No BS Job Search Advice: The Three Dirty Words of Interviewing

The Three Dirty Words of Interviewing

NEVER use are what I call the three dirty words of interviewing—“only,” as in I’ve only done this or I’ve only done that; “light,” as in I have light experience with that; “just,” as in I’ve just done this or I’ve just done that.

These three words don’t have any meaning other than, “I’m not confident in my ability to answer questions on this subject. Could we go onto something else please?” Don’t reveal that so easily.

Instead, for every question, tell them what you know and what you’ve done. If it’s sufficient, great, and if it isn’t, that’s okay too. But “only,” “just,” and “light” basically disqualifies you as not having any knowledge on the given subject at all—and you’ve done the disqualifying.

If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about a subject, tell them what you know and what you’ve done. You can’t fake it, because even if you get hired they’ll find out fast that you’re incompetent, and the price that you pay for that is getting fired. You’re better off always being accurate. It’s always better not to lie because lies are always found out.

If you’ve been trained in the area in question, tell them you’ve been trained in it. If you haven’t had a lot of experience, tell them what you recall about the subject, but don’t emphasize what you don’t know. Telling them what you do know, focusing on the positive, is always the right way to answer every question.

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