Powerful words to use in Interviews

Word choice during an interview can make the difference between getting the job and being just another ho-hum candidate. These powerful ideas will help you standout as a candidate.

Responsibility: During an interview, it’s always good to demonstrate that you’re responsible—you want to show interviewers that if you’re set to a task, you’ll not only accomplish it, you’ll do it on time and to the standards laid out. Example words,

  • Accomplish
  • Coordinate
  • Detail-oriented
  • Effective
  • Efficient

Words Reflecting Company Values:  Want to show a company you’re a good fit? Mirror the words the company uses to describe itself. Very likely, these same catchphrases are used frequently in internal communications and company-wide meetings. Even if interviewers don’t consciously realize that you’re reflecting their own words back, it’ll make a subtle, positive impression. Examine the language on the company’s “About Me” page on their website, on social media pages, and within the job advertisement. You can also choose synonyms to avoid sounding too much like you’ve memorized the company’s own copy. This will help interviewers know that you understand what they’re looking for.

Passion: One of the things interviewers try to uncover is if you’re just going to show up and do the job, or if you genuinely care about your work. Will you go above and beyond your job description? Example Words

  • Energized
  • Enthusiastic
  • Interested
  • Love
  • Motivated
  • Priority
  • Win

Leadership: Are you interviewing for a leadership role? If so, it’s particularly important to use strong, active verbs. Show how you’ve led teams and projects, and take ownership of results and accomplishments. Example Words

  • Accelerate
  • Accomplish
  • Build
  • Coordinate
  • Deliver
  • Develop

Industry Buzzwords and Jargon: Each industry comes with its own buzzwords. When you’re outside of the field, this jargon can be off-putting—like a secret code keeping you from following the conversation. Once you’re in the know, and the jargon is familiar, using it during conversations is a bit like a secret handshake—it lets interviewers know you really get it. To use jargon, of course, you’ll have to understand it, so if you’re new to it, read up, get familiar. Follow people in the industry on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, and seek out relevant blogs and videos.

Getting ready for an interview

Get Ready to Interview

An important step in landing a job is acing your interview. You may have several rounds of interviews, usually starting with a phone interview, then followed by in-person interviews. You should never risk an interview by “just winging it.” Take your interview preparation seriously, and be sure to:

  • Carefully read the job description, focusing on the responsibilities and requirements. Be prepared to explain, with tangible examples, how you fit the requirements and how you can fulfill the responsibilities.
  • Research the company, including their mission statement and any recent or notable achievements, or changes in strategy or positioning.
  • Practice answering interview questions specific to your desired position and industry.

Prepare for a Phone Interview

For a phone interview, set aside at least 45 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time. Have your resume and cover letter printed or open on your computer for reference. Be sure to take the call somewhere with excellent cell service. If you have one, a landline is preferable for optimal audio quality.

Prepare for an In-Person Interview

For an in-person interview, arrive 10 minutes early with a printed cover letter and resume. Be sure to dress to impress, and express polite and professional enthusiasm about the position and the company.

Take the Time to Say Thanks

Be sure to take the time to follow-up after the interview with a thank you note or email message reiterating your interest in the job and the company.

Questions Interviewers ask to test your personality.

What was the last new task or skill you learned, and how did you go about it?

Employers ask this question to evaluate how a candidate views their own professional development.

Answer with details on how you learn new skills. Emphasize that you’re curious and continually learning new things about your profession.

Tell me about a time that you did more than what was required on the job

Your interviewer wants to make sure that you’re committed to excelling.

Give an example of a time where you went above and beyond the call of duty. This will also help show that you care about the quality of your work.

If your best friend was sitting here, what would they say is the best part about being your friend?

The purpose of this question is to bring out a sense of honesty and candor in a candidate.

Learning about what makes an applicant a good friend allows employers to get a better feel for whether or not they would fit in with the company culture.

If you could change one thing about the way you approach challenges, what would it be?

This question puts candidates on the spot, and allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to admit there are some aspects of their professional life they would like to improve.

Since humility is an important quality to many employers, a response to this question is something they listen closely to.

Critical questions to ask during Job Interviews in Bellevue

#1. Gather critical information about the unwritten requirements of the job.
Job postings are generally written by human resources and are likely to be somewhat vague. All too often, the hiring manager’s true needs will not be listed or prioritized appropriately. So, without first finding out additional information, it can be awfully difficult to present yourself as the ideal employee.

