Experts have shared the five words you should never use in an interview – and why they might harm your chances of getting the job.
Director at Hays recruitment agency Jason Walker said words like ‘obviously’, ‘we’ and ‘workaholic’ should be avoided at all costs in interviews, while Manager at Randstad Technologies Ian Scott said there are other generic words to ditch.
Speaking to Seek, the expert shared the five words you should stop using now, and the STAR method that will guarantee you the job.
Director at Hays recruitment agency Jason Walker said words like ‘obviously’, ‘we’ and ‘workaholic’ should be avoided at all costs in interviews (stock image)
The first word to cut from your job interview jargon is ‘obviously’, which Mr Walker said is never good in a job setting.
‘Interviews are usually the first time we meet a candidate so you should not assume that anything is obvious,’ he told the publication.
‘We are trying to get an understanding of experience and how good a fit you would be for an organisation so steer clear of implying we already know the answer.’
Instead of saying obviously, list your achievements and accomplishments without the qualifying word.
While there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’, Mr Walker said you should steer clear of using the word ‘we’ too much when you’re looking for a job.
‘The interviewer doesn’t want to hear “we did XYZ in our department”,’ he explained.
Far more important is the exact role that you played in their success and how you took ownership.
If you find yourself saying ‘we’ a lot, try to make a conscious effort to think about your own personal role.
One of the most cliched words that gets wheeled out time and again in an interview setting is ‘workaholic’ – which is both generic and often a lie.
Mr Walker said if you think you’re going to be able to ‘woo’ your interviewer by saying you’re a ‘workaholic’, then you should think again.
This is not an acceptable word to use when you are asked about your weaknesses.
The recruitment professional said you should instead seek to cite a ‘nice to have skill’ that you could develop like public speaking.
The employer will respect you all the more for doing this.
Instead of opting for cliched words, you should instead look for words that illustrate how you handled something and follow the SMART technique (Situation, Action, Task, Results)
According to the manager at Randstad Technologies Ian Scott, challenge is not a word that should be in your job interview lexicon.
When you say something like ‘I love a challenge’, he explained that this is very rarely followed up with a good explanation of what challenges them or ‘even examples of challenges they have met’.
It’s always better to be specific and use an example, as this will ensure that you are not lying.
5. Motivated by change
The final phrase to avoid is ‘motivated by change’, as Mr Scott highlighted that everyone who is seeking a new job is to some degree ‘motivated by change’.
If you do love change, he said, then it’s important to make sure ‘your story is consistent throughout the interview’.
What does the STAR method stand for?
What is the STAR method and how will it get you the job?
Rather than use any of these words, both experts revealed you are far better off trying the STAR method for success.
The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action, Results.
‘A STAR answer is one where you answer succinctly, but directly by outlining the Situation, identifying the Task that you set out to achieve, describing your own personal Actions, and recounting the Results,’ the experts said.
This sort of an answer always impresses an interviewer, and is best used after a question that starts with ‘describe a time when’ and ‘share an example of a situation where’.