8 Interview Clichés to Avoid

The point of an interview is to show off to the hiring manager how wonderful and unique of a candidate you are.  So why would you waste precious time and words answering questions with clichés?  Unfortunately, when put in a nerve-racking situation, people often freeze up or stumble over their words, and these standard lines are the first things that come to mind.  Here are a few clichés to look out for, and some alternate ways to respond:

1. I’m a Team Player

The ultimate cliché, this one pops up in resumes, cover letters, and interviews.  But what does it really mean?  If you’re a “team player” and really want to get this point across, don’t say this line.  Explain what it is that makes you so great to work with.  Focus on your excellent ability to communicate or your willingness to both lead and follow directions.  Talk about a few instances where you have picked up the slack for someone else without having to be asked.

2. I’m the Perfect Fit

Ultimately this is up to the hiring manager.  Instead of wasting your breath telling them this and expecting them to believe you when they know nothing about you, barrage them with examples of why you’re a great fit.  Then they’ll come closer to making this conclusion on their own.

3. I’m a Hard Worker

Aren’t we all?  Again, saying this really means nothing to the interviewer until you provide concrete examples.  Tell them about all those times when you stayed late, turned work in before its due date, anticipated what needed to get done next, etc.  Make the interviewer really believe that you are a hard worker, because just saying so is not enough.

4. I’m Willing to Do Anything

Often this is the road many people have to take, especially when starting out in entry-level positions.  And while it’s great to have that sort of mentality, you don’t want to sound too desperate in a job interview.  And worse than sounding desperate, you don’t want to imply that the job itself is something you’re “willing to put up with” until you advance on to something better.  Mention specific parts of the job that excite you, and instead of focusing on your willingness to do anything, focus on your desire to do these specific things.

5. I’m a Fast Learner

When you say this, Hiring Managers hear, “I don’t know how to do this“. Saying this makes you sound like you are inexperienced, and that you may be underestimating the level of understanding it takes to do the job.

6. I’m Good with People

That’s exactly what the interviewer is trying to determine in the interview. It’s not just about determining if you have the skills and qualifications to do the job. The interviewer is trying to determine your general demeanor and personal skills, so let them see you in action, don’t simply state it.

7. I’m a very Loyal Person

People who say this are usually overcompensating for holding many jobs in the past, but not staying at any particular job for very long. Candidates who say this are typically concerned that the interviewer will think they’ll get bored and leave soon after taking the position. Instead of saying this, stress how you see this potential employer as a long term career path.

8. I really need this job

Some people think it’s a good idea to talk about their personal life in an interview, and how important it is for their family that they get this job. Even if this is true, do not say it. It only makes you look desperate. The less it seems you need the job, the more valuable you seem to the employer, because other employers want you too.

Clichés hurt you not just because they make you sound less credible, but also because they take away the chance to go into depth and provide specific examples of why you’d be a great hire.  Don’t do yourself an injustice by speaking vaguely with a hiring manager – the specifics will get you much farther.

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Doostang Success — Listings from Quality Employers who are Serious about Hiring

Leanne

NYU, 2010

“All things considered, graduating with a master of science in real estate finance should be concerning these days. The exception is when you receive multiple emails notifying you that an employer has downloaded your resume and shortly thereafter calls to request an interview. This was the case for me, and I cannot thank Doostang enough for facilitating this.

In my experience, Doostang provided job listings from quality employers who were serious about hiring.

This was a refreshing change to the many company websites which display job listings out of protocol but already have candidates teed up for the particular positions listed.

Doostang offered a way for me to differentiate myself amongst other candidates, whereas my university’s career website was bombarded with candidates just like me.

Doostang is not your monster.com, it is a very sophisticated, niche product that is tailored to well-educated and ambitious applicants in their 20s.

Thank you Doostang, you have my highest recommendation.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Research Associate – World’s Leading Finance & Investment Support Firm, New York, NY

Marketing & Communications Assistant – Chicago-Based Private Equity Investment Firm, Chicago, IL

Corporate Strategy Sr. Analyst – Venture-Backed Cleantech Company, SF Bay Area, CA

Sr. Consultant – Establish Management Consulting Firm, Chicago, IL

Quantitative Equity Analyst – Innovative Quantitative Investment Management Firm, Boston, MA

Search jobs on Doostang

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A Powerful Resume for Powerful Results

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Analyst / Associate, New York, NY
Marketing Coordinator, Boston, MA
Private Equity Analyst, Marina Del Rey, CA
Consultant, New York, NY
Acquisitions Associate, Chicago, IL

More recent jobs you might like…

Everyone knows a resume is not the go-to source for entertaining reading material, but if you put in the effort to make your resume more interesting, you may also land a job faster in the process! The key to making your resume a proverbial page-turner is by using powerful language. Gaining the hiring manager’s interest prior to the interview can be done with a few simple tweaks to your resume.

