Words to Avoid In a Job Interview

Major no-nos

Ah, the job interview. There’s nothing quite like stuffing yourself into uncomfortable clothes, navigating to an unfamiliar place, and giving out a few sweaty handshakes to strangers who are about to judge your every move.

But fear not! To prime you for success, we’ve put together this handy list of words to avoid during that important interview. Some of them are simply generic, others are cliché, and a few might have you sounding arrogant or unprofessional without even knowing it.

Workaholic

Of course you want to come across as a hard worker, but saying you’re a workaholic might be an overkill to some employers. They need to know that you have a life outside of work (and if they don’t, they should). Keep things on the lighter side by stating you’re a diligent worker and provide an example from your previous workplace to back it up.

Stubborn

The word stubborn makes you sound like it’s your way or no way, which is not an attractive quality to an employer. Nix that word and try saying you are confident or have conviction instead. This will show the company you know what it takes to succeed and go above and beyond to get what needs to be done.

Easy-going

You might be an easy-going person (which is a great attribute to have) but there could be a better way to describe your relaxed disposition during an interview. Go deeper by saying you’re patient when working with others or that you’re a pensive thinker who enjoys a good brainstorming session.

Comfortable

Stating you are comfortable in many situations shows you are level-headed and can handle whatever comes your way. But go a step further when discussing this during the interview. LifeHack suggests that you describe yourself as someone who understands the goals that need to be reached and how to go about achieving them. Bonus points for providing a past scenario where you did just that.

Successful

Telling a potential employer that you’re successful is one thing, but it’s important to show them what you mean. WiseStep says talk about a work task you successfully completed in the past to help back up how you’re describing yourself in the present.

Perky

Perky doesn’t sound very professional. It’s along the lines of bubbly, bouncy, sunny - you get the picture. All attributes that are great if you’re looking to make friends, but not so great when trying to nab a new job. Take things down a notch by simply stating you’re a good communicator or work well with others.

Intelligent

Saying you’re intelligent in an interview can come across as arrogant. The Muse states this is a word that’s cool for others to use when describing you, but not the other way around. It’s better to refrain from using opinion-type words and sticking to the facts, like saying you’re well-organized or consistent with deadlines.

Perfectionist

Describing yourself as a perfectionist might not seem like a bad thing. You don’t accept anything less than perfection, and when you get things done, you do them correctly. However, not every hiring manager likes this word. LifeHack states many employers view this word as a cliche often uttered during job interviews. Plus, you run the risk of sounding either inflexible or uptight.

Dedicated

Unfortunately, using the word dedicated doesn’t necessarily make you stand out. Many people are dedicated to their work and motivated to do well. If you really want to stand out, give prime examples of where your passions have led you (volunteering at an animal shelter, getting a promotion at your previous job) and where it might lead you in the future.

Innovative

Letting your interviewers know that you have an innovative mindset is great - just make sure you can back it up. Inc.com says if you use this word to describe yourself in an interview, be sure to mention a few past examples to show that your ideas are both creative and fresh.

Remember, innovation is only as good as the changes it brings.