As a Career Coach and former HR executive, trust me – the words you use can really come back to haunt you.
I’ve seen it time and time again. Someone doesn’t get the job or the promotion because of something they say in an interview or in front of a manager. You’d be surprised how many times a manager would recall a small, specific thing one of their employees said that defined that person in the manager’s head forever.
For example – “No.” Now, you may think that it’s important to say “no” sometimes because it shows that you’re not willing to compromise.
But put yourselves in the shoes of a manager. If you have 5 candidates and one of them has a reputation for saying “no” to suggestions or requests – and the other 4 don’t – no matter how qualified this person may be, are you really going to want to promote them? No, you’re going to go with the people you know will try to make things work.
Or say you’re in an interview. If someone asks if you have experience presenting to groups of 20 or more people – and you don’t – you don’t want to outright say “no.” That crosses off one of the things they want out of the position. You should tell the truth without saying “no”, saying something like, “I actually have more experience speaking to groups of around 10, but I feel completely comfortable talking to bigger groups of people.” You took a “no” answer and made it a “yes”!
Check out this great article that calls out 9 other words/phrases besides “no” that you should never say in an interview – Um, Kinda, And What Not, Hate, Sorry, I Don’t Know, What?, Obsessed, and curse words in general.
What other words would YOU add to the list?