The job market has never been more fierce and job seekers are trying their best to get their foot in the door. However, many applicants often get too nervous that they don’t know what to answer, and end up saying things out of context. So to impress your employers, you need to know the right things to say in an interview.
Why should you be thoughtful of things to say in an interview?
The purpose of a job interview is to show your potential employer how fitting you are for the role and their company’s culture. While it can make your stomach turn, this feeling is quite common.
Despite the growing fear, practicing your answers at home can help you land the job. You can sway your interviewer’s hiring decisions in your favor because of this. Why?
Because not a lot of job seekers attend their job interviews armed with thoughtful answers to interview questions. By failing to prepare ahead of time, they wind up oversharing things about their personal life story that don’t relate to the job requirements. At the same time, others don’t share enough information, which can be a wasteful effort on both parties.
Passing your job interview is pretty straightforward. Just give your hiring managers what they want to hear. While not every Q & A will be similar because of the nature of the job, sometimes the things you say in a job interview rarely change. So to ease the tension, it’s wise that you’re here reading about it.
20 Best things to say in an interview
45 minutes. That’s all the time you get to impres the hiring manager. And if you happen to grab their attention, your conversation could last to a maximum of 1 hour, which is a good sign that you did well on your job interview.
Job seekers only get 1 job interview opportunity for every 6 applications they submit. So it can be tough. But once you get the chance to have an interview about your skills and job experience, go with a real bang! This will surely convince your potential future employer to stop the interview process with you. After all, you gave them the best interview answers.
Practice these 20 best things to say in an interview to show your interviewer that you have what it takes to be a part of their company:
1. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Starting your interview with a professional attitude from the get-go makes a good first impression. But don’t only do this with your hiring managers. Greet the company receptionist if you have the chance, because it shows that you treat everyone with equal importance.
When you enter the room, you may either have one interviewer or even three. In that case, acknowledge the person nearest to you with “Good morning/afternoon/evening, Mr./Ms._______. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
While you’re at it, maintain a smile, eye contact, and a firm but not forceful handshake. This shows that you have confidence even if you’re faking it.
If possible, make room for small talk. Interviewers want to be valued and heard too, and light conversations can lighten up everyone’s mood.
On some occasions when your interviewers ask you, “What’s so good about the morning?” Chances are they’re just having fun. So join in if you have it in you. You can say, “What’s not good about the mornings? I get to meet such accomplished people today.”
2. “Thank you for meeting me today.”
After your initial greeting, express your gratitude to your hiring manager for considering your application. Doing this shows that you have respect for their time and energy. They go through an average of 250 resumes for 1 job listing but only interview 4-6 candidates for the job. Surely they have their hands full.
Here are some sample things to say in a job interview to thank your interviewer for their time:
- “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.”
- “I appreciate this job interview opportunity.”
- “I want to take this time to say my gratitude for this opportunity to have an interview.”
There will be times when unexpected questions will pop up during the initial phase of a job interview. Your interviewer may ask, “Do you consider yourself lucky?” They ask this question to get to know your attitude and outlook.
You may say something along these lines, “Luck can only get you so far. But I owe it to the supportive people around me. Still, success is nothing without working hard and learning from failures.” Try not to make your answer all about yourself since it may come off as a red flag.
Many job interviewers pay close attention to this during interviews:
Don’t sit down right away. Wait until your interviewer invites you to do so, as it’s a sign of proper etiquette. While you’re sitting, keep a proper posture during the entire meeting. This means no slouching, no crossing arms , and no clenching fists.
3. “I read and understood the job description.”
There’s a difference between reading and understanding every word that’s in your job listing. Saying that you understand the job description means that you acknowledge every aspect of your role in your new job. Moreover, it shows that you have a good grasp of the company’s expectations of you. And you can perform the important functions of your job with excellence.
No matter the position you’re applying for, your job description still matters during your interview process. For example, if the company states that they’re looking for a “go-getter,” mention the time that you worked independently in your previous job.
4. “I researched your company.”
Not a lot of job hunters research the company before their job interviews. But job interviewers appreciate it when their applicants go the extra mile to get to know the products, company culture, and history.
You may say, “I’m very familiar with what your company does and how your products improved the lives of many.” And if they ask, “How well do you know our products?”
Respond with this, “(Potential new company name) has a 4.7 star rating on Trustpilot to which a customer said that they felt cared for from your stellar customer service representative. Not to mention how (Product name) improved your client’s immune system, which helped her heal after her surgery.”
As you explain your answers, use hand movements to highlight a particular point. But don’t make it look assertive. Keep it natural instead. Do your best to avoid nail biting or touching your face because it’s an inappropriate interview behavior.
