Repurpose Your Purpose is back on Glassdoor Blog!
The article is full of great advice on what to avoid. I encourage you to read it all, it shares different perspectives and examples. My advice can be found at #6, #8 and #11.
6. Hard-working, fast-learner, self-motivated, etc.
You might think that words like these sound nice in your elevator pitch, but recruiters have been around the block enough times before to know that they’re all flash and no substance.
“These are cliche words that don’t really mean anything. They don’t describe what makes you special, or even whether you are a good fit for the company,” says Aurora Meneghello, career coach and founder of Repurpose Your Purpose.
“Instead of using those terms, practice telling a short and specific story that shows how you worked hard, or learned fast. Personal, relevant anecdotes will set you apart from most candidates, and could be the most memorable part of your interview,” Meneghello says.
8. Fired, hate, terrible, etc.
Words like these are fine if you’re venting outside of the office to a close friend or significant other. But during the interview? Not so much.
“Avoid negative language and put-downs, whether referring to yourself, previous jobs, work environments, or the world in general. No one wants to hire a negative person!” Meneghello says. Even if you’ve had some genuinely difficult experience in the past, “show that you can keep your cool under pressure, and can be a discreet, forgiving and generous team member.”
Have a hard time holding back when a certain subject comes up? “Avoid the topic of what didn’t work or does not work in your current situation, and talk instead about what you are looking for, using positive language,” Meneghello advises. “Hiring managers already understand that if you are looking for a new job you must not be happy at your current one — no need to belabor the point. Focus on why you want to join their team instead.”
11. “Just / actually / I am no expert but…”
People often lean on these words in an attempt to sound humble or hedge their opinions, but believe us: words like these aren’t doing you any favors in interviews.
“Some of us have a tendency to use words that undermine our authority or convey insecurity. This can happen because of lack of self-esteem, being brought up in a culture where being confident was frowned upon, or simply out of habit,” Meneghello explains. “I invite you to get to the root cause of your language patterns, and to work on shifting them if you want long term results.”
In the short term, you can work towards this if you “practice getting straight to the point: instead of saying ‘Actually, I was wondering if I may ask,’ ask the question without a preamble, and get used to [skipping] ‘just,’ ‘a little,’ and other words that do not move the conversation forward,” she says.
Want to read all 13 words and phrases to avoid? Read the entire article here.