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Inappropriate speech to avoid in an interview.

Inappropriate speech to avoid in an interview.

What you say in an interview matters immensely. "It's your audition!"

Apart from submitting a CV full of errors, the other way you can be disregarded for a new job is by making unnecessary interview slip-ups. Hiring managers use the interview to measure your fitness for the job, creativity, ability to think on your feet, emotional intelligence, and attitude. It's important to remember that it's not just what you say that counts, but also how you say it, your tone of voice and body language will be watched closely as yet another indicator as to your overall fitness for the job at hand.

Words you should never say in a job interview:

Nervous. Even if you're more nervous than you've ever been at least never say am “nervous”, no company wants to hire someone who lacks confidence.

Money, salary, pay, compensation, etc. Never discuss salary in the early stages of the interview Process. Focusing on the salary can raise a red flag with potential employers that you are only there for the money and not for any deeper reasons. Employers are looking for people who align with their mission and values. Negotiations can and should be done after or at the end of the interview phase or only when asked within the preliminaries of the interview.

Weaknesses or mistakes. Everyone has weaknesses or makes mistakes but never voluntarily talk about your weaknesses unless they ask you with the standard interview question, 'What's your biggest weakness? Don't ever bring up mistakes you've made at work, unless you're talking about them to show how you've made significant improvements.

Need. Don't make the conversation be all about your needs. This is the time to talk about their needs and what you can do to help fulfill them.  Talking about your needs will flag you as someone who is potentially going to be high-maintenance and challenging to work with. Do not say that you really need this job due to your current circumstances, employers may view desperation as a sign of weakness, and, again, they want employees who are seeking a long-term career, not merely a job.

Incentives or benefits. Don't bring up how much you love some of the company's incentives, such as their policy of having every last Friday of the month off or their gift vouchers. Again, this will seem like you only about the benefits than you do about contributing to the employer's success.

Terrible, horrible, awful, hate, etc. You shouldn't use negative language during your interview especially when you're talking about your current or previous boss or employer. Even if the interviewer invites you to, don't, it’s not classy, and it will make you sound bitter and petty. It also shows that you could bad-mouth any boss or company in the future including theirs and it could even be a test to see if you will say anything disparaging.

Fine. Choose another word if you're answering questions such as, ‘how are you?’ In any situation where you're describing a state of being or your emotions, the word 'fine' is vague, overused, and colloquial. The word may even be perceived by others as dishonest and dismissive. To be credible and convincing as a professional, choose another word to honestly communicate the true state of affairs. As obvious as this may be, don't use curse words or slang terms in an effort to come across as 'authentic,' you’ll only give the impression that you have poor communication skills.

Never swear. Even if the interview is over drinks after work and everyone around you is swearing. If it's a very laid-back scenario like happy hour, find PG words to use, and use inflection and body language to make your points.

Sorry. Some people just use 'Am sorry' as a filler phrase, like 'so' or 'um,' or they may use it because they think it makes them seem more polite, others say 'I'm sorry' to convey a sense of deference to their superiors — and many use a well-placed 'I'm sorry' as a preemptive strike to avoid taking responsibility for their actions ('I'm really sorry but there's just no way I can answer that question').Whatever the reason, the biggest danger of severely overusing the word, is that it can make you look too passive or indecisive — and might eventually create the sense that you lack confidence.

'Um,' 'so,' 'like' Filler words can get annoying and are usually used when you're not sure what to say next. In an interview, this can make you look like you lack confidence or you're unsure of yourself or, worst of all, like you're not being honest.

Actually. Prefacing sentences with this word, as in, 'Actually, I didn't work on that account,' or 'Actually, you can do it this way,' puts distance between you and the listener by hinting that they were somehow wrong, . Rephrase to create a more positive sentiment.

Just. Adding just as a filler word in sentences — as in, I just think that ... — may seem harmless, but it can detract from what you're saying. “But” makes the speaker sound defensive, a little whiny, and tentative.

Holiday. You don't want to give the impression that you intend to take all your sick days and miss as much work as possible while still getting paid, Leave that type of question until follow-up interviews or conversations with human resources about benefits.

Contributed by: Henry Mubiru Kweba. 

Views expressed by contributors are their own.