The 3 words you should never say in a job interview

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Why changing three words improves your interview performance

Going into a job interview, it's understandable to be nervous.

You do your best to prep real answers to imaginary questions. But chances are good you'll not only be asked a question you didn't anticipate, but also one that leaves you stumped.

If you find yourself stuck for an answer, resist all urges to reply: "I don't know."

Monster's Catherine Conlan offers up a better response: "That's a good question."

"It can give you a few moments to come up with an answer and, in the meantime, strokes the interviewer's ego a little bit too," she notes.

In addition to the right answer to a tough question, Conlan has several other must-dos for your next interview:

Ask good questions

Smart, thoughtful queries show you're intelligent and well-prepared. Some of Conlan's suggestions:

  • What are the biggest short- and long-term issues I would need to focus on in this position?
  • What would I need to focus on differently than the previous person in this position?
  • What organizational issues should I be aware of?

The company’s own words

Peruse the organization’s Web site, brochures or any related material.

"Pay attention to the words used - what’s important to the organization?" Conlan advises.

See if you can seamlessly and subtly use any of their keywords or phrases in your answers – without being too obvious.

The use of important words or phrases can subconsciously hit home with your interviewer, furthering the fact that you’re already in sync with the organization.

via Monster

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