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The 14 Best Words To Use In An Interview

Equip yourself for your next job interview with the best words to use and avoid. Get insights from Jonah Berger's 'Magic Words' and Blinkist's guide 'Interview Ready in 5 Steps'. Turn your language into a powerful tool to project professionalism and secure your dream job.
by Chris Allmer | Sep 22 2023

Are you preparing for an important job interview? 

If so, it’s not just about rehearsing your answers to potential questions. You should also focus on mastering an effective interview vocabulary. Describing your qualifications and professional experiences in the right way will signal your professionalism and make you a memorable candidate.

But how can you make your words really work for you? Jonah Berger’s book Magic Words provides useful phrases that can help you influence others. Combine these with a list of descriptive vocabulary tailored to your unique qualifications and skills, and you’ll be armed with the right words to shine in your job interview.

You can instill confidence and command respect during any job interview by framing your discussion around positive and inspiring words. Practicing the best words to use in a job interview before your meeting makes you appear competent and determined, increasing your chances of bagging the job you want.

Are you ready to learn the best words to use in an interview? Let’s get started!

The BEST Words To Use In An Interview

Taking a leaf from Jonah Berger’s book, ‘Magic Words,’ we quickly realize that the right words can make a significant difference in your job interview. 

Choosing the right keywords can help you describe your education, skills, and experience. According to employability experts, these are the best words you can use in an interview:

1. Passion

In an interview, interviewers try to determine whether you’re just going to show up and do the job or whether you care about it. Do you plan to go above and beyond your job description, or are you just going to check boxes? Using the word passion in your interview can go a long way toward demonstrating this. 

2. Buzzwords

It is common for every industry to have its own buzzwords. Unless you’re familiar with this jargon, it can seem like a code that keeps you from understanding what’s being said. The jargon is a secret handshake that lets interviewers know you understand the industry if you’re in the know and know the terms.

Jargon must be understood to be used, so if you’re new to an industry or field, read up on it. Find relevant blogs and videos, follow people in the industry on Twitter, and connect with them on LinkedIn.

3. Example

By using this word, you can change a general statement into a specific one. Instead of saying, “I was in charge of workplace management,” you might add, “May I share an example of a time when I used my workplace management skills to enhance productivity?”

After that, you can briefly describe the activity and the results you observed. By focusing on a few relevant details, an interviewer can get to know you better and highlight your qualities or abilities.

4. Leader

You can demonstrate leadership in any role, even if you are not interviewing for a management position. What was a time in your life when you were given a leadership position or had an experience that helped you develop leadership skills? Give some thought to your definition of a leader, and then elaborate on it.

 

5. Reliable 

It is important for companies to have employees who arrive on time, use company time efficiently to produce quality work, and meet deadlines. Provide concrete examples of your reliability from previous work or volunteer experiences. 

Describe how you carried out your responsibilities on a project or how teamwork helped you achieve something you are proud of. If you have experience from a previous job, you might be able to describe your accounting practices and how you met them on a consistent basis.

6. Core Values

After reading the company’s mission statement, you can mention parts of it that resonate with your own. Give an example of a detail from it that inspires you or would help you set goals. Make sure this discussion is sincere and incorporated naturally. In order to demonstrate your interest in understanding the company’s core values, you can ask questions about the evolution of the mission statement.

7. Flexible

By showing that you are able to work in various work environments, it is important to be flexible and adapt to changes in projects, deadlines, and scope. By doing so, you will show you are a flexible and valuable member of a team. In the past, you may have had to adapt to a change in circumstances, and flexible thinking taught you something about yourself.

8. Goals

Having a clear understanding of how you will achieve your professional goals can be helpful. Describe what you hope to accomplish with this job and how it will benefit your skills and experience.

If you are seeking a high-level role after working at an entry-level job in the production industry, explain how your experience has helped you formulate your goals and how the prospective position will help you achieve them.

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9. Skills

A job interviewer can learn more about you by highlighting some of your relevant skills in the same way that you describe your experience. Select one or a few skills that will help recommend you for the job instead of listing many skills. The alternative would be to describe your skills in computer programs that you might use for the job rather than stating that you have computer skills.

10. Experience

Resumes often summarize the many tasks you have accomplished during your career, though they should reflect your job experience. You should describe your duties, projects, or deliverables during an interview in terms of your job experience and emphasize how long you have been in the field to help someone understand the nuances of your work. Using the word “experience” can make you sound knowledgeable and qualified.

11. Opportunity

In addition to describing past opportunities for skill development, the word opportunity also demonstrates gratitude and possibility. Oftentimes, it is associated with a job offer during an interview. The possibilities of future opportunities can be discussed, as well as past opportunities.

 

12. Respect

The interviewer can ask you about specific aspects of the products, practices, diversity, or projects you admire at the company once you have become familiar with them. Showing respect for the business demonstrates that you have researched it and enables you to discuss specifics, which can inspire a more in-depth conversation. As well as describing mentors or leaders you admire, you can also describe the qualities they possess that you try to emulate.

13. I Look Forward To

You can use positive and hopeful language once you are granted an interview, such as, “I look forward to discussing what I can bring to your company.” This can also be used to describe your working style and aspects of the job you would enjoy.

14. I can and I will

Using phrases like “I can contribute…” and “I will offer my strengths in this way…” shows that you are confident in your skills and abilities. When we use the word “will,” we are implying conviction and capability. As a result, you demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter and a willingness to contribute.

Words To Avoid In An Interview

Just as using the right words can boost your chances of landing a job, using the wrong words can harm them. Here’s what to steer clear of during your job interview:

1. Profanity 

Despite this being a given, sometimes people are nervous or uncomfortable during an interview and slip up. You don’t know how an interviewer will react to swear words, so don’t use any.

2. Perks

Here’s an instance where thinking ahead is not a good idea. It is not appropriate to discuss words like benefits, perks, compensation, or anything similar during an interview. By doing so, you appear to be someone who is only interested in the perks and not in the actual work. Details like that should be discussed after you have been offered a job, not before.

3. Stuff

You set yourself apart from other interview candidates by paying attention to the details. In this context, what does “stuff” really mean? Before resorting to such unclear language, question its vagueness. Instead of referencing your accomplishments or tasks as “stuff,” opt for more specific, descriptive terms that accurately portray your achievements.

But remember, the right words are only part of the picture. To truly shine in a job interview, you need to prepare thoroughly. The Blinkist guide Interview Ready in 5 Steps provides a simple, effective roadmap for success, from understanding the job requirements to following up after the interview.

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If you are looking to create a compelling statement letter for your application, take a look at Blinkist Magazine’s article on “How to Write a Statement Letter” – it’s easy and successful!

Also, don’t forget that asking for feedback after an interview is an essential step towards improvement and career progression. Blinkist Magazine’s article How To Ask for Feedback After an Interview provides insightful tips to master this often overlooked step.

In conclusion, both your language and your preparation can drastically affect your chances of success in a job interview. So, make the most of these insights from ‘Magic Words’ and ‘Interview Ready in 5 Steps’, and let Blinkist help you take your next job interview by storm.

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