Ace Your Next Interview: Use These Buzzwords and Prepare for These Questions

Landing a job interview is an exciting step in progressing in your career, but the interview process can seem overwhelming. Interviews are stressful and it can be hard to gauge how you did at the end of it all. Most importantly, you have to remember that you’re just one person in a large pool of candidates and you only have one chance to make a great first impression.

So, what can you do to set yourself apart from the other candidates? 

Knowing key phrases to use (and avoid!) can make you stand out in the eyes of the interviewer. Similarly, preparing for common questions can help you feel more confident and relaxed during the interview. 

Here’s an overview to help you feel more prepared to ace your next interview.

How to Use Buzzwords in Your Interview

When you think of buzzwords to use on your resume or in an interview, what do you think of? 


Team player? 



There’s nothing wrong with these words, per se, (in fact, some of them are even on LinkedIn’s list of 2017’s top global buzzwords!) but we recommend moving away from words that describe you in favor of words that describe actions you’ve taken in past positions.

After all, as the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” During your interview, use action words in your answers to back up your skills and show why you’re a good fit. 

Here are 5 powerful action words you may want to use in your next interview:

  1. Improved
  2. Resolved
  3. Achieved
  4. Created
  5. Contributed

All of these terms tie directly into actions you took in previous positions, giving you the opportunity to tie them to results, which is what prospective employees care about the most. 

5 Interview Questions You Should Expect (and How to Answer Them)

Of course, every interview is different and the questions will vary, but there’s a good chance you’ll see a version of these questions while searching for your next job:

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Use this as an opportunity to talk about how you hope to grow in the role, certain skills and certifications you plan to pursue, and specific accomplishments on which you would measure your success. 

      2. Can you tell me about yourself?

Think of your answer to this question as your elevator pitch. If the interviewer only remembers one thing about your conversation, you want it to be this. Don’t talk about personal things like your hobbies; use this time to reference specific achievements from previous roles and make a connection to this new role you hope to get. 

       3. What are some of your weaknesses?

You’ve probably heard that the best way to answer this question is by making your “weakness” really sound like a positive thing. One example of this is saying “I care too much.” But, instead, try speaking about an honest weakness, quickly followed by how you’ve learned from it and steps that you’re actively taking to improve it. This will show your interviewer that you have self-awareness and the drive to change when needed. 

       4. Why do you want to work for us?

Your honest answer may be that the pay and benefits are great, but that doesn’t matter to the interviewer. Benefits are for you and you need to focus on why you’re the right fit for them. Use this time to show that you’ve done research about the company and talk specifically about why this role fits your career goals. 

       5. Do you have any questions for us?

Your answer to this should always be yes! The interviewer wants to know that you care about this position. You can ask about how success is measured in this role, the qualities they’re looking for in this role, and what a typical day looks like in this position. Then, your final question should be something along the lines of whether the interviewer has any concerns about you fitting this position. 

Need more help preparing for the next step in your career? Carolina Career College students have access to lifetime Career Services including resume and cover letter help, professional career coaching, and more. Let us help you get the career you’ve always dreamed about!


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