Securing a job interview isn't always easy, so when you do, it's important to put yourself in the best position to impress.
We all know not to wear flip flops to a job interview, or drop the F-bomb, or call an interviewer Janine when their name's Jenny - but did you know that, according to experts, there's even some dos and don't to consider when it comes to the words you use?
Australian job advertising company, Seek, spoke to recruitment experts about the most overused (but least effective) buzzwords used in interviews, and why candidates should avoid them. So if you want to stand out in your next interview, you better remove the following words from your vocabulary ASAP:
What might seem obvious to you, probably won't seem as obvious to an interviewer who knows nothing about you or your career. "Interviews are usually the first time we meet a candidate so you should not assume that anything is obvious," says Jason Walker, director at recruitment firm Hays. If anything, it's better to over explain your skills and experience. "We are trying to get an understanding of experience and how good a fit you would be for an organisation," explains Walkers, "so steer clear of implying we already know the answer."
An interviewer doesn't care about how your team achieved X, Y and Z, they want to know about your specific contributions to the company. Take ownership of your achievements - there's no better time to show off than during a job interview, so don't be afraid to.
According to Walker, candidates often fall into the trap of saying they're a workaholic when asked about their weaknesses. Instead, he suggests pointing out a skill that you want to develop, such as public speaking or delegating. That way you avoid highlighting a negative trait and instead show that you're willing to grow and learn.
Manager at Randstad Technologies, Ian Scott, suggests avoiding empty phrases in general, but in particular, saying that you "love a challenge." "Interviewers see right through the phrases that lack substance and are left frustrated when having to draw out the real anecdotes that bring those statements to life," Scott explains."Rarely do people follow up 'I love a challenge' with a good explanation of what challenges them." If you genuinely do love challenges and feel that it's relevant to mention, just make sure to provide a solid example of a challenge you've faced, how you responded to it and why your response was successful.
So what should you say?
The interviewer's name
A really simple way to engage with the interviewer and build rapport is by using their name. "Job interviews are very much about intuition and chemistry," explains Lynda Spiegal, a resume writer and job search coach. "Saying the interviewer's name can help you cement a relationship."
A clear and concise overview of your career
CEO and founder of Betts Recruiting, Carolyn Betts Fleming, notes the importance of having a clear overview of your work history prepared beforehand. "It should be a high-level overview of what you've done in your career and where you want to go - and it doesn't hurt to mention a few things you like to do in your spare time to add colour."
Use the S.T.A.R Technique
To avoid falling into the trap of just mentioning a bunch of empty buzzwords, Seek suggest focusing on specific situations or examples of when you've demonstrated the skill. A useful way of doing this succinctly, is by using the S.T.A.R. technique. For tips on this method, you can find a whole article about how to use it right here.