Skills & Careers Information from Canada

10 Interview Cliches to Avoid

By Michelle Straka, Insuranceworks.ca

This article is simple and succinct. Avoid these clichés when interviewing for a job.

10. Using the interview to vent your repressed anger towards a former employer.

9 Attending an interview in casual clothes. The appropriate attire for an interview is always business formal.

8. Upping your salary requirement to include the yearly raise that you did not yet obtain.

7. Bringing a coffee into the interview, unless you are interviewing with your best friend.

6. Describing yourself as a detail- or goal-oriented person. These terms are too general and uncreative.

5. Describing your termination as a “mutual decision” between yourself and the management team. Be honest about the circumstances surrounding a termination, while being positive about the situation. The interviewer will appreciate your candidness. Keep in mind it’s also easy enough to verify whether or not you were terminated when reference checks are conducted.

4. Using the words “personality conflict” to describe why you didn’t get along with your manager. It displays a lack of responsibility for your actions. Take time to really think about the issues that lead to the conflict and honestly describe them to the interviewer, whether or not those issues were caused by yourself.

3. Defending a lack of educational credentials with years of working experience. Simply admit that “No, I do not have any educational or industry credentials”. Perhaps consider working towards an industry designation. The business world is becoming more reliant on credentials, and as such, any designation or education will certainly help.

2. Presenting a personal characteristic that is obviously “a strength”, when asked, “What are your weaknesses?”. A common example is saying that you work too hard. Before beginning your job search, be honest and take stock of your strengths and weaknesses.

1. Describing yourself as a perfectionist; one person’s idea of “perfection” may differ from anothers.

However, questions may arise.

  • Is being a perfectionist not a good thing?
  • How can casual dress be that bad when even the most conservative organizations are loosening their ties?

Agreed, these are not the worst infractions that you could make when interviewing. But do take into consideration that interviewers hear and see the above clichés time and again – somewhat like a broken record. As a potential employee, make yourself stand out, in a positive way! Take the higher road. Avoid becoming a cliché.

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