The purpose of an interview is to put a face to a CV – you’ll be asked to elaborate on your listed skills and experiences of course, but it’s predominately an opportunity for your prospective employer to get to know you and for you to get to know them.
Although you should feel able to be yourself while being interviewed, there are certain phrases that could potentially give the wrong impression and damage your chances of landing your dream job.
So, in order to truly showcase your talent and impress at an interview, please remove the following word assemblages from your brain and replace them with worthier phrases:
1. “I’m familiar with…”
Putting this at the start of a sentence implies you’ve heard of the subject matter you’re referring to but you’re not confident in your knowledge. Instead, use bolder language when you speak about something you have experience in and give examples to support it.
2. “To be honest…”
Have you not been honest so far in the interview? This is similar to, “No offense, but…” which suggests that you’re about to do the exact opposite of what you’ve just said. If what you’re saying is the truth then there should be more certainty and conviction in your voice.
3. “I can try…”
This is very non-committal and vague. If you don’t know something when asked be frank about it but show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn more in the future. You could even ask your interviewer some questions at this point about the possibility of further training.
4. “My boss at the moment is awful…”
Never badmouth your current or previous employers to anyone other than a partner or a friend behind closed doors (and never, ever online!). Gossip is unprofessional and unconstructive and your interviewer will find it difficult to trust you as a result. As a general rule try not to speak negatively in an interview, only in terms of challenges and problem-solving.
5. “I think…”
Your interviewer will automatically assume everything you say is your opinion, so saying “I think” is unnecessary and can also be misconstrued as uncertainty. Be positive and clear in your responses, this is the only situation for which you’re openly invited to brag!