Published on January 5th, 2013 | by Amy Edwards0
5 Negative Phrases To Banish From Your Next Job Interview
By Amy @BubbleJobs
With a new year comes New Year Resolutions and if a new job is top of your list, you’re not alone. Yep, January is one of our busiest times of the year here at Bubble but, rather than boring you with yet more job search tips (yyaaawwwwwwwnnn!), I thought I’d go down a different route with this blog.
You see, I have faith in you – I know you’re going to be able to bag an interview for a new job. Whether you’re going to be able to ace that interview and win the star prize… well, that’s up to you! But here are five negative phrases you need to watch out for when you do make it into the boardroom! Banish these from your vocabulary now or run the risk of falling at the last career hurdle for the rest of the year…!
First up; “I think“. This one’s pretty obvious. Saying “I think this is the best solution” rather than “This is the best solution” suggests some doubt and that’s not what employers want to hear. They’ll always favour a confident employee who has the authority and self-belief needed to drive the company forwards over an indecisive employee who lacks self-confidence and strength.
Next up it’s “I don’t know“. While honesty is always good, answering a question with “I don’t know” suggests you’re badly prepared for the interview and haven’t done your research. Rather than saying you don’t know and apologising, say you’re not 100% familiar with that concept but you do know X, Y and Z. While this solution won’t help you magically find an answer to the original question, it can help to show off your alternative knowledge and/or skills.
Next in line is an oldie but a goodie; “I can’t“. Saying you can’t do something shows off your weaknesses when you should really be focusing on highlighting your strengths. If you’re asked if you can do something, rather than saying “No, I can’t”, say “I wouldn’t class that’s one of my biggest strengths, however I’m highly proficient at A, B and C”. Remember, it’s all about papering over the cracks!
“I could try” is the next saying you need to banish from your interview phrase book. There’s nothing wrong with showing a bit of willing but rather saying “I could try and learn xx”, say “I can learn xx” – what’s the difference? By saying you’ll “try”, it suggests you might not succeed and there’s room for failure. Alternatively saying “I can learn” suggests real intent with no room for failure.
Last but not least it’s; ”It wasn’t my fault“. When someone asks why something bad happened, our first instinct is to be defensive but by telling a potential new employer something wasn’t your fault you’re instantly shifting the blame and responsibility onto a third party. By shifting the blame you immediately attract more attention to the issue and raise an employer’s suspicion. The solution? Explain impartially what happened and what factors were to blame and if you were in some part to blame, own up (particularly if there’s a chance they’ll find out it was your fault in the reference stages) – employers have more respect and are much more likely to employ a candidate that’s honest and takes responsibility for their mistakes.