Profit Minded

Never say these five things in a job interview

4. "I work too hard."

What's your biggest weakness?

Interviewers love to ask this question because it separates the top performers from the average workers. The most common -- and worst -- responses are trite: "I work too hard" or "I have trouble saying no to responsibility."

Hiring managers aren't stupid. They can see right through these canned responses.

So what is the right answer to a question about your biggest weakness?

Look for the "question behind the question." What interviewers really want to know is that you're self-perceptive enough to acknowledge your weaknesses -- which we all have -- and that you've taken recent action to improve them.

So instead of a canned answer, explain what a real weakness you have and how you've worked to fix it. Include specifics. Point to conferences you've attended or projects you've taken on.

That's how you answer the weakness question and nail the interview.

5. "I made 40K at my last job, so I'm really looking for something more like 50K. But you know...I'll be willing to take 45K too."

Your interviewer will always want to know how much you made at your last job. But it's not your responsibility to tell them.

In fact, you put yourself at a severe disadvantage if they know your salary. For example, if you tell them you make $50,000, and the hiring manager was prepared to offer you $60,000, you've just lost thousands of dollars from one sentence.

Even in this economy, few companies will reject you for simply not answering the salary question. That's because it costs thousands of dollars to recruit the average candidate. If they really want you, they'll make you an offer, and you can negotiate from there.

When they ask for your salary, here's your line to use: "I'm sure we can discuss salary when the time is right, but for now I just want to see if there's a mutual fit for you and me."

Negotiating can be tough, but it can be worth thousands of dollars to you (here's how to negotiate your salary the right way).

There you have it -- 5 Interview Killers to avoid in an interview. Avoid these blunders and watch your interviewing success skyrocket.

If you're curious what you SHOULD say in an interview, I've put together a free mini-course on improving your interview skills overnight.

Ramit Sethi is the author of the New York Times bestseller, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Get his free techniques and word-for-word scripts at


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