You’ve probably polished your resume, brushed up on interview questions, and memorized the questions you want to ask at the end of your meeting to blow the hiring manager away. But have you thought about how to control the words that just “come out?” You know what I’m talking about… an um will slip in while you’re trying to phrase your answer in a way that perfectly highlights your strengths, or you’ll trail off into an in-depth personal story before realizing it’s too late and you’re way off track. We’ve all been there. These are the words that you must steer clear of if you want to make a great first impression and land that job:
just, um, so, like
We ALL have trouble with filler words. If you don’t, then you’ve either trained yourself to avoid them, or you’re lying. It is simple human nature to use these when we are nervous or in a new situation. Instead of scattering these words throughout your interview, S-L-O-W-D-O-W-N. It is completely okay for you to take pauses to think or to take a deep breath and consider what you want to say next.
I’m not going to go too in-depth on this one for obvious reasons. Just think of it this way, if you’re wondering whether you should mention it or not, the answer is probably not!
mistakes, weaknesses, hate
Although sometimes unavoidable, negative language generally leaves a negative impression. If you spend your entire interview spewing negativities (whether valid or not), your interviewer will probably be left with a bad taste in their mouth.
kind of, sure, whatever
These words are what I like to call “wishy-washy.” And they can make you seem like a wishy-washy candidate. You didn’t “kind of” lead a project, you either did or you didn’t. Be sure to use specific and direct language to come across as a strong, confident candidate.
on fleek, bae, cash me ousside
I do not care what type of company you are interviewing for, or what job you may be interviewing for, PLEASE do not try to insert slang at any point in time. At best, it will be mildly irritating and at worst, it will make you look completely incompetent. Please. I’m begging you. Do NOT do this.
very, really, extremely, absolutely
This is definitely the hardest one for me by far (see what I did there?) It can be tempting to add intensifiers to get your point across. “I worked extremely hard, it was absolutely a great turnout, I’m very punctual…”
To make sure you avoid these interview-killers, practice and slow down. The more you know your answers and elevator pitch, the less you’ll have to think on the spot. And feel free to take a moment to think about and formulate your answer to a question before diving right in! The interviewers will appreciate your thoughtfulness and I promise the “awkward silence” isn’t nearly as long or awkward as you think!
Are there any interview words or phrases that belong on this list that I missed? Comment and share!