Avoid ‘Qualifying’ Words For Better Job Interviews

Avoid ‘Qualifying’ Words For Better Job Interviews

In a job interview, what you say matters as much as how you say it. So don’t qualify your speech with unnecessary adverbs.

Photo by Samuel Mann

Real Simple notes that this approach suggests a lack of confidence.

Qualify Nothing. A lot of people have negative speech habits, such as using hedges like just, actually, kinda, and almost. For example: “I’m just really grateful to be talking to you today” or “I’m kinda thinking I want to transition into this job.” These hedges make you come across as less confident, less authoritative — and less employable. Same for using disclaimers like “Well, I’m really not an expert on this.” People think these types of statements make them seem more likable or down-to-earth, but they undermine credibility. Before an interview, ask a friend to listen to your speech for any bad habits, since they are often unconscious. Then give yourself a few days to focus on each one, and excise all of them.

It’s OK to not know how to answer a question, but attaching self-deprecatory caveats don’t help. To avoid that, have a friend listen and point out your bad speech habits. You can also use some of the same advice needed to avoid filler words like “um” when you talk.

5 Common Interview Mistakes [Real Simple]

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