11 Words You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

man covering mouth

Avoid these bad interview words to save your credibility. | iStock.com

Job interviews are terrifying. Actually, if we’re being honest, the whole process of job hunting is terrifying. You’re up against an average of 250 applicants for every open corporate position, so you need to put your best foot forward at all times. More than likely, your resume boasted summary sections about your “effective communication” and “professional demeanor.” Interview jitters can certainly take you off your game, but that’s no excuse for falling back into a language trap.

Your verbal communication is often the biggest, and sometimes only, indicator of you as a person. How you talk to recruiters during an interview is like gazing into a crystal ball to see how you’ll communicate with potential clients, team members, and the entire company in the future. How you field questions and speak to others influences someone’s first impression. It’s an essential business skill, per the American Psychological Association.

That’s why we’re calling out 11 words and phrases that will instantly kill your credibility and risk sending your hopes of a better career down the drain. How many of these phrases have you used just today? Let’s find out.

1. Always

You’re probably using this word to convey things, such as, “I always give 110% at work,” or “I always arrive on time.” Do you, though? Are you one of those super-human beasts who wakes up and beats the rush-hour traffic every morning?

Making generalized statements like this sends a red flag to interviewers who know you can’t always be on top of your game. Now you’ve worried them by showing you might not be telling the whole truth. Certified career coach Chrissy Scivicque tells U.S. News to quantify your statements as much as possible to avoid this trap. For instance, “I surpassed all my quarterly goals last year,” is far more effective than, “I always hit my sales numbers.”

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