job interview

If you’ve got a job interview coming up, experts have pinpointed five key words it’s wise to steer clear of.

According to Jason Walker, director at Hays recruitment agency, using phrases like ‘obviously’ and ‘workaholic’ could harm your chances of landing your dream role.

Whilst we all wish to look our best when we go to a work interview it would be wise to consider Walker’s advice, after all Hays is one of the leading recruitment consultants out there.  He sets out 5 key pitfalls that job interviewees are prone to fall into.

  • Low quality jargon.  The biggest offender here are words such as ‘obviously’.  As Walker says; ‘Interviews are usually the first time we meet a candidate, so you should not assume that anything is obvious,’  The interviewer is trying to get a feel for you and how well you might into the company.  So steer clear of suggesting that you already know what will fit.  Instead you should have worked out a list of qualities you have that might be relevant for the post.
  • Avoid the ‘we’ word.   Walker also cautions against overusing the word ‘we’ in the interview.  Don’t make your achievements as part of what your previous teams did.  Explain what role you had and the responsibilities you personally took.
  •  Workaholic is such a ‘lazy’ word. If you think you’re going to impress your interviewer by saying you’re a ‘workaholic’ when asked what your weaknesses are, think again. Instead cite a nice to have skill you could develop such as public speaking or not delegating enough.

Ian Scott, manager at Randstad Technologies adds his own thoughts to the interview mix.

  • Challenge.  Sure life is always a ‘challenge’ but please avoid saying that ‘you love a challenge’. Rarely do people follow this up with a good explanation of what challenges them or even examples of challenges they have met, their reaction to the challenge at hand and the result of their response. It also assumes that everyone finds the same things challenging.
  • Motivated by Change.  As Scott points out,  as human beings, many of us struggle with change, and prefer the comfort of normality, systems, routine.” If you love change, be sure your story is consistent throughout the interview.

Much better than using out overused buzz-words,  and slang is to give a structured reply using the STAR method. STAR stands for SituationTaskActionResults.

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. It’s a way of telling your story in a way that will impress your interviewer.

Practice telling STAR stories about your past experiences that demonstrate the skills needed in the key criteria. A STAR story is far better than simply saying I’ve got this or that quality or skill.

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