Start with Your Strengths

Although many job seekers still want to start the resume with an objective, this is a sure-fire way to stop the hiring manager from reading your resume. The objective emphasizes your goals, not what you can do for the company. By starting with your strengths, you immediately get the reader’s attention because he or she is able to see you performing specific tasks for the company. Incorporate your track record in the initial summary for maximum power and efficiency in your resume.

Consider using phrases such as “key contributor with broad experience creating procedural systems from the ground up” or “significant strengths to rapidly identify and resolve challenges, while delivering high-level customer service”. Phrases like these convey strengths you bring to the position and allow the hiring manager to see exactly how you can contribute to the company.

Emphasize Accomplishments

As you revise your resume, compare your skills with the requirements in the job description for the new position. Those position requirements are going to help you emphasize parts of your job history that most closely mirror the skills needed for the job. Highlight skills needed for the job, but do so honestly.  Don’t risk losing your opportunity for an interview by over-representing yourself.

An effective strategy for presenting your skills is through the use of lists with action words. Quantify your accomplishments and use powerful language to communicate your strengths clearly and succinctly to the hiring manager. Look at the example below – it clearly presents a candidate who makes things happen!

  • Increased sales $5K monthly while maintaining high levels of quality and safety.
  • Captured $10K in savings by creating a comprehensive tracking spreadsheet.
  • Expanded business 10% skillfully developing relationships with diverse clients.

Use Core Competencies

Including core competencies is one of the most effective tools you can use. Not only can core competencies be critical in pulling your resume out of the pile by increasing the odds of being recognized by electronic searches, but it also provides hiring managers a quick understanding of your skills. Review the strengths easily identified in the list of core competencies below.

  • Business Intelligence
  • Internal/External Relationship Management
  • Inventory Control
  • Database & Tracking Systems
  • Budget Administration
  • Technology Applications

Avoid Repetitive Language

It’s easy to get in a rut by using the same words repeatedly throughout the resume.  A couple of key culprits include “managed” and “supervised”.  Even if you have to pull out the old thesaurus to help you come up with more interesting language – do it! Most word processing programs also have thesaurus functions that help you keep the reader interested by using different words. In our example, you might substitute “directed” for “managed”, or “monitored” instead of “supervised”.

Your goal is to keep the hiring manager interested in your resume – that means you need for the reader to make it through the entire document and still want to know more about you.  The only way for the hiring manager to quench that thirst for more knowledge about you is to call for an interview. Use interesting language even if you don’t see yourself as a writer.

As you read through your resume, gauge how interesting it is and how your skills are projected. Powerful language can move you to the top of the list of qualified candidates. Choose your words carefully to set yourself apart from the competition and achieve results! Now go out there and toot your own horn!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang Success — Summer Associate Job and a Full-Time Offer before Summer’s End

Dave

Fordham University – JD/MBA, 2010
Sales & Trading Summer Associate – Miller Tabak & Co.
Analyst – Aleutian Capital Group

“As my graduation loomed, I found myself quite anxious regarding my job prospects.  I had exhausted the relevant job postings at a variety of websites and was left with little, if anything, to show for all my hard work.  It was around then that one of my friends recommended Doostang.  I was unsure about the idea of paying monthly fees, but I was assured that it would be worth it.

From the very beginning, I was impressed by Doostang’s listings.

The fact that I could not only send my applications directly to employers, but that I could actually ascertain the time and day that my resume was viewed made me feel like I was actually part of a job application process, rather than a wild goose chase.

Within two weeks I was already scheduling interviews.

I received a Summer Associate position from one of my first Doostang-derived interviews, then, having continued sending out applications throughout the summer, I received a full-time offer from another firm before summer’s end.

Doostang ended up being the most valuable tool in my job search and I recommend it to any and all.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Portfolio Analyst – World’s Largest Manager of Leveraged & Inverse Funds, Bethesda, MD

Chief of Staff – Top Social Gaming Company, San Francisco, CA

Sr. Research Analyst – Boutique Hedge Fund, Palo Alto, CA

Business Strategist – Leader in Innovation Consulting, Alexandria, VA

Equity Research Associate – Long/Short Equity Hedge Fund, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang Success — Private Equity Internships and Venture Capital Jobs

Aki

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, 2007
ASSOCIATE – OPENVIEW VENTURE PARTNERS

“I left a position in consulting in June 2010 to move into buy-side investing: I wanted to work in either private equity or venture capital. This was an extremely difficult undertaking, especially recruiting ‘off-cycle’ in a down economy, but I was confident that I could pull through.

