“Really”, “unfortunately”, “never”…

July 11, 2018 | Job Interview |

In a job interview, you should be quite deliberate in how you choose your words. The same goes for many other communication situations as well.

When you’re applying for a job, every word really does count. It’s best to avoid certain expressions in one’s speech. A job applicant should be capable of answering the usual questions clearly and confidently. Each word has a meaning, and certain expressions tend to really stick out when speaking with hiring personnel.

A US study conducted in 2015 indicates that people in charge of hiring are likely to look askance at applicants who use the word “absolutely” – likewise for comparable words such as “totally”, “always”, “unquestionably”, “never”, etc. But those aren’t the only words that should be avoided if possible during a job interview.

In preparing this survey, the firm Leadership IQ asked 1,427 individuals to answer fifteen open-ended questions as if they were applying for a job. A total of 20,572 responses were evaluated. The responses from the applicants categorised as “low performers” contained 40% more adverbs than the “high performers”.

“The assumption is that the purpose of these adverbs was to “amp up” the responses and tended to demonstrate feelings of insecurity or lack of experience (“really”, “soon”, etc.). ”

One should also avoid words that express negative circumstances or experiences (such as “afraid”, “angry”, “unhappy”, etc.)

The same goes for expressions like “I couldn’t do it”, “you couldn’t do that”, etc. According to the results of the study, the overuse of negation tends to indicate “tension, low emotional intelligence, negativity, and pessimism”.

These examples are certainly worth thinking about. However this advice shouldn’t be taken all too literally, either. It’s important not to think too hard about everything you say during an interview, as this can have a negative impact on your concentration. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to ask yourself if certain quirks in your speech might have an inadvertent effect on what you’re trying to say.

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