The five words and phrases you should NEVER use in a job interview

Why you shouldn’t tell your future boss you are ‘dedicated’ or a ‘team player’: Expert reveals five words and phrases you should NEVER use in an interview

  • Seek has revealed what job candidates should never say during an interview
  • Words to avoid include ‘we’, ‘obviously’ and ‘workaholic’ as well as buzzwords 
  • Generic terms such as ‘challenge’ and ‘motivated by change’ shouldn’t be used 

The words and phrases you should never use in a job interview have been revealed – and bragging about being a ‘team player’ or using industry ‘buzzwords’ should always be avoided. 

Australian recruitment company Seek has revealed the top five words and phrases candidates should never use during a job interview. 

Using the right words can help demonstrate your understanding of the position and skills required to make a long-lasting impression during the initial interview stages. 

For this reason, commonly overused words should be avoided and replaced with other terms to describe why you’re the perfect individual for the role. 

Using the right words during a job interview can help demonstrate your understanding of the position and skills required

Don’t use overused words

Jason Walker, director at recruitment firm Hays, says some frequently used words can easily be replaced with better options.

The top three words to avoid include ‘we’, ‘obviously’ and ‘workaholic’, and instead use ‘I’ to explain your experiences and knowledge.

The interviewer wants to hear what you achieved to contribute to the previous company, rather than what the department achieved.

Walker also said you ‘should not assume that anything is obvious’ when meeting interviewers for the first time. 

Don’t use generic terms

Ian Scott, manager at Randstad Technologies, said to remove any generic terminology from your interview vocabulary.

Scott said the top two terms to avoid are ‘challenge’ and ‘motivated by change’.

‘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,’ he said.

Avoid buzzwords

Certain buzzwords are also commonly overused and should be refrained from using continuously, such as ‘motivated’, ‘people person’, ‘dedicated’ and ‘team player’.

These words can be avoided and replaced by sharing examples of past experiences in the workplace. 

Instead Seek recommends using the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Results.

This technique can be used to describe a particular situation, identify the task at hand and the action required to achieve the results.

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