You have an interview lined up. You’ve rehearsed answers to typical questions and you’re fairly confident you’re prepared for whatever the hiring manager will fire your way. You may know what you should say, but are you certain about what you shouldn't?
In our opinion, the following words and phrases are best left unsaid:
1.) The nervous "Like"
Nerves sometimes get the better of even the most confident candidates in a tense or demanding interview situation. As a result, some candidates use words such as "like," “super excited,” “whatever” or “awesome.” These are overly casual and not favored by employers. Be aware of your tendency to use them and if in doubt, pause and take a breath before responding to a question or comment.
2.) The short "No"
Using a simple answer like "no" when asked a yes or no question closes this part of the interview off and it will be all that the interviewer hears. Try expanding your answer to show the interviewer that you are engaged in the conversation. Of course interviewing is a careful balance between expanding on your answers to show your expertise, while also not being too chatty and missing queues that the interviewer would like to chime in or move on to another topic.
3.) The casual "That sucks"
No profanities or swear words are acceptable. Don’t use words like "freaking," "screwed" or "sucks." They are not professional and reflect poorly on you as a candidate. You do not have to swear in order to emphasize your point. Even if the hiring manager curses freely, this does not give you the right to mirror his or her behavior or language. Stay professional. You wouldn't swear in an office e-mail, don't swear in an interview. Ever. Period.
4.) The beverly hills "And, you know"
Phrases like “you know” are meaningless and add nothing to your conversation or reflect well on your ability to articulate your point effectively. If a phrase doesn’t help you to illustrate the point you are trying to convey, don’t use it. Many people use “you know” in casual conversation. This isn’t a casual conversation. Equally, too many uses of “hmm” or “a-ha” can be irritating to the hiring manager.
5.) The negative "He/she was an idiot"
Badmouthing your current or former co-workers reflects badly on you. Every hiring manager will think twice before putting you through to the next round of interviews, never mind offering you a job. Regardless of how much a colleague or your boss infuriates you, be positive. If you criticize your current employers, it’s likely you will adopt the same approach to your future bosses and no organization wants that attitude in their team.
6.) The trendy "I'm obsessed with …"
This is not a great phrase and conjures up impressions of extreme behavior. Consider the fact that interviewers are seeking both technical and soft skills. They need candidates who will complement their existing culture. Trying using phrases like "I'm passionate about..." when describing something you're excited about. It's a great way to let your interviewer know that you're sharing some of your expertise and dedication surrounding this topic.
Remember, you are trying to secure your next career move. Be professional, prepare thoroughly, and exude a positive attitude.