We all know the job market is competitive, so don’t ruin your chances by a small off-hand comment or question! You need to prove to the employer that you are THE ideal candidate, demonstrating your passion, skills and enthusiasm for the role.

“Can I have a rise on the salary offered?”

There’s a way of testing the water with regards to flexibility on salary – and asking straight out if you can have a pay rise is not the way to do it! They’ve only just met you, and they’ve already decided how much the role is worth. You need to prove you’re exceptional at the role, and be in post a certain length of time, before even broaching this topic.

“Can I just take this call?”

Big no no! It is not OK to text or call during an interview – your phone should be off and hidden away. It demonstrates you’re not really bothered about the job, and I bet the interviewer’s eyebrows will go way up if you ask to disrupt the interview.

“Sorry I’m late”

Candidates should always be on time – if not early – for an interview. Bad planning and time management could carry over into the job. No employer will want someone rocking up to work an hour late every day.

“My previous employer was rubbish”

Never ever be negative about a previous employer. It’s totally unprofessional – and shows you’re not loyal to a company. Besides, the interviewer will need to contact your previous company about a reference!

“Oh…that’s not what I thought this company did”

You absolutely must demonstrate that you’ve researched and read up about the company and the role – it’s ok to admit you need to develop in some areas but to arrive to an interview completely unprepared shows a lack of effort and care.


Just no. No swearing AT all – remain professional, and set the standard for how you’d be as an employee.

“Perfectionism is my weakness”

Oh please, come up with something a bit more original! You know it could be one of the questions they may ask, so have a think about something where you can show development, steps to overcome the problem or identified training to improve.

“No questions”

So you’ve not thought about any before the interview? You can always write them down! Anything from asking about a typical day, to their ideal candidate to the performance expectations.

If you're preparing for an interview to gain an apprenticeship or just a simple part-time job, make sure you're prepared. We offer all students a personal development tutor to help you, as well as student services who are on hand to help.