Top 13 Not-So-Obvious Words You Should Never Use in a Job Interview
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Everyone knows that certain vocabulary words are off limits during a job interview. If you really want impress your future boss, profanity, racial slurs or details on your latest drunken escapade are obviously off limits. But even when you're on your best behavior, there's a risk of sending the wrong message by letting one of these 13 seemingly innocuous words slip. Experts give us the rundown on the words that should be left at home the next time you're interviewing or professionally networking.
"If the interviewer asks if you've performed a certain job duty and your answer is 'sure,' then my next question is, 'and...?'" says Sarah Connors, senior staffing manager of HR Contract Staffing at WinterWyman.
You need to give examples and elaborate during the interview, Connors says. Most questions asked in an interview should not be answered with a simple "yes" or "no" and especially not a "sure."
Although it may seem completely innocuous, the pronoun "we" can really cost you, says Robyn Melhuish, spokeswoman for medical and pharmaceutical sales job board MedReps.
"When talking about past projects that were with a team or in a group setting, now is not the time to share the credit!" Melhuish says. "While you can certainly acknowledge the team, use the pronoun 'I' when discussing details and highlight your individual contributions."
Unfortunately, using "we" too frequently may suggest that you were not a critical part of the team's success.
"Candidates don't realize how bad fluffy words like 'amazing' are for their intellect," says Tegan Trovato, recruiting excellence manager for talent acquisition firm Pinstripe.
"People use this word when they're selling their own band or when they get nervous and want to convey positivity," Trovato says. "But if you fire off a fluffy word every other sentence, you lose credibility and start to look overly salesy."
"Not only is this not a word, it is already putting the interviewer in a skeptical place," Connors says. "If you have done something, say 'yes,' and use examples.
Or, if you haven't, detail how you have not yet had the opportunity to do that specific task but would love to learn, she adds.
"Saying 'um' too much could make someone picture you twirling your hair, chomping bubblegum and asking, 'Wait, what is this interview for again?' Connors says. "You want every question to be an opportunity to highlight why you're confident that you are the best candidate for the job, even if on paper you might look too inexperienced."
When you can, practice interviews with your friends, mentors and family, and if you need a moment to think during your interview, just say so, she suggests.