Hand gestures and body language are not only for in-person job interviews. You can also do this with video interviews, too.
5. “I want to learn more about the company.”
Saying that you’re eager to know more about the company demonstrates that you want to hear about the organization’s story through the eyes of their employees.
Even if you’re the interviewee, you can still ask for further information about the company to help you make rational career decisions.
You may ask these meaningful questions below at the end of your interview:
- “What’s the best part of working for this organization?”
- “What’s the company’s management style?
- “How has the company evolved since they started?”
As much as possible, don’t present your questions all at once. Allow your interviewer to answer before you ask a new question. And don’t ask anything too personal. You want to establish rapport, but don’t do it by asking personal life queries.
When your hiring manager is explaining their answers, keep a confident gaze instead of making your eyes look droopy and bored. At the same time, add a couple of head nods to agree to what they’re saying or when they’re speaking too long. That way, your body language shows that your mind isn’t wandering.
6. “I’m interested in this job.”
Letting your hiring manager know that you’re interested in the role shows your passion towards their products, mission, ethics, and brand identity. When you combine all of these, it should align with your professional skills, characteristics, goals, and personal values with the company.
Here’s what you can say, “The company culture of this organization perfectly lines up with my personality and core values. I’ve read about your company on Forbes and it seems like I can fit in well in this forward-thinking work environment.”
Although this is a general statement, you can mention specific things that you’ve heard or read about the company. This is the ideal place to show your excitement and enthusiasm. However, while spelling out your interest, maintain a positive voice tone and avoid a low monotone pitch.
7. “My qualifications perfectly fit your requirements.”
Apart from describing how well you match with the company’s brand, sharing that your skills fit their requirements can help you stand out as well.
So tell your interviewer this, “Your job description fits well with my qualifications. I understand that the job needs someone who knows how to expand and retain customers. Here’s an example of how my skills can benefit your business: By implementing an effective customer loyalty program in my former company, I was able to increase customer accounts by 16% and customer retention by 19%.”
By giving a cause-and-effect story, your potential employer can imagine what your skills and experience can do for them.
8. “Here’s what I can do to excel in this position.”
Interviewers want to know that you have what it takes to shine in the job position. So explain to them that you’re capable of exceeding their expectations.
“I am a relentless learner. I believe that there’s always something new to discover and I can use this growth mindset to excel in this position. For instance, I was assigned some tasks that were out of my job description. Instead of disturbing my manager, I took the initiative to learn how to execute my new assignment through available resources on the internet. Because of that, they titled me as employee of the month to recognize my hard work.”
There will be follow-up questions that will pop up in a job interview. So your recruiter might ask you, “Why do you want this job?” While it’s a big mistake for some job applicants to speak negatively about their previous employers, these are the things you should never say during a job interview.
Here’s what you can say instead:
“While I enjoyed the past 5 years with my current employer, I am ready to take on new, challenging opportunities that will help me grow in a professional setting. So I think working here can give me the chance to achieve that.”
9. “Here’s how I will handle challenges in this position.”
It’s common for most hiring managers to ask problem-solving interview questions. It’s a way for them to find the best candidate.
When your interviewer asks how you handle setbacks, you may say, “At my previous role, our department was going through some bug issues on our website that kept us off track from our tasks. I used my keen sight to details to spot the problem and eventually we were able to submit our work in the nick of time. After encountering such challenges, I took some initiative to train our team to address hiccups themselves to improve their efficiency.”
You can easily answer questions like these with the S.T.A.R. method. This acronym means:
T – Task
A – Action
R – Result
By using this S.T.A.R technique, you can answer almost any problem-solving interview questions to describe your past experience.
10. “Here’s how I can contribute to the company’s goals.”
Goals are important to every company’s growth. So by describing what you can do to play a part in their mission, you become an asset to their success.
You can say this in your next job interview:
“I can contribute to the company’s goals by incorporating the proper software to improve team performance and training them on how to use it effectively. Since the company operates in a competitive market niche, streamlining your customer relationship management process not only improves team efficiency but also boosts your sales. I did the same tactic in my previous position and it significantly helped them get closer to their goals.”
11. “I’m a fast learner.”
The world changes so quickly and employers need someone who can catch up with the changing systems within their organization. By having this trait, you ensure the company that you won’t hold them back from their progress. The last thing they want is someone who needs frequent retraining because a new employee can’t grasp anything.
Being a fast learner means:
- You’re capable of performing tasks of exceptional quality.
- You’re versatile and adaptable regarding new tasks and responsibilities.
- You’re receptive to instructions and directions.
