Performing your best during a job interview includes practicing what you want to say and how to say it. You want to demonstrate your skill set and top accomplishments in a confident, personable way. Avoid diminishing your abilities and downplaying your success by not using these four phrases.

1. “Although I Don’t Have the Exact Experience…”

Although being proactive typically is best, this is one case where it is better to wait and see what the interviewer brings up. Rather than focus on your weakness, point out transferable skills that make you the top candidate. If you are asked about a specific area where you lack experience, be prepared to discuss how your past experience, quick learning, and desire to take on a challenge will help you succeed. For instance, “I am excited to take the next step in my career by moving to a management position.”

2. “What Is the Starting Salary?”

A first-round interview is not the time to discuss salary. Because you lack information to make an appropriate request, asking upfront makes you look unprofessional. You should be focused on genuinely connecting with the interviewer, learning about the company’s needs, and determining ways you can fill them. You also need to assess whether you are a good fit with the role and company culture before you consider your income. If you are asked directly about your salary expectations, say you are open to negotiation and look forward to learning more about the expectations of the position.

3. “I Can Take a Pay Cut.”

Avoid offering to take a pay cut before being offered a job. This is common when asking for specific flexibility measures or benefits accommodations. Although you need to prioritize what you are willing to give up to negotiate what you really want, do not start out that way. If money is not as important to you as flexible hours, more vacation days or other benefits and perks, wait on mentioning a pay cut until you are offered the job. Ensure you still are within the salary range for the role and the value you provide.

4. “I Have No Questions.”

Telling the interviewer you have no questions shows disinterest. Lacking curiosity about your potential workplace tells the interviewer you do not want to work there. You want to ask questions to show you have done your research and want to ensure the company and position are a good fit with your career goals and interests. For instance, ask about team structure, upcoming projects, biggest challenges or your favorite company attribute.

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