Your goal during a job interview is to separate yourself from the pack. To make a positive and lasting impact to warrant you a second interview. Or even better, to land the job right then and there.
We often think we are more than ready for it, since employers typically ask the same questions. But what we actually do is result to the same age old cliches. The problem is that these cliches does the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
Here are 10 cliches you must avoid to stand out and land your dream job:
“I’m a team player.”
Rephrase it to stand out from thousands of other employees using it. Try using “I work well in a group. I am willing to sacrifice in order to achieve our overall goal.” Supplement that by citing examples of team projects you’ve been part of and what role you played.
“I will try...”
This is the common answer when asked “Can you perform this?.” Employers don’t want to hire people that lack confidence. Say it with conviction, “Yes I certainly can.” Be specific as to why you can perform the job and provide examples of similar tasks you did in the past.
“I’m very hardworking!”
Every job requires a certain level of hard work. Sometimes employers don’t even like “hard workers.” They would rather prefer creative and efficient employees. Instead of using this cliche, be specific and cite examples of events where you had to sacrifice and go the extra mile to meet a deadline or client request.
“I can handle everything.”
Try avoiding this phrase at all costs. We are all humans and each of us has their own limits. It may sound bold and confident, but it can backfire on you later down the road. Your employer can use this to pressure you to doing things beyond your capability.
“To be honest...”
Your interviewer might interpret this negatively. He might think that you are only being honest now and not during your previous answers. Always speak with conviction and truthfulness to capture their attention.
“I’m the right person for the job!”
The very reason you’re doing a job interview is because you match the job qualifications. It will just be redundant. Your interviewer decides whether or not you’re the right person for the job. Cite specific skills that make you the perfect fit and why it would help the company.
“I pay attention to detail.”
Again, be specific. Every one of your competitors for the job will be using this phrase. To be able to stand out, cite examples of times when your attention to detail benefited your previous employer. Such as avoiding litigation or saving costs because of information you were able to gather.
“I dislike my former boss...”
When asked “Why did you leave your previous work?”, this is perhaps the worst answer you can give. Employers don’t want to hire employees that would bad mouth them later on. Instead, tell them that you are thankful for the experience and leadership given by your previous workplace but that you are looking to grow as a person and explore new opportunities.
“I am great with people!”
There is no need to state this skill. If you really are great with people, it will come out in your interview. Your charisma and communication skills will speak for itself.
“I am open to any role...”
Avoid using this. To employers this is a sign of desperation. It means that you are willing to be underemployed just to land a job. Employers prefer candidates that have clear goals and long term vision for themselves.
Don’t worry if you fail on your first few interviews. Like all things, all it needs is practice. You can try practicing in front of a mirror or ask a friend to simulate an interview for you. Nothing beats actual world experience though. Don’t fear rejection, learn from your mistakes and improve on the next.