You don’t have to limit yourself by saying I’m a fast learner. Chances are other candidates will also say that. If you want to stand out, here’s an example interview answer:
“In my previous positions, I have gotten used to learning new workplace guidelines so it doesn’t take me a long time to adapt to new work environments. I developed a personal onboarding system in place where I get to know everyone during the first couple of days to understand their role. By learning those who have similar responsibilities as me, I get to speed up my learning process with little supervision.”
12. “I’m flexible.”
When people say they bend but not break, that means they’re flexible. And most interviewers want to hire those who can adjust to sudden changes at work easily. So after explaining a scenario where you showed flexibility, they might ask you this follow-up job interview question. “How do you handle multiple tasks at the same time?”
Offer them this answer, “In my last job as a sales agent, I was also attending night classes to earn a certification. Both work and my education were my priorities. So I came up with a schedule that allowed me to be flexible. I had to set boundaries between my work and school demands so I can focus my energy on the tasks at hand. This allowed me to graduate on time without compromising my job. That’s why I’m confident I’d make a strong candidate for this role.”
While some job candidates will get nervous with questions like these and unconsciously say filler words like “Um,” “Like,” “Uh,” and “Er.” However, there may be interviewers who wouldn’t mind them. It’s best to minimize them as much as possible to remain professional.
13. “I work well with a team.”
Teamwork and collaboration are vital to a growing business. So by telling your interviewer that you’re a team player, they may think you’d make a great candidate for this particular job.
You may say, “I used to work in the marketing department and my former employer decided that we were going to have a virtual event. It was my first time cross collaborating with other departments. To be honest, I enjoy working on my own. But after this experience, I realized that working with other teams energized me. They were very supportive and gave me some advice on the latest promotion tactics. Coming together as a team strengthened our bond and we could find solutions that we wouldn’t have otherwise thought of if we didn’t work together.”
When you’re answering interview questions about teamwork, avoid using “I” even if you’re the one being interviewed. The reason for this is that saying “I” too often is a sign that you prefer working alone, instead of working with a group.
14. “I’m experienced in this job.”
When your interviewer knows that you may not require additional training, their hiring decision may be in your favor. Even if your application letter and resume has all the details of your work history, it’s best to explain them verbally.
You can explain them this:
“I’ve been an executive assistant for almost 6 years. And my current job requires me to collaborate with other assistants to align meeting schedules, book travel tickets, and compile reports for the financial specialist. Within 8 months of working for my last boss, I was able to optimize their email system to improve communication across offices. This led to the decrease in unread messages by 31%. With that being said, I want to use the same organizational skill to achieve the same if not better communication process in your office.”
By stating the data of your interview answer, it serves as evidence and a proven value of experience.
15. “I’m genuinely passionate about my work.”
No business can flourish without passionate employees. So include in your job interview answer a positive outcome from your passion.
Here’s what you can say, “I’m passionate about my work and therefore I focus my attention on my physical and mental health. So I signed up for a gym subscription several months ago. After getting used to having a structured training routine, I started having mental clarity which allowed me to work efficiently.”
Your job interviewer might ask “But what does your physical health have to do with this job?”
Respond with this, “It has everything to do with this job opportunity because I need to be in good shape even if my work requires me to sit down all day. For example, if I am not in the right physical condition, I’d have more work absences due to chronic pain that’s affecting my overall productivity. So by taking care of my body, I produce better work output.”
This is a great answer because you’re giving one passion that’s not related to your work, but somehow it reinforces a positive result towards your potential job.
16. “I’m highly motivated.”
During a job interview, your hiring manager wants to know how committed you are towards your work. They want to see that you can still put your best foot forward even while they’re not around.
After giving your answer about what motivates you, your interviewer might have additional interview questions. They may ask, “What do you do to stay motivated?”
Here’s a sample answer:
“Not everyone will have motivation to work every single day. So I rely on self-discipline to fuel me when my motivation is running low. I try to pair up dreadful tasks with something that I really enjoy doing. For example, I listen to ambient music and light a candle while working to elevate my mood. By doing so, I don’t compromise my work performance even though work seems challenging that day.”
This interview answer kills two birds with one stone. You show resourcefulness to overcome challenges, especially when you don’t have the drive to do certain tasks. It also demonstrates that you have grit since you continue to work despite the struggles.
17. “I’m constantly learning and growing.”
This interview answer has something to do with the previous one. Having a growth mindset allows you to creatively solve problems to help a business grow. That’s why employers prefer their candidates to have a lifelong learning attitude. Because professionals like these can adapt to changing work environments and new technologies.
Here, interviewers will ask about your views on continuous learning. So your answer could go something like this in your interview:
“I am a firm believer of lifelong education even after traditional schooling. Before I learned this idea, I’ve always been a curious person. I want to understand how things work and why they work that way. This mindset trickled down to my career development. So I would continuously take online courses that speak to me like classes on the psychology in marketing. Then I test my knowledge by engaging in discussions on online forums.”
