Toxic Words That Can Ruin Your Job Interview

Simon Gitau | 6th March 2020

Toxic Words That Can Ruin Your Job Interview

Toxic Words That Can Ruin Your Job Interview

Simon Gitau | 6th March 2020


How serious does one need to take a job interview? I read somewhere a few days back where the writer, a recruiter, shared an experience they had with an interviewee. The writer's description painted a vivid picture of an interviewee who was oblivious of the seriousness of an interview and as a prospective employer, you could easily dismiss the job seeker at the first instance. There are a number of things that can literally deny you a job without you even knowing. Right from your dressing, choice of words, grooming and posture, you may not get the job you thought you qualified for.

Today I will share some 10 toxic words that would badly ruin your employment interview. They are in no particular order. How badly can these words or phrases ruin your job search?


1. 'No'

Never give a plain NO as an answer. You'd rather say "I haven't had a chance to...." If you have to say NO, give an alternative positive rather than letting your interviewer figure it out for you because they will not!

2. 'Er... Um... '

If you don't have anything to say, don't say anything at all. Pretending to be googling something in your mind may make you seem ingenuine to the interviewer.

3. 'Whatever, OMG, bae...groovy?'

Drop those slangs because you have to appear professional. If you are used to a certain slang, do your best to erase them before an interview.

4. 'Sure, Cool, kinda...'

You should be presenting the best version of yourself, not the sloppy, casual version.

5. 'We'

Try to use 'I' as much as possible, esp when discussing job duties & accomplishments. You are the one being interviewed, not your former colleagues.

6. 'Dedicated, motivated, team player... '

Instead of these, share an example of your past work experience. It is more impressive to let the hiring team see the dedication and motivation in your past experiences rather than you reciting these common words like every other job seeker.

7. 'Leverage, synergy, ideation... '

Avoid using too much business jargon. Chances of you sounding like an idiot are just too high. In most cases your interviewer may not be much interested in your mastery of vocabulary.

8. 'Hit the ground running', 'Circle back...''

Leave these kinds of cliches out because they don't add anything to what you're saying.

9. 'Hate' 

Saying you hate something is never appropriate in a job interview.

10. Perfectionist

"What's your biggest flaw?" "I'm a Perfectionist!"

Really? Only God is Perfect. Remember, the interviewer is not looking for a perfectionist. They seek a perfect fit for the position. That is upon them to figure out.

So, as you receive that call or mail inviting you to an interview for your dream job, try to polish your presentation skills and language. Conduct mock interviews with your friends or mentors and you will sure get it right.

 Good luck!

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