Congratulations, after many months searching and several dead ends, you have finally been asked in for a job interview.
Even more than a good resume, performing well in an interview is a must for any job candidate looking to find a permanent position. In order to get past the interview, experts share the secrets of the process, including what can help and what can hurt your chances of getting the job.
What can really make an employer perk up and set you apart from other candidates? Being specific. If you exceeded your sales goals for a previous year, how much did you exceed them by? Was it 5 percent or 20 percent? There isn’t one word or phrase that can be applied universally in this situation, but by adding a quantifying statement to explain your skills and successes you can really enhance your interview. — Abby Bedecs, account executive at Gregory FCA
Highlight transferable skills
The interview process is the candidate’s opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and ability necessary to effectively perform the job. The candidate should take every opportunity to communicate how prior experiences have provided the transferable skills that will likely lead to success in the particular role. The candidate should never lose sight of this. — Travis Railsback, executive director at the University of Alabama Career Center
Use words that convey a function that is used by your employer. Too often, candidates pick words that are theoretical or philosophical rather than functional and observable. Describe what it looks like when you are carrying out this word. You want the interviewer to see and value this activity. Words that create a buzz with interviewers include: project management, outcomes, assessment, data-driven decisions, and feedback. — Steve Langerud, workplace consultant and deputy director of global development at Maharishi University of Management
Highlight how you successfully worked in a team
Always try and slip in the word “we” into any examples you give about work you’ve done. Your prospective employer is interested in your individual achievements, but if you can reference how you played your part within a team environment, it shows how well you work with others. It’ll make you stand out. — Mel Carson, founder of Delightful Communications
Often during job interviews, candidates are asked to describe themselves. In such a circumstance, a good word to weave into the response is ”persistence.” A persistent employee keeps working toward a solution — even in difficult situations. When others might give up, a persistent employee will look at the problem from different angles, perhaps asking unconventional questions or seeking advice from an unusual source. —Timothy Wiedman, associate professor of Management & Human Resources at Doane College
Words that deal in absolutes, like “always” or “never,” should be carefully used in an interview. Very few things in life are absolute, and that is especially true with people in the business world. By saying, “I always do this,” you might give the impression that you are not as honest and forthcoming as employers may want to hear. Also, saying, “I never do this,” you may give the impression you are not flexible, [and flexibility] can be a positive trait to demonstrate. Make sure, if you deal in absolutes, you are not giving a bad impression in terms of integrity, or preventing your key skills from coming forth. — Scott Rawitsche, co-founder of Collaborative Business Solution
Several phrases can make employees seem overeager. They include: I love to multitask, and I have no problem doing that. I wonder who told them to say this? Does this mean that they have been asked to juggle a lot of projects at an internship? You are a bright and intelligent candidate, please do not tell me you do not have a problem doing certain tasks. Rise to all challenges. — Amy Levy, president of Amy Levy PR
Candidates should absolutely avoid the overused lingo, clichés and biz-speak which populates LinkedIn summaries. While job seekers may think that the usage of this garbled, imprecise wording will prove their savviness and give them a competitive edge, the result is the opposite. The interviewers will not view job seekers who speak in this manner as being noteworthy, memorable or worthy of hiring. — Rafe Gomez, founder of the Rehirement Coach
Talk about being a team player
I always get the assurance that “I am a team player.” This is a phrase that is a double-edged sword, as I would like to see how someone has given up something for a team member. But people are quick to talk about how they bested others to set a winning strategy or winning tactic. — Danielle Monaghan, HR director, North Asia-Greater China, Japan, Korea of Cisco Systems
Say terms are non-negotiable
This phrase should never be used in the interview. While you have requirements, they should be used in your internal considerations in deciding if the job is right for you. In the final negotiations, you will be better served to state your requirements in terms of your needs in order to accept the position. — Sandra Lamb, business and career expert
Say ‘I’m glad you asked that question’
This phrase can make you sound phony, overeager and sycophantic. It’s sometimes said by someone who needs time to think of an answer, and it’s commonly heard during the question and answer part of a presentation. It’s much better to answer the question without this preface. You may feel you want to give some background before answering the question. That’s fine, but make it clear that you’re going to answer the question so you don’t give the impression that you’re being evasive. In any interaction, anticipate the questions that may be asked of you. Answer them concisely, without non-words like, “um” and “uh,” which could make you sound unsure of your answer. — Bill Rosenthal, CEO of Communispond
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.