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5 cringeworthy cliches to avoid saying in an interview

Job hunting? Steer clear of these cliches in your next interview!

5 cringeworthy cliches to avoid saying in an interview

Interviews are high pressure. And it’s not always easy to know what to say. In fact, it’s often pretty darn hard! But don’t fall into the trap of regurgitating cliches you’ve seen on the internet. You’ll make the interviewer cringe and you’ll also be saying the same thing as most other interviewees. So please don’t let this form part of your interview preparation. You need to make sure your answers are true and authentic to you. That’s what’s really going to make you stand out in an interview.

So let’s take a look at the most common interview cliches:

  • I don’t see failure as failure
  • Playing a strength as a weakness
  • Calling yourself hard working
  • Saying you’re a team player
  • Saying you’re a workaholic

Top 5 most cliche interview answers to avoid

“I don’t see failure as failure”

When an interviewer asks about your biggest failure, they don’t want a philosophical outlook. They really want to hear about a time where something went wrong, and how you grew from it. So try not to argue the point about failures really being lessons. They are. But the interviewer’s interested in your ability to admit that something went wrong. And what you learned.

Playing a strength as a weakness

When answering ‘What’s your biggest weakness’ interview question, answer carefully. Cliches like ‘I’m a perfectionist’ don’t go down well. People use this answer when they can’t admit their flaws. In the working world, it’s important you can recognise your weaknesses. And that’s what the interviewer’s looking for.

Calling yourself ‘hard working’

Describing yourself as a ‘hard working’ employee is just about the most cliche thing you could do. It might be true, but it’s what every other candidate is saying too. Instead, show the interviewer how you’re hard working. What have you done in your career that proves you’re a hard worker? Giving examples will be way more effective than branding yourself as ‘hard working’.

Saying you’re a team player

Yuck. Yes, interviewers love team players. But again, let’s stop throwing words out there about ourselves. Instead, let’s provide tangible examples that imply you’re a good team player. All you’ll need to do is talk about a time when you worked as a team and the interviewer will see you’re a team player. 

Branding yourself as a ‘workaholic’

When you call yourself a ‘workaholic’, you’re usually trying to send the message that you’ll work 24/7. But didn’t you hear? Work-life balance is cool these days. So the interviewers won’t award you brownie points for this answer. If you want to show them you have a good work ethic, talk about meeting your commitments. Talk about how you plan your workload to meet your deadlines. And give them examples of where you’ve had to go beyond your normal duties to complete a task. This will be much more effective than calling yourself a ‘workaholic’. 

Authenticity wins

Interviewers can tell when you’re being authentic, and when you’re not. They hear cliche answers all the time. So if you want to impress, think carefully about your answers to the most common interview questions. Reflect on your experience. Talk about what’s real and true for you. This will shine through more than any cliche!

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