8 Words to Avoid Using In an Interview

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

Your job interview is the key to landing a position. It gives companies a way to gauge your personality, your soft skills and how you deal with people face to face. To maximize your chances of making a positive impression, take a look at some common words to avoid using during an interview.

"You Guys"

The phrase "you guys" is simply too informal to say during a job interview. The people in front of you are not buddies or friends you hang out with on the weekends. The interviewers are responsible for hiring you. Until you get to the know them, refer to a collective entity as "your firm" or "your company" instead of "you guys."


Try not to say the word "comfortable" as it relates to how you view the position. Companies don't necessarily want people who are comfortable at their jobs. Firms want people who love to innovate, collaborate and step outside of their comfort zone. You want a job that is rewarding and challenging, not comfortable, because it lets you and the employer grow.

"Enjoy" or "Like"

Rather than say you "enjoy" or "like" this field of work, play to your strengths during a job interview. Talk about how you "excel" or "do this well," whether you love writing code for the next big app or solve problems pertaining to company-wide sales teams.


The word "fired" has so many negative connotations when it comes to your previous employer. If you have to say you left under less-than-ideal circumstances, say you were "let go" or you "wanted to find better opportunities." Speak positively about your former place of employment because companies love people with a good attitude.


When answering the question about your greatest weakness or beat asset, do not say you're a "perfectionist." In a job interview, get rid of this cliché and similar ones, such as "people person" and "hard worker." Everyone wants to come across as this type of worker, so these words add little to your skill set. Similarly, try not to use the word "amazing" because that can apply to just about anything. If a previous experience was so amazing, then your interviewers wonder why you left that job in the first place.

"Work-Life Balance"

Talk about a work-life balance during the salary negotiations phase of the interview. Until then, the employer just wants to hear about your skills and what you bring to the position more than anything else.

"Should" and "Shouldn't"

Avoid "should" and "shouldn't" in a job interview because you aren't being paid for consultation work. Keep to your skills, why you like the company and how you're the perfect fit for the position. Plus, this comes across as telling someone how to run a company, which can be a bit aggravating for an interviewer.

"Can't" and "Don't"

Much like the word "fired," saying that something "can't" be done or you "don't" do something comes across as negative. Accentuate the positive attributes of your skills and the company. Never be negative in an interview.

When you substitute better verbiage for these common words, you impress your interviewers and have a better chance of landing an offer after a job interview. Practice eliminating these phrases from your vocabulary ahead of your face time to master your interviewing technique.

Photo courtesy of Emily Meyers at Flickr.com


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Madelyn Sloan Bodford
    Madelyn Sloan Bodford


  • Dione N.
    Dione N.

    Good advice

  • Paula W.
    Paula W.

    Good advice

  • Sylvagerald O.
    Sylvagerald O.

    Great information, good to know

  • Don D.
    Don D.

    "I truly have a passion for 'this'"

  • Edward Osafo
    Edward Osafo

    Thought-provoking, insightful, informative, and what I would acknowledge as extremely useful pieces of advice for job seekers.

  • John C.
    John C.

    Good advice

Jobs to Watch