts say it’s all about presenting your character, personality, abilities and values in a positive, relatable light that is attractive to employers.

“There’s no such thing as the perfect response to any question in a job interview,” says Andrea Kay, career columnist and consultant, and author of the new book, “This is How to Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want,” (AMACOM). “But what you talk about in the interview could cost you the job offer if you aren’t careful.

These are the top five things Kay says you should never talk about or say in a job interview:

• Don’t talk about things you can’t back up. Before you state your claim to a quality that sets you apart, think it through. Just saying you’re a great team player or terrific problem solver doesn’t make it so, even if it’s true.

Discuss where, how, and exactly what you did that made you so effective. Be ready to cite one or two examples of how you’ve done what you say you can do.

• Never say “I have good people skills.” The words are so overused they mean nothing. Consider what it is you do that makes you effective when dealing with others. Are you good at working through difficult issues with co-workers? Do you have a knack for writing and talking to customers in a way that explains things? Tell interviewers about that instead.

• Never say “I just want to learn.” Employers aren`t in business to teach, but rather to deliver a service or product. 

An interview is an opportunity to show an employer how you can apply what you know to the business. So rather than focus solely on your eagerness to learn, tell an interviewer how you will use the skills you have begun to develop to solve problems.

• Avoid too much personal information that has nothing to do with your qualifications. Don’t talk about why you need the job (even if you do have a hard-luck story about sick children or a spouse whose been laid off). Don’t talk about politics, religion or sexual preferences.

When a person can’t leave personal issues at home, it makes an employer wonder: does he lack the necessary maturity and good judgment? Is her personal life such a wreck that she may not be dependable?

• Don’t talk about irrelevant things that pop into your head. To be less impulsive, literally practice interviewing. Slow down, count to five, and give yourself a chance to consider how your comment will sound.

More job search tips and information from Kay can be found at

If your search for employment has been frustrating, consider your interviewing technique. A few tweaks to your approach could mean a fantastic job offer.



Recommend to friends
  • gplus
  • pinterest

About the Author

Military Press

The Military Press was created to serve the men and women of our military community; the active duty, retired, our veterans, DoD workers and their families.