Top 10 tips to improve your job interview responses

Preparing for an interview involves carefully planning your responses. Certain words, although seemingly positive, are best avoided. 


Some are clichéd and overused, while others may unintentionally downplay your abilities. Hiring managers have likely heard these terms countless times.


Here’s a guide on which words and phrases to avoid, along with suggestions for what to say instead.


  1. Avoid Downplaying Your Abilities:
  • Instead of using words like “we,” “just,” or “only,” focus on your individual contributions. Practice saying “I” to highlight your personal impact. 
  1. Skip Overused Phrases:
  • Avoid clichéd terms like “workaholic” and “perfectionist.” Instead, describe how you are hardworking or set high standards, and provide examples to back these claims. 
  1. Be Cautious with Sentence Fillers:
  • Minimise the use of fillers like “um,” “literally,” and “you know.” Practice answering questions to reduce reliance on these words and project confidence. 
  1. Eliminate Assumptive Words:
  • Avoid words like “obviously,” which can alienate your interviewer. Always explain your points clearly and thoroughly. 
  1. Prepare to Back Up Your Claims:
  • For terms like “resilient” or “detail-oriented,” have concrete examples ready to illustrate your skills and experiences. 
  1. Use Positive, Strong Language:
  • Use phrases like “I identified,” “I developed,” “I proposed,” and “I implemented” to convey your proactive approach and leadership skills. 
  1. Employ the STAR Method:
  • Structure your answers using the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) framework to provide clear and compelling examples of your achievements. 
  1. Showcase Team Contributions:
  • When claiming to be a “team player,” offer specific instances where you supported or collaborated with colleagues to achieve a goal. 
  1. Highlight Your Achievements:
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your successes. Use positive language that sells your strengths and contributions to previous employers. 
  1. Practice Makes Perfect:
  • Conduct mock interviews and record your responses to refine your language and ensure you’re not using any of the problematic phrases or words. 

By focusing on these tips, you can present yourself more effectively in interviews and improve your chances of landing the job.


If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.

This information does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before making a decision, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation or needs.

(Feedsy Exclusive)


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