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 — Business Consulting Job within 1 Month of Beginning My Search

Alison

Wofford College, 2007
Senior Business Consultant – Perficient

“Initially, I was weary of looking for a new job. I had a stable job that was unfulfilling, but due to all the rumors about how hard it was to find a job, I was afraid to even look. I checked out listing on other job sites and became more disheartened after wading through hundreds of jobs that sounded like scams to find one possibly interesting position.

Then I tried Doostang! After spending a little time on Doostang, I found a number of opportunities that I found interesting and decided to submit my resume.

Within 1 month of beginning my job search with Doostang, I found a position as a Senior Business Consultant with Perficient (formerly Exervio) in Charlotte, NC.”


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:

Private Equity Intern – Progressive Investment Company, New York, NY

Consultant – Top-Notch Consulting Company, Washington, DC

Pre-MBA Associate – Top Private Equity Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Simulation Analyst – Rapidly Growing Boston Area Robotics Company, Boston, MA

Investment Banking Associate – National Securities Company, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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5 Tips to Energize Your Job Search

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Research Assistant, New York, NY
MBA Marketing Summer Intern, Cambridge, MA
Equity Research Analyst, White Plains, NY
Long Term Strategy Manager, Bellevue, WA
Investment Banking Analyst, Washington, DC

More recent jobs you might like…

Although the news has been reporting an upswing in hiring, there are still many workers waiting to land a job. Making that happen requires preparation and creating opportunity, in addition to effectively displaying your skills and value to potential employers. Follow these tips to be prepared and to create opportunity for yourself!

1.  Plan Your Strategy.

Review all the positions to which you have applied and analyze them for similarities and differences. Compare these trends with your skills, experiences, and goals. How closely does your skill set match with your job search?

For many job seekers, the longer one is out of work, the broader the net becomes. This strategy may have been effective in the past, but current hiring managers simply aren’t interested in being a part of your broad-based search. In order to make an impact, understand that the hiring manager views your search as a mini-performance evaluation. If your search appears disjointed or lacks coherence, most employers will consider this as indicative of your future performance on the job! Match your skills as closely as possible to available jobs to maximize your efforts.

2.  Create a List.

Targeting your job search with specific goals is just as critical well into the process as it was during week one. Writing down your goals can focus your efforts more effectively and help you present a more powerful image to potential employers. Creating a list will also allow you to follow up in person with potential employers, an action that will set you apart from the majority of candidates being considered for the position. You can also use your list to track contacts with employers, increasing the level of organization on display to potential employers.

3.  Invest in the List.

Your earlier analysis of skills and experiences will help you identify any potential areas of training that may help you stand out from the competition. Go beyond the initial job description for the position of interest to learn more about the company’s presence in the local community. Although employers are primarily interested in your on-the-job value, if you are able to engage them in conversations about corporate philanthropy, you are demonstrating a deeper understanding of the company’s values, prompting them to invest in you as well!

4.  Showcase Accomplishments that Align with Corporate Projects.

A resume is an effective tool to help you open doors, but in order to do so it must be closely aligned with the company’s mission, values, and top-notch projects. Edit your resume so that only the most meaningful accomplishments are included. Many job candidates become emotionally attached to certain achievements, often from early in their careers. But the fact that you earned “Rookie of the Year in Sales” when you were just out of college will do little to land the job. Focus your resume on more recent accomplishments, usually within the last 10 to 15 years, and select those that mirror the needs of the company’s most important, visible, and profitable departments.

5.  Go Beyond the Resume.

Finally, no matter how outstanding your resume is, these days it often takes more than a great resume to land the job. Brainstorm how you can make yourself stand out beyond the resume. In addition to including the personal contact noted above, this step may also include creating white papers that outline potential areas of improvement for the company. Or you may consider branding opportunities for yourself – from business cards to promotional items to lunch or treats for the helpful staffers you have met along the way.

Getting a good position is definitely a job within itself. A key in minimizing the amount of time you spend in that space is directly linked to your efforts and initiative. Posting your resume is not enough in this economy to get the response you want. Use your understanding of people and organizations to help move your efforts forward. Think of your job search as a personal marketing campaign and implement a bit of self-promotion strategy to make yourself known and to land an interview!

