Words to Avoid Using if You Want to Get the Job

Theoretically, a job interview should be a jointly investigative occasion between candidate and potential employer, each systematically and impartially evaluating the other to determine if it will be a suitable partnership.

However by saying the wrong thing at the right time, you might lose your chances of landing the position regardless of your skills and suitability for the role. It just takes one wrong answer and all your application will effectively go out of the window. The power of a single word can have more impact than you first might think. If you want to create a great first impression and be successful, you should try to avoid saying the below:

1. Basically

While basically is not the most intellectual word ever used, using it often in an interview could also put you at risk for other uncertainties. “Basically” is an ambiguous word, and can be used to cover up specific details, which may lead to unwanted questioning from the interview.

If the interviewer asks what your biggest accomplishment was for your last company was, and your response is “Basically, I helped increase sales by x amount” the basically suggests uncertainty. Does that mean you only slightly increased the outcome? Were you a part of the accomplishing team? Does it mean that the figure you stated is not completely precise? These are questions you don’t want to raising in an interview scenario.


2. No

Throughout your career, you will always have to say no, and learning how to say no is often the topic of many similar HR articles such as this one. Sometimes, saying no can be a good thing when it’s used in the right circumstances and protects your interests. However in a job interview setting, there should never be a good reason to say no.

For instance, if the interviewer asks “would you be willing to do x if you were to get the role?” By saying no, would most definitely disqualify yourself from being seriously considered for the position. In this case, if you are asked something you would never see yourself doing, you can soften your answer effectively by saying “possibly” or “maybe, if..” and like this you will come across as more amicable.


3. Hate

The word “hate” suggests a few things about your personality. Firstly, that you hold strong negative feelings. Employers are ideally looking for team members who will be amenable, and who will find the positives in different and sometimes challenging workplace scenarios. So even if you do strongly dislike something being discussed, show it in a milder form; this will make you appear more level headed.

Secondly, it can show that you don’t use discretion; an interview should not be the place to complain about something you don’t like, whether it’s your previous employers (certainly not recommended!) or even small talk about the traffic on the way to the interview. Try to focus on positive aspects of every aspect of your working and personal life.


4. Dedicated

Dedicated is a known interview jargon term that has been used in an interview setting so many times that it has become cliché; with most interviewers even finding they have grown tolerance to it. If you really are a dedicated worker, your employment history and examples used should demonstrate this without having to even say this word.
With the same token, we would recommend that you avoid the word “motivated”. There are no substitutions really.

Try to show the interviewer using examples rather than cliché interview phrases that many other candidates will also use. Additionally, try to back up every point you make about yourself with real examples to really set yourself apart from the competition! Read more on how to be a memorable candidate.

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