5 phrases you should never say to a recruiter

3 minute read


Sometimes, nerves get the best of us. Especially under stressful situations such as trying to impress the person that might be hiring you. You need to open up, give them an insight into who you are as an individual and share your past experiences so that they can evaluate whether you’re  the right fit.

Unfortunately… some candidates take this a step too far.

The golden rule is that, no matter how comfortable you feel with a recruiter, there are some things that you shouldn’t say. Professionalism is key. So, here are a few things to remember next time you’re in that interview hot seat trying to land your dream job.

“I hated my last job/company because…”

There comes a point in all interviews when you’ll be asked why you’re currently looking for a new job. Now, while honesty is often the best policy, this answer may have to be filtered and well thought through. Your current or old organisations may have been less than ideal. Maybe the environment didn’t do wonders for your happiness, the values didn’t align with your own and so on. But this is not the time to start venting any pent up negative feelings.

Think about your role and what it doesn’t currently offer you. Have you become comfortable and in search of something more challenging? Do you want to take on more responsibility? Is your ambition driving you to progress within the sector? Ultimately, recruiters want to know that you have a good attitude to work and understand what you’re bringing to the table – so make sure that it’s positive!

“What I really need is a pay rise”

It would be naïve to say that money isn’t a meaningful factor when searching for a new job. We all have ambitions and, when climbing the career ladder, we’re often looking for more income. But you should never lead a conversation from this perspective. There is plenty of time to negotiate the terms of your contract if they offer you the job (and that’s when you can tactfully address any concerns with pay).

Right now, a recruiter wants to know that you’re willing to help their organisation fulfil its mission and that you’re genuinely excited about the possibility of working with them (not the amount of money going into your bank account). There’s a time and place to discuss pay… the interview just isn’t one of them.

“I’ll take anything”

Job hunting is tough. It can be very emotionally draining, especially when you’ve experienced some rejection along the way. It’s important that you don’t give recruiters the impression that you will simply do anything to get out of this difficult phase. Candidates that are genuinely passionate about what they do and have a clear sense of direction in their career are more likely to impress recruiters with their attitude.

“What does your organisation do?”

It goes without saying that before stepping foot onto an organisation’s premises, you should have a very clear idea of what they do and stand for. Don’t let a recruiter lose faith in the interview before its even begun! Do the necessary research and even look up the person that you’re being interviewed by. The more information that you walk in with, the better.

“I don’t have any weaknesses”

Understanding both your strengths and weaknesses tells recruiters that you are self-aware and trying to improve your current skill set. There’s always something new to learn and everyone that you meet will have valuable lessons to share with you so make sure that you are prepared to show how eager you are to improve.

Remember, recruiters aren’t there to see the holes in your application. Asking you in for an interview is their way of ensuring that they’ve made the right decision, so make sure that you prove them right!

Are you searching for your dream job? There are thousands of opportunities on CharityJob – don’t miss out on your next career move.

Jade Phillips

Marketing Manager at CharityJob. A true bookworm and social media geek, you'll find me living in pockets of online communities. Unattended snacks might go missing if left around me...

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