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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How to Leave a Job on a Good Note

1st-Year M&A Analyst, New York, NY
Marketing Assistant, Exton, PA
Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Copywriter, Wakefield, MA
MBA Summer Associate, New York, NY

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Saying “sayonara” to a job can be a tearful transition or the greatest day of your life.  But no matter what your thoughts are on leaving your job, it’s important that you leave on a good note.  Here are a few things you can do to ensure a tactful farewell:

Give Appropriate Notice

Make sure that you give at least the standard two weeks notice when you are resigning your post.  Quitting in a huff may feel like the right thing to do in the moment, but it will come back to haunt you in the future – there’s no need to burn any bridges or risk having a former bitter boss badmouth you to a hiring manager.  If you can give more than two weeks notice, that’s great, and only leaves more time for the company to take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition on their end.

Write Thank You Notes

It’s a nice touch to write thank you notes to people such as your boss, peers you worked closely with, and others who made an impact on you at your job.  These are the people you spent every day with, collaborating on projects together and learning from.  Thank them for what they taught you and for the time you spent together – they’ll really appreciate the gesture and will be excited to see you succeed in the next phase of your career.

Tie Up Loose Ends

In your remaining time at a company, make sure to work hard through your end date.  While it may be tempting to slack off given the lack of immediate repercussions, it demonstrates that you don’t care and can tarnish your office reputation.  Do what you can to finish up projects, hand off remaining work to other individuals, and help set up the person who will be replacing you.  If you can, offer to train your replacement.

Celebrate

Do something on your last day to mark your farewell to the company – and to the individuals with whom you spent so much time during your days there.  Go out to lunch, bring in cupcakes, make a toast… do something to recognize that you appreciate the people around you and are leaving on good terms.  That way, your farewell will feel more like a celebration of your time there, rather than like an awkward goodbye.

Some of us just hate goodbyes, but don’t let your distaste for them leave a bad taste in your company’s mouth.  Follow the proper etiquette, be gracious, and have a little fun, and you’ll be sure to make a grand exit!

Hasta la vista, baby!!

The Doostang Team

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Doostang Success — Investment Banking Analyst Job that I Had Been Searching For

Jesse

University at Albany, State University of New York, 2007
Investment Banking Analyst – BB&T Capital Markets | Windsor Group

“I knew Doostang hosted a premier listing of job opportunities, but I was hesitant at first to subscribe to the paid service. After months of searching and no luck, I decided to see if applying through the “Doostang Network” would yield better results.

Contrary to my experience applying directly through career websites, I was contacted by several companies through Doostang. In many cases, I got nearly instant feedback, because Doostang alerts you whenever an employer views your resume.

After a challenging interview process with one of the respondents, I landed the job that I had been searching for!”


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:

Venture Capital Associate (Pre-MBA) – Expansion-Stage Venture Capital Fund, Boston, MA

Business Analyst – Leading Digital Strategy, Design & Development Agency, New York, NY

Analyst Group Head – Top Wealth Management Service Provider, Miami, FL

Intern – Leading Management Consulting Firm, New York, NY

Jr. Associate – Top Tier Venture Firm, SF Bay Area, CA

Search jobs on Doostang

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Tricky Interview Questions

Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Operations Intern – Summer MBA, Atlanta, GA
Entry-Level Financial Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
Consulting Analyst, Waltham, MA
Compliance Analyst, New York, NY

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We’ve covered a lot of tough interview questions in past posts, and here we come at you with yet another round.  Sometimes interviewers ask us questions that are more on the tricky side.  It’s hard to know what to say – it often seems the best approach is to tell them what they want to hear, rather than the truth – and sometimes it’s just confusing why these questions are being asked in the first place.  Here are a few examples:

What Are Your Hobbies?

Why is this question relevant to the job you’re applying for, and why would the interviewer care enough to ask this in a formal interview?  Try to look at this question as a means for the interviewer to understand who you are a little better.  If you’re hired, you’ll be absorbed into the company culture, so the company wants to get a more complete picture of you as an individual.  Understanding what you do for fun can help the interviewer determine what your working style might be like.  It can also help them determine how a job will fit into your life, given what you do outside of your work.

How Would Your Coworkers Describe You?

