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What Not to Say At a Job Interview

August 11, 2014

When preparing for an interview we often focus on what to say. The words and phrases that might slip out may seem harmless but can cost you the job of your dreams. Here are 3 things to avoid when interviewing.

Filler words– Using phrases like “and stuff”, “other things”, “a large assortment” “things like that”“etc” are basically telling the interviewer you want your experience to sound more complex than it is.

How to fix this? If you hear a filler phrase come out of your mouth don’t panic; all is not lost. Immediately follow filler words up with a more detailed explanation. For example, “I had a large assortment of tasks at my last position including sales, service and marketing. “

Excuse words- “But” can be a way of separating conflicting feelings on a particular subject. However, it can also come off as a way to defend a previous statement or an attempt to recover from something.

For example saying “I don’t have a lot of experience but I am a fast learner” seems like a perfectly fine way to address a lack of experience in an interview but only reminds the employer that you may not be as experienced as other candidates. Instead leave this negative part off as in the following example.

“You don’t have much experience.”

“I’m eager to learn more and I am willing to work hard to be an asset at your company.”

Sand Words– What is a sand word? A word that isn’t confident or certain. Think of it like this, employees build the foundation of a company. If you are building a house do you want a foundation of concrete or a sand that won’t support the house and allows it to shift?  When answering questions avoid words like “Kinda” (first of all “kinda” isn’t a word, its slang) or “I think” and aim for concrete words that make you sound more certain and confident.

For instance, instead of saying “I kind of could see myself working in human resources one day”, say, “I can see myself working in human resources once I build the knowledge and experience.”

Don’t say “I think that green power is the future”, instead say, “I believe green power is the future.“ Thoughts can be fleeting, beliefs normally aren’t.

Keep these three tips in mind for your next interview, business meeting, sales pitch or anytime you want to show your confidence and opinion.

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