#163: 8 Power Words to Use in Your English Job Interview (and 1 to Avoid)

Feb 5, 2020 | Job Interviews in English

Today we are all about job interviews in English, particularly power words you can use to effectively communicate that you are the right fit for the job you want.

You might be thinking that I’m going to share words like

  • team player
  • honest
  • hardworking
  • confident
  • loyal

But no, none of those words are on my list.

And here’s why: In a job interview, you’re expected to only use positive words to describe yourself. Everyone knows that.

You’ve probably heard the expression in English, you’re supposed to ‘sell yourself.’

Honestly, I hate that word and the whole idea of selling yourself.

The truth is the interviewer doesn’t want to hear words that you think describe you. The interviewer wants to know two things.

  1. Can you do the job well?
  2. Are you the right choice for the position?

Today we’re going to focus on the kinds of power words you can use to say that yes, you absolutely can do the job. And you’re the right choice.

Then at the end, I’m going to share one word you should definitely avoid using in a job interview.

Power Words to Use in Your English Job Interview

Lesson Summary:

Here are the 8 power words I recommend for your English job interview and why.

Number One: Responsible

Every recruiter or interviewer, every employer is looking for someone who is going to do their job and take ownership of it.

What that means is they can rely on you to do the job you’re supposed to do. They don’t need to worry that you might try to avoid doing work or give other people all of your responsibilities.


Number Two: Collaborate

If you want to highlight that you work well with others, then the verb collaborate does that perfectly.

In fact, the precise definition of collaborate means to work with other people to achieve an end goal.


Number Three: Initiative

To take the initiative means is that you do what needs to be done without anyone asking you.

Employers love this because is also shows self-confidence and a commitment to hard work.



Number 4: Lead

Someone who leads inspires others to take action.


Number 5: Resolve

This one is all about problem solving. When we use the word resolved, it communicates that everyone who was part of the problem or disagreement was satisfied in the end, and that is a very positive outcome.


Number 6: Measure

This is about being as specific with your interview answers.

If you want to tell your interviewer that you increased sales last year, that’s fantastic, but if you can make it measurable by saying that you increased sales by 7.9% last year, that is even more powerful.


Number 7: Result

If you have a story about how you collaborated in the past or that you led a team, the interviewer will absolutely want to know what was the end result.

For example, if you have a story about a conflict that you help resolve, what happened after the resolution? Did the team successfully complete a project under budget? Did you win an award for best marketing campaign of the year? What was the final result of the action steps that you took?

This is a great word to pair with the other words on this list. You might talk about an opportunity that you had leading a team and then at the end, you could say the result of that was and then share what happened in the end.


Number 8: Example

This is kind of a weird choice, isn’t it?

Every question in a job interview is an opportunity for you to share an example, a real example, from your past that highlights that, yes, you can do the job and you’re the right choice.

Don’t miss this opportunity.


Now that you have 8 power words to use in your English job interview, let’s talk about 1 word to avoid.

Team player.

Are you shocked? Are you thinking, “But everyone uses it!”

That’s exactly the problem. Everyone uses it.

And as a result, it has lost its power. It’s no longer an effective word to use.

The best way that you can stand out in a job interview is to use power words that accurately describe you and avoid using cliches.

Lessons Mentioned in the Confident English Video:

10 Collocations with Say

15 Collocations for What You Think

Now that you’ve watched the video and added 8 new power words to your vocabulary for a job interview, I want to hear from you.

  1. Number one, I want to know one word on this list that you could use in a job interview and I want you to try using it in a practice sentence.That sentence should include a story or an example of when you’ve exhibited that behavior.
  2. My second question is, what is one English job interview question that makes you super nervous? I would love to know what it is so I can be sure to help you prepare how to answer it.

You can share with me in the comments at the end of this lesson.

~ Annemarie

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