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Things Not to Say in an Interview

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As a staffing company in Tulsa, we interview many people throughout each week. Overall, you can notice that many people use the same words to describe themselves. If we hear the same words over and over, I can only imagine that other recruiters and hiring managers hear the same thing. But when you take a word such as “friendly or likeable” to describe yourself and it is used in every other interview, it eventually loses its meaning and influence. Here are some alternatives that can be considered using instead.

Intelligent: When someone tells you that they are intelligent; how much weight does that carry with you? For the same reason, you do not want to describe yourself as “likeable” or “friendly”. Instead consider using words such as “enthusiastic”, “outgoing” or “caring” then use ways to describe how you helped out on a specific project, spoke up in a meeting which lead to a different and “better” direction. You can also tell of how you celebrated your co-workers by throwing birthday parties etc. You get the picture. It is much better to describe how you are perceived as friendly rather than just using the overused word.

Successful: Same as with describing yourself as Intelligent; telling someone that you are successful is like telling someone that you are a beautiful and powerful American. It just doesn’t sound like you have a healthy balance and viewpoint of yourself. This can be very alarming to the interviewer. Instead spend your time talking about a specific skill-set that you have a proven background in being successful in. You can talk about a project that you have worked on that went very well that can explain your success in a much more accepting way.

Reliable: Especially with today’s workforce, this term is used regularly. However, we have found that if someone takes a segment of the interview to tell us how reliable they are, it usually means that they have had issues with reliability in the past. If you want to portray to the interviewer that they will not have to worry about you regarding reliability, try talking about what you think your past supervisor would say about you. Let them know that your past supervisor would say that you were one of the most reliable people on their team. And then give them an invitation to contact your previous supervisor. That is, of course, if you had a positive working relationship with your past supervisor.

It is important to prepare for any interview that you go to and go over in your head what you might say. Equally, it is necessary to go over possible interviewing questions and then map out how you would like to answer if the question was asked. If you study enough possible interviewing questions and prepare your answers carefully, there is a much larger chance of you doing well. Preparation should not be overrated. Effort eventually makes your own luck. Good luck!