Do you even know the answer to this question?  Could you really provide an accurate assessment of what others think?  This question is more of a way for the interviewer to find out what qualities you most value about yourself, as you likely assume that these are the same traits that others appreciate.  It also showcases how modest or overconfident you might be.  Here you might take the chance to describe some positive interactions you’ve had with coworkers, citing instances where you have collaborated with them on projects.  This will give you a way to back up your answer, as well as to imply that you are able to work well in a team.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is tricky because it’s hard to tell if you should speak about yourself in five years at that company – after all, you don’t want to appear presumptuous, but you also don’t want to seem disloyal.  And what if where you want to be is in the seat of the person who is interviewing you?  Instead of focusing on what specific position you see yourself in, try to think of things you want to have achieved.  In what areas will you grow the most?  What goals do you have for your career?  After you’ve considered these questions, you can then turn your answer around and talk about ways in which you will be able to accomplish all of this at the company you are interviewing for, speaking about how your growth will be mutually beneficial for you and the corporation.

Some questions during the interview can seem like time wasters – and some are.  But interviewers often have underlying points they’re trying to get at, even if it’s just to see how you’ll react to a specific question.  Try to prepare for an interview as thoroughly as you can and keep an open mind when tackling tricky questions like these.

All the best,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Apr 11 – 17


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.


Credit Analyst, San Francisco, CA – Multi-Strategy Credit-Focused Hedge Fund seeks a Pre-MBA Credit Analyst.


Marketing Writer, Scottsdale, AZ – Boutique Personal Financial Planning & Investment Management Firm seeks a Marketing Writer.


Investment Banking Associate, Palm Beach, FL – Sector-Leading Boutique Investment Bank seeks an Investment Banking Associate.


Business Development Analyst, Los Angeles, CA – World’s Largest Commercial Real Estate Services Firm seeks Business Development Analyst.


Associate, Washington, DC – Leading Private Equity Investment Firm seeks an Associate.


Consultant – Strategy Consulting, Boston, MA – Leading Strategy & Economics Consulting Firm seeks Strategy Consultant.


Private Equity Analyst, New York, NY – Private Family Office seeks Private Equity Analyst.

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Doostang Success — Senior Associate Consulting Job of My Choice

Kapil

University of Virginia – Darden School of Business,  2009
Senior Associate – PwC

“I graduated with an engineering degree and pursued an MBA from a top 10 business school. I had several years of consulting experience and wanted to move higher-up the ladder in the consulting industry. I started my job search using LinkedIn, IvyExec.com and TheLadders.com. I spent a couple of months using these sites, but I was not getting any success.

One of my friends suggested Doostang to me. Within 1 month of using Doostang I had 3 interviews lined up and now I have a full time job of my choice. I believe that this would not have been possible without Doostang.

I found the job listings on Doostang to be very premium, and recruiters contact you very quickly. I also liked the portal design – it is very convenient to use and offers nice features to narrow down your searches. Furthermore, I was very impressed with the daily emails that listed new jobs at the top to keep my attention. Thank You Doostang.”



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:

Investment Banking Analyst – Boutique Brokerage & Investment Banking Firm, New York, NY

Web Developer/ UI Designer – Game-Changing Social E-Commerce Platform, SF Bay Area, CA

Research Assistant, Largest Independent Investment Firm, Richmond, VA

Entry level Sales/Marketing Associate – Upstart Mineral Water Company, San Francisco, CA

Convertible Analyst – Globally-Focused Brokerage Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Dec 13 – 19


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.


Private Equity Consulting Associate, San Francisco, CA – Leading Investment Advisory Firm seeks Private Equity Consulting Associate.


Product Marketing Associate, Jersey City, NJ – Rapidly Growing E-commerce seeks Product Marketing Associate.


Associate Analyst, Chicago, IL – Premier investment Manager seeks Associate Analyst.


Consultant, San Francisco, CA – Growing Sales Management Consulting Firm seeks Consultant.


Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate, Philadelphia, PA – Leading Publicly Traded Holding Company seeks Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate.


Business Analyst, Chicago, IL – Growing Sales Management Consulting Firm seeks Business Analyst.


Economist, New York, NY – High Profile Nation’s Economic Mission in America seeks Economist.

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