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8 Words to Avoid in a Job Interview

Job interviews can be extremely stressful situations. After all, you are being judged by a complete stranger (or group of strangers) who have to decide if they like you enough to give you a job. This is why it’s so important to make sure you do everything just right: from the way you dress to the words you say. We can’t help you much with the former, but we can sure give you a hand with the latter, so read on to discover words you should absolutely avoid when you’re trying to score that big job.

1. Nervous

Potential employers unequivocally hate hearing interviewees use this word. Never walk into an interview and tell the person interviewing you that you’re nervous, or use it as an excuse for giving poor answers to interview questions – you’ll be seen as lacking in confidence. This is one case where honesty is certainly not the best policy!

2. Um

We probably don’t need to tell you that using “um” in an interview is a big no-no, but unfortunately, you may not always realise how much you’re using it – especially if you’re nervous. Practise mock interviews with a friend or family member beforehand to train the habit out, and when you’re nervously trying to think of an answer to a question just stay quiet instead of feeling like you have to say something to fill the space – especially if that something tends to be “um!”

3. We

This may be one word you didn’t expect, but “we” should definitely be left out when you’re chatting up a potential boss. Why? Well, when discussing your prior accomplishments, skills, and duties saying ‘we’ can confuse the interviewer and make them suspect that your previous team and not you were responsible for big successes. Use “I” instead and build yourself up!

4. Hate

There is probably no situation in which using this word in an interview is appropriate. Interviewers literally hate it! When a recruiter hears you say this word they may put you down as a high-risk candidate. Also, avoid speaking disparagingly of any previous jobs, colleagues, or bosses. Remember, no one likes a hater!

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5. Sure

This is another one of those confidence reducing words that will only make you sound wishy-washy in an interview. When you say sure, what your interviewer hears is “almost, but not quite, maybe a yes.” Remove any ambiguity about your opinion or stance by giving a firm “yes” or “no” and leaving the “sures” by the wayside.

6. Slang

Before you head to your big job interview, pack your slang away into a drawer in some dusty, abandoned part of your brain because you won’t be needing it! Using slang words like “OMG,” “cool,” and “groovy” in an interview will only serve to make you appear unprofessional and unpolished. It’s not cool to make your potential boss suffer through that jungle of urban slang!

7. Perfectionist

Using the word ‘perfectionist’ as a way to put a spin on your biggest weakness has become a huge cliché and you’ll probably only accomplish making the hiring manager cringe – outwardly and inwardly. Any good interviewer will see right through this ploy and give you a pass, so avoid the word altogether if you really want to impress.

8. Fired

This is a controversial word with recruiters because they’ll pin you as a troublemaker if they hear you say it – and that perception can be hard to change. Being fired from a past job doesn’t mean you’re automatically barred from getting another, but you need to talk about it diplomatically to create the right impression. Simply use the words ‘let go’ and explain a little about what you learned from the experience and how it made you better.

Job interviews are like auditions. You have to get up on a stage (even if that stage is a conference room) and be ready to perform! Having a strong resume is a vital part of snagging that interview and there’s no better way to beef up a resume than by adding some extra language skills. Seventy per cent of employers believe language skills are a vital skill for employees to have and you’re more likely to get hired if you do. So march into that interview with your improved language skills and your head held high!