Four words you should never use in a job interview

Posted on Monday, March 23, 2020 by Alisha LordNo comments

 Four words you should never use in a job interview

The four words you should avoid in any interview include “obviously”, “we”, “workaholic” and “challenge”.

Instead, try the STAR method - Situation, Action, Task, Results - in interviews.

This is always effective when you're asked to give examples of past situations

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. This sort of an answer always impresses an interviewer, and is best used after a question that starts with 'describe a time when' or 'share an example of a situation where'.  



Steer clear of phrase 'obviously' as nothing is obvious to person you don't know.

Interviews are usually the first time you meet someone, so you should not assume that anything is “obvious” to them. They are trying to get an understanding of your experience and how good a fit you would be for the role and company, so it’s best to steer clear of implying they already know the answer. We suggest you list achievements that you feel are relevant to the role you have applied for.


2. WE

While there is no 'I' in 'team', you should refrain from 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". What's far more important is the exact role that you as an individual played in a previous company's success and how you took ownership. If you can't help but find yourself saying 'we' a lot, try to make a conscious effort to think about your own personal role.



This is one of the most cliched words that gets wheeled out time and again in an interview setting - but not only is it generic, it's often a lie. 

If you think you're going to be able to 'woo' your interviewer by saying you're a 'workaholic', then you should think again. It's also not a good word to use when you are asked about your weaknesses. Instead, you should talk about a 'nice to have skill' one that you could develop further, like public speaking. The prospective employer will respect you all the more for thinking about your personal development.



Phrases like 'I love a challenge' are very rarely followed up with a good explanation of what actually challenges you, or examples of challenges you have met. It's always better to be specific and use an example, as this will ensure that you come across as genuine.



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