Be proactive, ask questions and assume the role of a consultant rather than simply a job-seeker. Moreover, do this as early into the interview as possible. It is only after you have gathered the specifics of the problems the manager is facing that you should begin selling yourself to the position. The following will be helpful in getting the interviewer to start talking:

  • What do you view to be the most critical aspects of the job?
  • In your mind, what needs to get done immediately?
  • How can the new person make your life easier?

#2. Overcome age-related objections.
One of the biggest stereotypes younger managers hold against mature applicants is that they are set in their ways and reluctant to take direction. You can address this misconception by opening up the dialogue with questions that show you welcome the opportunity to learn.

Further, you want to let them know that you thrive on change and new challenges. Because people make up their minds about you within a very brief amount of time (first impressions), you want to counteract any stereotype about your age as quickly as you can.

Preface your questions by saying something like, “I enjoy being challenged and learning new things…”

  • In your estimation, what are the major demands of the position so that I might continue to increase my knowledge and grow my skill sets?
  • How do you see the work moving forward as the technology develops? (Be sure to underscore how you enjoy keeping current with the latest advancements in your field.)

#3. Help the hiring manager define his or her true needs. Many times (especially if the position is new), hiring managers may not recognize the specifics of what they truly hope to accomplish. You can help them clarify these outcomes by asking open-ended questions about the ultimate goals of the position:

  • What do you consider to be the most pressing objectives and/or goals of the job?
  • How will a successful employee in this position benefit your team and your desired outcome overall?

Follow up with, “If I’m understanding you correctly, you are looking for someone who can…” and then explain how your skills and experience are a match with their needs.

#4. Show you have done your homework and are knowledgeable about the job, the organization and the field in general.
You want to present yourself as a knowledgeable insider— someone with the skills, experience and personal strengths for the job. You also want to let your interviewer know that you took the time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the particulars of the position and the goals of the company.

Prepare open-ended questions that will underscore these facts. You can even begin with the phrase, “Well, I’ve done my homework and…”

Job interviews are your time to show how your skills, experience, attitude and enthusiasm will support the needs and goals of the hiring manager. This can only be done if you have a thorough understanding of what is involved. So ask open-ended questions often and early. Take on the role of consultant and make this conversation a true exchange of information and ideas.

By posing smart questions, explaining how you can make a difference and presenting yourself with confidence, you will make that all important, powerful first impression. In fact, with a little luck and the right timing, chances are good that your well-positioned, open-ended questions just might help you get the offer and land the job!

Things to do before that big job interview in Seattle

Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog. With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. Take the opportunity to read as much as you can about the company, dont just rely on the main website, look deep and look wide.

Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

Prepare for The “What’s Your Weakness?” Question

 Most people overthink this question and give a canned answer like “I’m too much of a perfectionist!” Others give a genuine answer but still fall short of what this question is really asking. It’s not about admitting your weaknesses. It’s about showing how you overcome them. What systems have you put in place? What progress have you made? Include those thoughts to strengthen your answer.

Brainstorm 3 “PAR” Anecdotes

Your interview is as memorable as the stories you share. Many people have fascinating experiences but forget them when they’re on the spot.  To remedy this, have three anecdotes ready to plug into your interview. Your anecdotes should follow a simple format:

  1. Problem – what was the situation?
  2. Action – what did you do to solve it?
  3. Result – what changed afterwards?

With this format, you can adapt your PAR anecdotes to fit a variety of questions such as “tell me about a time you worked with a team” or “when have you struggled most?”

Non Verbal Cues for Successful Job interviews in Seattle

Practice good nonverbal communication

It’s about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning — or quick ending — to your interview.

Dress for the job or company

Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.


From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.

Don’t talk too much 

Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position’s requirements and relating only that information.

Don’t be too familiar 

The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

Start 2017 Job search in Bellevue by answering these difficult questions.

1. What are you doing that’s difficult?

2. What are you doing that people believe only you can do?

3. Who are you connecting?

4. What do people say when they talk about you?

5. What are you afraid of?

6. What’s the scarce resource?

7. Who are you trying to change?

8. What does the change look like?

9. Would we miss your work if you stopped making it?

10. What do you stand for?

11. What contribution are you making?