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Interview Preparation

Strong Words to Use in an Interview

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Why are the words you use in an interview important?Preparing the words to use in an interviewExamples of powerful words to use during a job interview

Guide Overview

Words to use in an interview

A job interview gives you the opportunity to impress hiring managers and prove your skills, qualifications, and abilities for the position. Communicating properly and professionally and using strong words to describe your personality and skills are important to ensure the hiring manager clearly understands what you have to offer. Here we explore the importance of using powerful words during a job interview and provide several examples of words you can use in your next interview to help you stand out from other candidates.

Why are the words you use in an interview important?

Interviews are supposed to be conversations in which the interviewer and applicant decide if the applicant is suited for the position and the company culture. Speaking in a way that shows professionalism and portrays your qualifications and abilities as well as asking specific questions can all have a positive influence on the hiring manager’s perception of you. Using aspirational and positive words during your interview can further show your confidence and professionalism as well as your own belief in your abilities to perform well in the job.

Preparing the words to use in an interview

There are a few ways you can prepare for your interview to ensure you use the most influential and positive words. These steps include:

  • Read the job description. Before the interview, you should thoroughly study the job description and make a note of any keywords that are used throughout. Most job postings will include words that describe the expectations of the candidate, requirements, and necessary experience. You can use the phrases and words included in the job listing during the interview to show you studied up on the position and possess the qualities the hiring manager is looking for.
  • Create a list of words used in your field of employment. Similar to studying the job listing, you can also create a list of keywords commonly used in your field of employment. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing position, you could include keywords such as conversion rate, key performance metrics, pay-per-click (PPC), return on investment (ROI), and paid media. This shows your competency in your field and that you understand the duties you’ll be responsible for in a marketing position.
  • Research the company. You should also spend time researching the company and noting any frequently used words on their website and/or social media platforms. For example, if teamwork is a valued skill at the organization, be sure to mention your teamwork abilities. If the company prizes productivity and efficiency in the workplace, incorporate these words when describing your qualifications and abilities in the interview.
  • Make a list of your qualifications, skills, and experience. You should also note all relevant qualifications, abilities, and skills you possess that directly relate to the job. Think of specific words that correlate with each and use them when describing yourself in the interview.

Examples of powerful words to use during a job interview

The following are several examples of powerful words and phrases to use in an interview:

Communication

Communication is an important component of nearly every professional position and is a highly valued skill that employers look for in candidates. The following are words you can use when describing your communication skills:

  • Confident
  • Friendly
  • Active listening
  • Open-mindedness
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Clarity
  • Concision
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Writing skills
  • Verbal skills

Learn more: Communication Skills to Elevate Your Career

Leadership

Leadership is another sought-after skill by employers, especially if you are interviewing for a leadership position. It’s important to use strong words to show your leadership abilities. Good leadership words to use in an interview include:

  • Initiative
  • Deliver
  • Accelerate
  • Coordinate
  • Accomplish
  • Negotiate
  • Resolve
  • Develop
  • Innovative
  • Supervise
  • Resolve

Learn more: 20 Customary Leadership Interview Questions

Passion

Hiring managers want to know that you’re passionate about the position you’ve applied for and that that passion will support your success in the role. Passionate individuals are more likely to excel in their careers and support the growth of the company. Words that emphasize your passion for a job include:

  • Priority
  • Interested
  • Enthusiastic
  • Passionate
  • Driven
  • Motivated
  • Energized

Teamwork

Many positions require at least some level of teamwork. This is especially true if you apply for a leadership role or a role that’s directly part of a specific team. Demonstrating your teamwork abilities through powerful words can help iterate your teamwork abilities and commitment to working effectively with others. Good words to use concerning teamwork include:

  • Collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Persuade
  • Influence
  • Initiative
  • Cooperation
  • Flexibility
  • Tolerance
  • Communication
  • Trustworthy

Responsibility

Responsibility is another important trait and hiring managers look for in employees. No matter what position you’re applying for, employers want to know that you’re responsible and are willing to complete your tasks and take responsibility for your work and actions. The following words and phrases can help you successfully convey your responsibility to hiring managers:

  • Provide
  • Responsible
  • Results-oriented
  • Efficient
  • Accomplish
  • Detail-oriented
  • Organized
  • Prepared
  • Provide
  • Works well on tight deadlines
  • Team player
  • Committed to excellence
  • Accountable

Flexibility

Many positions require at least some level of flexibility, as situations, procedures, and ways of doing things are bound to change at some point in your career. Being able to quickly and effectively adapt to new situations is a valued trait by employers and ensures you can work with various people in different environments. The following are a few strong words related to flexibility that you can use in your next job interview:

  • Flexible
  • Positive
  • Open-minded
  • Adaptable
  • Conflict resolution
  • Open communication
  • Quick learner
  • Accountability
  • Problem-solving
  • Solution-oriented
  • Resilient

Phrases to use throughout the interview

The following are effective phrases you can use at the beginning, middle, and end of an interview to leave a positive impression on the employer:

  • How are you today?
  • Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.
  • I appreciate you considering me for this role.
  • I’m excited to learn about your organization.
  • This position aligns well with my qualifications, experience, and skills.
  • I would love to work at this organization because…
  • I sincerely enjoyed learning more about this position.
  • I am excited about the possibility of working for this organization.
  • Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions about my qualifications.

 

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