The best things you can say in a job interview
These buzzwords and phrases are music to any hiring manager’s ears.
Sweaty palms. Nervous laughter. Fidgeting. Welcome to the job interview! Unless you’re made of titanium, the question-and-answer process is likely to rattle your nerves no matter how many years you’ve been working a job.
Thing is, the key to acing your next job interview is pretty simple: Say the things that hiring managers want to hear. That’s not meant to be a joke! there are a few standard phrases that will go over well no matter what industry you’re in or what job you’re interviewing for.
These phrases and buzzwords will delight every hiring manager.
“I was so excited when I learned this position was open.”
To persuade an employer that you’re the best person for the job, you have to show enthusiasm, says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster. That means expressing upfront that you’re stoked about the position and the company.
Kelly Marinelli, president and principal consultant at Solve HR, Inc., recommends coupling this statement with something specific about the position: “I love creating content for clients in this space, and I’d love to do it here with this team.” There’s no shame in being blunt.
“This job aligns well with my experience and qualifications, and here’s why.”
“A job interview is an extension of your cover letter,” says Salemi. “It gives you the opportunity to explain, in detail, why someone should hire you.”
Hence, it’s important to have anecdotes prepared that demonstrate your expertise. Choose stories that highlight your best strengths and core skills.
By telling such stories, you’ll be helping to explain what contributions you can make to the company and how you produce measurable results.
“Let me tell you about a time that I solved a problem like that.”
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2018 survey, problem solving is one of the soft skills new college graduates lack the most. But there’s a big difference between saying “I’m a problem solver” and actually showing how you’re one.
Your best approach, says Marinelli, is to find out what challenges the company is facing, and explain how you’ve solved similar problems in the past.
“I read about that project on your website.”
“Any time you can demonstrate you’ve done your homework is a way you set yourself apart,” says Marinelli. So, do a little detective work before you interview by reading not only the company’s website but also its social media, business reports, and press releases—and look at recent news stories about the company for timely insight into the company’s agenda.
Keywords from the job description
Job postings don’t just outline what the requirements are for a position—they provide you with buzzwords that you can use during a job interview to make you a more appealing candidate.
“You have to speak the company’s language,” says Salemi. For instance, “I know that data analysis is one of the crucial skills for this position. Let me give you a few examples of how I’ve applied this skill in my career thus far.”
“Can you clarify?”
Asking simple follow-up questions during an interview shows you’re fully engaged in the conversation, says Lynda Zugec, managing director at HR consulting firm The Workforce Consultants. For instance, asking for clarification demonstrates that you care about really understanding what the other person is saying. You let them know they’re not wasting their time with you.
The interviewer’s name
One way to forge a connection with a hiring manager is to casually use the person’s name two or three times during the interview.
“Job interviews are very much about intuition and chemistry,” says Lynda Spiegel, resume writer and job search coach at Rising Star Resumes. “Saying the interviewer’s name can help you cement a relationship.”
Give smart answers
You always want to choose your words carefully during a job interview because it’s your prime opportunity to make a great impression on hiring managers. Want some help crafting compelling answers to their questions? Join Monster today. As a member, you’ll get interview insights, career advice, and job search tips sent directly to your inbox to help you become a top-shelf candidate. It’s not recommended to go in blind on questions like, “Can you tell us about yourself?” or, “Why do you want to leave your current job?” But with Monster’s expert help, you’ll know just what to say.