18. “I’m excited about this job.”
Employers want to hire people who radiate enthusiasm during their job interviews. One way to explain this feeling is by saying how excited you were when you found out that they’re hiring.
In your interview, you may say, “I’ve been following your organization for about 9 years as I’ve been a big advocate of marine conservation. Over the years of understanding your community programs and ocean conservation efforts, I took some time to gain the skills that could benefit your programs. So when I discovered that your nonprofit was looking for a program head during my job search, I applied right away.”
19. “Thank you for your time.”
Even if you already thanked your interviewer for their time at the beginning of the interview, saying it again won’t cost anything. In fact, it shows sincerity and respect regardless of whether your interview went well or not.
Everybody already says how thankful and excited they are about the job. So craft your message well, but keep it simple. Don’t say that you need this job. Instead, just tell them, “I greatly appreciate the time you spent interviewing me today. I really enjoyed our conversation and learning more about the company. Based on the key takeaways from our discussion today, I firmly believe that I would make a great match for this job.”
This is just a generic answer. You may add the reasons why you believe you match the job requirements to reaffirm your interview.
20. Other things you should say in an interview
There are many more things you can say to your job interviewer so they can gauge how fitting you are for the role and their culture. So here are 5 other things you should say in an interview:
- “If you need more information or requirements, please don’t hesitate to reach out.” This sentence expresses that you have an open line of communication in case they need to reach out to you.
- “This is how I can add value to the company…” No one wants to hire someone who can be a liability to their business. So explain the reasons for how you can be a valuable asset to the organization.
- “I wish to build my career with your company.” Saying that you want to create a career with their company means that you see yourself staying with them for a long time. This shows that you want to invest your time to take on bigger responsibilities in the future.
- “I’m ready for the next steps.” Your interviewer needs to know that you’re ready for work as soon as they give you the job offer, which takes about 20-40 days after an interview. But you can always follow-up with your job application after 5-7 days after your interview.
What to do if you say something you shouldn’t in an interview
Sometimes your nerves will get the most out of you during an interview and your answer might miss the mark. But that’s okay because you can still do some damage control. So, when you say something you shouldn’t in an interview, here are some things you need to know:
- Don’t overthink it. It’s normal to over-analyze things after your interview. But don’t let it get the best of you. Give better answers to the next interview question.
- Make a concise recovery. When you say something you shouldn’t in an interview, you can still make up for it. However, don’t make your recovery sound too apologetic. Instead of apologizing, give concrete additional information, but do it gracefully.
- Learn from the experience. Mistakes are unavoidable, especially if it’s your first time doing a job interview. So instead of beating yourself up for a failed answer, learn from the mistakes you made during the entire interview process to make better decisions in the future.
Communication courses to help you in job interviews
Everything you need to know for professional growth, all in one place. This course has all the essentials you need to land your desired job. Understand how you can leverage job advertisements and maximize the latest technology to boost your hiring chances.
Ease your interview anxiety by preparing ahead of time. Here, you’ll get a good grip on the most common interview questions and how to answer them with finesse.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to write an attractive resume and cover letter that no recruiter will dare to turn away. And, you’ll know what an interviewer expects to hear from their candidates during your interview.
If there’s anything you need to improve your communication, it’s gaining control over how you express your emotions.
If you’re thinking this lecture has nothing to do with job interviews, think again. By taking this course, you’ll have the persuading power to influence your interviewer that you’re the right person for the job. You’ll gain self-confidence and emotional intelligence to assert yourself in stressful situations.
Increase your hiring chances by 40% by simply adding self-confidence. Discover how you can use words, voice, and body language to have credibility when speaking to your interviewer. This course will show you how to remedy any slip-ups and still have everyone’s attention in the room.
By the end of this course, you will know how to focus yourself on how you deliver your message rather than fixating on what the words you’re saying. Because ultimately, words don’t amount as much as body language and tonality.
Give thoughtful answers to job interview questions
Your interviewer wouldn’t call you in for a job interview if you’re not qualified for the role. That means you have what it takes to be a part of their growing company. But the hiring process doesn’t stop there. You still have to impress them through your words and aura.
Remember that first impressions matter during a job interview. So embody self-confidence as soon as you walk into the door.
Take control over what you say and how you express yourself to separate yourself from other candidates who are as capable as you. So be thoughtful with the things you say to your interviewer. Don’t rush into giving an answer right away.
Be patient and kind to yourself. You will get the job that’s meant for you. Your hard work will pay off when you learn from your past interview mistakes.