A job interview shouldn’t come down to the words you use—you think. But slipping in a buzzword or 10 during the interview process can be key. As career coach Hallie Crawford explains, “in a job interview, hiring managers are alert to certain words and phrases that convey knowledge of the position, confidence, and that a person would be a good fit for the company.” And without them, you could be looked over.
So what are those words you should always use? Here, our experts say, are 12.
Buzzword #1. We. “We” isn’t a buzzword per se, but it’s imperative to drop once—if not a dozen times—during an interview. Why? “Using the word ‘we’ shows that you are already thinking you are part of the team and explaining how you will collectively gain more sales, reach more clients, and more,” explains millennial career expert Jill Jacinto.
Buzzword #2. Flexible. As in, you are flexible—and not in a yoga junkie kind of way. Crawford says that being flexible—whether with your time or your responsibilities—will show a hiring manager that you’d be easy to work with. “Of course, you don’t want to lie if there are some issues you wouldn’t negotiate on,” Crawford advises, “but stressing your flexibility shows the hiring manager that you’d [be a fit in the team].”
Buzzword #3 Leader. You can and should be a leader—even if you’re not applying for a boss’ position. “Every interviewer wants to hear about a time a candidate took charge and owned a project or led a team,” Jacinto says. “No matter what job you are applying for, this skill—and this buzzword—need to be expressed.” How to fit it in, you ask, without sounding like bragging? Something like, “I’ve enjoyed leading a team of …” will do the trick, or try out, “I’ve been a leader in many ways. For example …”