Ever had to attend an interview in English or at least in part? Unless you are one of those freaks of nature, who don’t seem to get fazed by anything, you are nervous during an interview as it is and then added to that, speaking in a foreign language – nerve-wracking.
So imagine then you even have to remember not to say some words for fear of how the HR bod & whoever else might interpret them. And yet just that is the core message of an article, which I read in ‘Business English, but was originally published in the British newspaper: Independent
I’ll endeavour to give a brief résumé. Check out the list:
NERVOUS: They don’t want to hire somebody who lacks confidence. Advice: ‘Just fake it till you make it’.
SALARY etc: Not in the EARLY stages – raises a red flag. They want an applicant, who aligns with the company mission and values.
WEAKNESS: Don’t voluntarily talk about weakness or mistakes, only if to show improvements.
NEED: Their needs not yours. You are looking for a long-term career NOT a job.
PERKS & BENEFITS: Don’t mention you are attracted to perks – see above.
TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE: No negative language especially concerning current or previous employers/bosses. Even if invited to by interviewers, don’t fall into the trap to bad-mouth anyone.
FINE: is too vague, overused and colloquial – may even be perceived as dishonest and dismissive.
SORRY: used as a filler to seem more polite. Use too much, may be perceived as too passive & indecisive.
ACTUALLY: by prefacing with ‘actually’ you could be seen to be saying the interviewer is wrong.
Wow – what a list. The top 6 seem plausible enough in my humble opinion but the last 3 seem somehow far-fetched and nitpicking.
When working with clients on interview training, I recommend the book ‘The interview question and answer book’ by James Innes and try to model their ‘pitches’ based on the advice & examples given.
QOTD. What’s your take on the list?
freaks of nature (Laune der Natur), to get fazed (beunruhigt werden), nerve wracking (nervenzerfetzend), HR bod (Typ), to endeavour (sich bemühen), résumé (Zusammenfassung), to hire sb (jdn einstellen), to lack confidence (kein Selbstvertrauen haben), to fake sth (hier: vortäuschen) , salary (Gehalt), early stage (Anfangsphase), to raise a red flag (für jdn ein Alarmzeichen sein), applicant (Bewerber), to align with sth (etw zu Eigen machen), values (Werte(vorstellung), weakness (Schwäche), to do sth voluntarily (Freiwillig etw tun), need (hier:Bedürfnisse), perks (Vergünstigungen), benefits (Extraleistungen), to fall into the trap (reinfallen), to bad-mouth sb (über jdn herziehen), to be overused (überstrapaziert), colloquial (Umgangssprache), to perceive sth as (etw empfinden als), dismissive (abweisend, abschätzig), filler (word) (Füllwort), indecisive (unentschlossen), to preface (einleiten), humble opinion (bescheidene Meinung), to be far-fetched (weit hergeholt), nitpicking (Korinthenkackerei), pitch (hier: (Verkaufs)Präsentation bzw. Antworten)