Within a month of my departure from consulting, I came across a private equity internship through Doostang. Thinking that this was the perfect opportunity, I applied… and got the internship!

While working at my internship, I continued to search for full-time jobs and applied on a weekly basis. I used every resource available to me: multiple headhunters, trade publications (Private Equity Digest, PEHub), career search engines (Indeed, E-Financial Careers) and, of course, Doostang.

Four months into my search, I came across the perfect opportunity in venture capital… again through Doostang! I interviewed and got the job within a week.

Now, I’m looking forward to starting my dream job — and it wouldn’t have been possible without Doostang.

So, thank you, Doostang! You’ve literally helped me turn my career around. I’ll certainly recommend you to all of my friends in the future.”




Share your Doostang success story and get a
$500 Signing Bonus
from Doostang!


Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Equities Trader – Industry-Leading Equity Trading Firm, New York, NY

Assistant Paralegal – National Immigration Law Firm, Boston, MA

Wealth Strategy Associate – World’s Leading Financial Services Firm, San Francisco, CA

Consultant – Sales Management Consulting Firm, Stamford, CT

Associate – Prominent Boutique Financial Advisory Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: August 30 – September 5

Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Jr. High Yield Research Analyst, New York, NY – Global Asset Management Firm seeks Jr. High Yield Research Analyst.


Procurement Services Director, Nationwide – Executive Search & Recruiting Services seeks Procurement Services Director.


Trader, Chicago, IL – Premier Market Maker in Financial Exchanges seeks Trader.


Public & Private Sector Strategy Consultant, Mclean, VA – Strategy & Technology Consulting Firm seeks Public & Private Sector Strategy Consultant.


Investment Banking Analyst, Boston, MA – Global Investment Banking seeks Investment Banking Analyst.


Business Strategy Planner/Manager, Palo Alto, CA – Largest Internet Company seeks Business Strategy Planner/Manager.


Real Estate Investment Analyst Internship, New York, NY – Investment & Asset Management Firms seeks Real Estate Investment Analyst Intern.

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: August 23 – 29

Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Investment Banking Analyst, Boston, MA – Bulge-Bracket Investment Bank seeks Investment Banking Analyst.


Associate Consultant, Los Angeles, CA – Leading ERP Delivery Consultancy seeks Associate Consultant.


Corporate Finance Analyst, New York, NY – Global Investment Banking Firm seeks First-Year Corporate Finance Analyst.


IT Product/Capability Management Director, Richfield, MN – Top Consumer Electronics Retailer seeks IT Product/Capability Management Director.


Investment Associate, Chicago, IL – Premier Franchise Focused on Private Equity Investments seeks Investment Associate.


Marketing Assistant, London, UK – Premier Energy News Provider seeks Marketing Assistant.


Private Equity Associate/Analyst, Darien, CT – Cutting Edge Investment Firm seeks Private Equity Associate/Analyst.

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: August 2 – 8

Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Junior Research Associate, New York, NY – New Start-up Hedge Fund is Looking for a Junior Research Associate.


Associate, Cambridge, MA – Strategic Advisory Solutions to the Life Sciences Industry is Looking for an Associate.


Investment Associate, San Mateo, CA – Top Investment Management Firm seeks Investment Associate.


Refined Metals Traffic Operator, Stamford, CT – Independent Commodity Trading Company seeks Refined Metals Traffic Operator.


Equity Research Analyst, San Francisco, CA – Premier Financial Advisory Firm seeks Equity Research Analyst.


Procurement Specialist, Akron, OH – Top Automotive Parts Manufacturer is Looking for a Procurement Specialist.


Sr. Equity Research Analyst, Chicago, IL – Financial Services Company seeks Sr. Equity Research Analyst.

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: July 19 – 25

Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Investment Analyst, New York, NY – Global Alternative Investment Management Firm seeks Analyst.


Consultant, Washington, DC – Leading Information Services and Advisory Firm seeks Consultant.


Private Equity Associate (Pre-MBA), San Francisco, CA – Top Tier Private Equity Firm is Looking for a Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate.


Marketing Associate, Jersey City, NJ – Top Privately Owned Placement Service Firm seeks Marketing Associate.


Investment Banking Associate, Atlanta, GA – Prominent Full-Service Investment Banking Firm seeks Investment Banking Associate.


Real Estate Analyst, New York, NY – New York’s Premier Realty Firm seeks Real Estate Analyst (Underwriter).


Sr. Analyst – Corporate Business Development & Strategy, Los Angeles, CA – Fully Integrated, Broad Based Global Entertainment Company is Looking for a Senior Analyst to Join its Corporate Business Development & Strategy Team.

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