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1. I don’t know…

If the interviewer asks you about your motivations for wanting the job and you don’t have any clarity on why it is you’re going for it, it’s not going to go well for you. Be sure to have done some research on the role and company beforehand. It’s in your best interests to be aware of what the position entails. Remember, you’re interviewing them too. The same goes for if they are asking about what is motivating you to leave your current role. It’s important not to come across as flaky or unsure.

2.  Like

We all have habits, some are good and some might be detrimental. If you’re someone who has a habit of overusing using certain words such as ‘like’ or ‘um’ as fillers in your sentences, this can be distracting and undermine the content of what you’re saying. It can give the impression that you lack confidence in what you’re saying or that you’re a poor communicator. 

3. I hate 

Hate is a strong word with negative connotations and should be avoided. For example, you wouldn’t want to say “I hate it when I’m the only one in my team who is prepared to put the work in” when describing a scenario in your current job. Even if you felt you were doing all the heavy-lifting while you colleagues slacked off. Expressing this with an intense word of frustration can make you look like someone who doesn’t work well in teams, rather than the desired effect of demonstrating your strong work ethic.

4. My current boss is awful

If you don’t like your current boss, it might be tempting to discuss your issues with them when asked about your current situation. Maybe by doing so you’re seeking reassurance that these types of problems aren’t likely to occur at the company you’re interviewing at. However, it’s important to keep it positive wherever possible and not speak badly about any former or current colleague. This helps you to create a good impression and avoid burning bridges.

5. Obviously

You are more than likely meeting the interviewer for the first time, so providing explanations using the word ‘obviously’ might be presuming knowledge the interviewer doesn’t have. Instead of saying something like “I’m obviously great at meeting deadlines”, demonstrate this via an example of a project you completed efficiently and on time.

6. I’m a perfectionist

This phrase is often used by interviewees in response to a question about weaknesses, because it has positive connotations as well. It has now become a cliche and the interviewer will have heard it many times (including from people who aren’t perfectionists). Have a think about direct examples in your work. For example, if you’re a manager, instead of stating that your weakness is that you have overly high standards and high expectations of your team, you could instead explain how you could improve your delegation skills. Then after stating this you can demonstrate how you’re working on this, by saying some thing like “I make sure that I have a weekly check in with my staff to ensure I’m across their workload and can establish if they have too much, or too little work and support them accordingly.”