Common Job Hunt and Interview Clichés
When people are job hunting, they usually come across quite a bit of information and advice on what to do, how to dress and when to follow up when applying for a job. However, sometimes it is what you don’t say that will make all the difference to whether or not you get the job. In other words, avoid the clichés that make resume readers and job interviewers cringe when they read or hear them.

The worst thing, about these clichés is that the job applicant often thinks that it is exactly the right thing to say to get the interview or to win the job after an interview. Ironically, it is the worst thing to say because those hiring have heard it over and over and over again.

What Not To Say When Applying For a Job

1. The “ideal candidate” line.

Don’t say anything about how your experience makes you an ideal candidate.


It doesn’t work because you presume to know exactly what the resource manager is thinking. If you do happen to be the ideal candidate for a position, it should be so obvious that it doesn’t need to be spelled out.

This line is most frequently used in a cover letter, or said when a candidate is exiting the interview.

2. The “just looking” line.

Don’t talk about how you already have a great job that you love but were open to exploring new options in your field.


It doesn’t work because it is a rather obvious falsehood. Moreover, playing hard to get is a huge turnoff for employers. Someone who is happy where they are working is hardly likely to spend hours creating a carefully-written cover letter, writing a detailed resume, and spending time prepping for an interview. This high level of motivation to prepare for the interview is usually a result of some kind of quiet desperation rather than a casual exploration of the job market for even better prospects and higher levels of happiness.

3. The “open-to-anything” line.

Avoid mentioning how you are willing to do anything the job requires, including working well outside the job description.


This is the opposite approach to the play hard tactic and the smug happily-employed approach. This is also a turn-off because it screams of desperation. Moreover, if the job requires a high level of certain skills, the “do-anything” approach suggests that you are not confident about your ability to earn a living through your skill sets alone.

4. The "love people" and "workaholic-for-hire" line.

Mentioning your love for people and how you don’t mind taking work home with you may actually hurt your chances.


The main reason this does not work very well, besides the fact that it is overused, is that it smacks of insincerity. Usually, when a potential candidate is asked about their number one strength, they gush about how much they love customer service and building relationships with new clients. The people person approach is used when the person tries to say what the interviewer wants to hear.

When it comes to sharing their number one weakness question, candidates have been coached to mention a weakness that could be interpreted as strength. Consequently, they talk about their addiction to work and how they often take their work home with them. Again, this sounds a little too contrived and the interviewer mentally dismisses it.


These common lines and approaches fail because employers have heard them repeatedly, but also because they offer employers very little real information about the candidate. In other words, they are a concoction of half-truths or outright lies.

The best way to avoid the above listed mistakes and similar ones is to get a much better understanding about what a job interviewer is thinking when conducting an interview.