During an interview, it is essential to present yourself in a positive and outstanding light. However, certain words that may seem advantageous can actually have negative connotations. In this article, we will explore alternative phrases that can be used to enhance your chances during an interview, steering clear of potential pitfalls.

Perfectionist vs. Detail-Oriented:

While it may be tempting to label yourself as a “perfectionist,” this term can imply a tendency towards procrastination. Instead, emphasize your attention to detail and precision. Psychiatrist Dr. Elana Miller, MD, explains that detail-oriented individuals value clear guidelines and prioritize essential tasks over less important ones, ensuring efficient use of resources.

Multitasker vs. Working under Competing Deadlines:

Describing yourself as a “multitasker” may give the impression of being unfocused. Recent research indicates that the brain is not capable of focusing on multiple tasks simultaneously but rather switches attention rapidly. Instead, highlight your ability to work effectively under competing deadlines, showcasing your capacity to manage priorities and deliver results.

People-Person vs. Collaborative, Client-Facing, or Customer-Focused:

While “people-person” may initially seem like a positive attribute, it can also suggest a lack of understanding of the specific job requirements. Instead, use phrases such as collaborative, client-facing, or customer-focused to demonstrate your ability to engage with others effectively and meet their needs. This conveys a deeper understanding of the demands of the role.

Intelligent vs. Fast Learner, Analytical, or Big-Picture Thinker:

Although labeling oneself as “intelligent” may sound promising, it can imply a reliance on natural abilities rather than a willingness to put in effort. Instead, highlight your qualities as a fast learner, analytical thinker, or big-picture strategist. Emphasizing these traits demonstrates your adaptability, problem-solving skills, and a growth mindset, which are highly valued by employers.

During an interview, the words you choose to describe yourself can significantly impact the impression you make on potential employers. By avoiding terms like “perfectionist,” “multitasker,” “people-person,” and “intelligent,” you can present yourself in a more nuanced and effective manner. Emphasizing qualities such as being detail-oriented, working under competing deadlines, having collaborative skills, and demonstrating a growth mindset will showcase your strengths and suitability for the job. Choose your words wisely to convey the good version of yourself during the interview process.