List of keywords to use in job interviews

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking affairs. The candidate wants to say the right things to get across their desire and suitability for the offered role, but it can be difficult to know what this is. One way of taking control of the process is to utilise a number of keywords during the interview. There are certain words that employers like to hear candidates using, and strategic use of them could help you secure the position.


An employer wants to hear that you want the job, not that you are applying because you can’t think of anything else or you simply need any job. He wants to know you are engaged with the work and the company. The word “passionate” can help get this message across. Before the interview identify something that the company is focused on and say you are passionate about it. If the company is consumer-focused, say that you are passionate about delivering the best customer experience possible.


While the ability to focus on a single project is an asset, most jobs involve some degree of multi-tasking, and the employer needs to be confident you can effectively manage several tasks simultaneously. Use the term “multi-tasking” in conjunction with an example of when you successfully did it. The word “practical” is also useful in getting across this quality.


Hopefully you will be communicating well in your interview, but the interviewer wants to know you can effectively articulate ideas and instructions to a wide variety of people, from fellow members of staff to the public. Stress the idea of communication across a number of channels, such as face-to-face, by phone and online, as necessary.

Specific terms

The above terms are applicable to most types of job in most industries. However, a candidate should also try to use keywords associated with her particular sector. So, for instance, if the job requires technical computer knowledge, identify keywords that relate to the specific skills the job demands.


Another technique to consider is mirroring keywords that the interviewer uses. It needs to be reasonably subtle so it doesn’t come across as simply “parroting” the interviewer, but using keywords that the interviewer has deployed shows that you are paying attention and gives the impression that you understand what they are asking for.

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About the Author

Dirk Huds has been a writer/editor for over six years. He has worked for bookshops and publishers in an editorial capacity and written book reviews for a variety of publications. He is currently studying for his master's degree.