10 Phrases Recruiters Should Avoid in a Job Interview

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning

10 Phrases Recruiters Should Avoid in a Job Interview

There are things applicants should and shouldn’t say during a job interview to make a good impression. The same goes for recruiters, who are often the candidate’s first encounter with the company and its representatives. 

The job market is competitive, and applicants are choosing companies and jobs as much as they are being chosen for them. Avoiding phrases that create awkward situations or have negative implications can make or break the next step in a candidate’s recruitment process.

If you are an employer or a recruitment agency in the Philippines, below are some often-used interview phrases and questions that you should consider retiring from your routine job interviews.

1. “We’re looking for a rock star.”

This phrase also includes Rock Star’s cousins: Guru, Genius, Ninja, and Wizard. 

The use of unusual job titles to convey creative and out-of-the box company cultures has been on the rise since 2017, according to job site Indeed. However, instead of emphasizing the need for exceptional skills, these titles can come off as “cringeworthy”. The job may sound unique at first glance, but further details can make it far from extraordinary.

“Rock star” job titles can also create confusion with the required skills, duties, expected outputs, and salary range. Since there are no direct equivalents, it will be hard for the candidate to decide if they want to pursue this opportunity, even more, to have it on their CV.

2. “I wanted to reach out to you.”

This phrase may seem innocent enough, but the implications can make the recruiters seem condescending. “Reaching out” to the applicant sounds like the applicant is in dire straits and only the recruiter or the company can save them from their circumstances.

 3. “My client means business so there’s no time to waste.”

Accepting a job offer is a possibly life-changing and career-changing decision every candidate must make. Rushing this decision can put your applicant off from pursuing the offer, rather than getting them to sign on. And if they end up taking the position despite some hesitance, they may end up leaving the company sooner than you’d like.

4. “Do you have experience with this specific platform?”

Chances are the candidate has already tailored their resume to the specifications listed in the job description. Depending on the wording of the question, this makes it seem that you did not do adequate research prior to the interview. At worst, the candidate will be taken aback by needed experience or skills that were not originally in the listing.

5. “Sorry, I’m late.”

The applicant has arrived on time, or possibly ahead of schedule in order to demonstrate their professionalism. The least you can do is respect the applicant’s commitment and arrive on time as well.

6. “Actually, the job description is loose.”

Imagine your candidate applying for the listing because they see themselves as a good fit for the job description, only to be told that the job is very different than what they originally applied for. This makes the company look unprofessional, either because it seems that you are unsure of what kind of skills and qualifications are needed for the position, or because the nature of the job is intentionally being obscured.

7. “This job has a high turnover rate.”

This definitely rings alarm bells for the applicant. What is the problem with this position? Is the job too difficult to handle? Are the expectations too high? Is the work environment hindering performance and growth? Because of this, they may consider not pursuing any further processing even if they are the best fit for the job.

8. “The last person who had this job was terrible.”

Saying this to the candidate says more about you than about them. The candidate is unaware of what the previous person did and whether his or her background and skills are different from theirs. How will they be able to prove that they are better? This also tells the candidate that should they part with the company, its representatives would not hesitate to badmouth them to future applicants or perhaps, other professionals in the industry.

9. “Why should we choose you over the other candidates for the job?”

This question is often asked to judge the candidate’s capabilities and what they can possibly contribute to the company. However, this question is unfair to the candidate. Aside from being unaware of the other candidates and their skills, it puts them on the spot to make comparisons they are not able to make. Perhaps, this could even prompt applicants to boast of skills they don’t really possess. There are better questions to ask that can get you a clearer picture of a candidate’s valuable skills.

10. “What are your weaknesses?”

Another classic in the job interview playbook, this question is asked once the applicant has described their strengths. Nowadays, you are less likely to receive answers that are not generic or carefully crafted to satisfy the interviewer. Would any applicant willingly admit shortcomings that make them sound unreliable or unfit for the position? Situational questions that draw from the applicant’s experiences can yield better results.

Final Say

To wrap things up, the job interview serves to aid recruiters and employers in matching people to job openings. It is not enough to simply search for these people—you need to be able to convince them that this opportunity is the right fit for them. A clunky and awkward job interview that makes the company look bad or does not gain the right insights will waste any hard work you’ve done to select these candidates. On the other hand, you stand to win over potential valuable assets by using the right words.