5 words not to avoid in an interview

Step out of that crowded employment market and into a job for you. 21st century job seekers can make their brand more desirable than the next candidate by the careful use of five little words. They’re: loyal, passion, ownership, diligent, and adaptable.

If you can pepper these power words naturally into conversations with recruiters, the interviewer, and HR you’ll sow seeds in the minds of those who matter that you’re a real catch. It really helps you get noticed. Here’s what you need to know about these five little interview winners:

  1. Loyal. Can you imagine tattooing the name of your employer on your arm or leg? That’s what at least 40 employees in the United States did for a 15% pay rise. There are less extreme ways to display your integrity and commitment – which add up to loyalty. A loyal person shows support or allegiance to their employer.

    Example: “My former employers would call me loyal. An example of this is that I secured business for XYZ company through contacts even though I wasn’t in a sales role.”  
  2. Passion. Employers love a passionate worker who throws everything into what they do and enjoys almost every moment of the job. You can really grab the attention of your interviewer by telling him or her that you’re passionate about the role, the company, or the product. Make sure you show your excitement.

    Example: “What I love about my current job is dealing with customers. I’m so passionate about people.”
  3. Ownership. Great employees take ownership of whatever they do and can work without intervention. They’ll never be heard saying “It’s not my job” or “it’s not my responsibility”. It takes their involvement to get the job done and they know it. If you take ownership you are someone who holds yourself accountable to your employer, your company, your co-workers, and/or your clients.

    Example: “Our digitisation project stalled at work and others wanted to brush it under the carpet. I decided that I had to take ownership of it and led the way by completing my portion of the work, which motivated others in the team.” 
  4. Diligent. A diligent person is persistent and determined at tasks. They always complete all the steps needed and they’re thorough and careful. The diligent person in your workplace is the one that always gives a full day’s work, not a half-hearted effort at what they do. Employers like staff members who can handle a difficult workload and ones that never back down from a challenge.

    Example: “I’m not someone to give up and people call me diligent. An example of that is that I refused to give up on one of our staff members who couldn’t work our new IT system. I decided to sit with her for 10 minutes a day for as long as it took for her to master the system.”
  5. Adaptable. The chances are that your job description allows for new tasks as and when they arise. If you’re the sort of person who accepts those new tasks and can rise to the challenge your employer is going to value you. Adaptable people can cope with surprises and they’re also happy to back alternative suggestions to their own.

    Example: “I would say that one of my best qualities is that I’m adaptable. We had a difficult employee who failed to respond to my initial approaches. When that failed I went to HR for new strategies, which I tried. These strategies were successful.”

You don’t need to use all these words every time. Drop them in naturally. To do this, make sure you practice out loud.

Can you imagine tattooing the name of your employer on your arm or leg? That’s what at least 40 employees in the United States did for a 15% pay rise.