12 Powerful Words for Interviews (With Example Uses)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Job interviews are generally formal meetings between job candidates and employers to assess your ability and compatibility for the job vacancy. This process can be a bit intimidating, especially when you're not used to the interview environment. Knowing these 12 powerful words increases your chances of impressing the employer and success. In this article, we explore the importance of powerful words for interviews, discuss the 12 powerful words for a job interview and offer tips for using these words.

The importance of powerful words for interviews

Job interviews aim to determine if you're well suited for the position and company culture, so it's important to use powerful words for interviews. You're to speak in a way that portrays your professionalism, qualifications and abilities as it positively influences the interviewer's perception of you. Asking specific questions and using aspirational and positive words in your interviews also portray confidence in your ability to perform well in the position.

Related: Interview Skills to Ace a Job Interview

12 powerful words for a job interview

There are many powerful words to use in an interview to portray your confidence and ability to function in the workplace. Some of them include:

1. Passionate

It's important to portray to the interviewer that you care more about the job than the paycheck. They're interested in knowing if you can go above and beyond for the success of the company and not just tick boxes. Interviewers gravitate towards passionate candidates interested in pushing the company positively, as they're also good for overall morale.

Example interview question: What are you passionate about?

Example answer: "I have always been passionate about helping people. During the holidays, a family ritual I loved was going to help at the orphanage on Hope Street. I was especially enthusiastic about baking cookies for the little kids. Those experiences have motivated my decision to excel in the medical field."

2. Responsible

Showing your responsibility is an important aspect of an interview. You can do this by portraying your ability to complete tasks on time, meeting set standards. Interviewers source for this trait regardless of the field or job position you're vying for.

Example interview question: Tell me about a situation where people have depended on you.

Example answer: "In my most recent engagement, I was responsible for leading a marketing team to provide practical solutions to the declining sales in the year's winter quarter. We accomplished this and doubled sales within a month."

3. Leader

This is especially required when you're vying for a leadership position. Sell your leadership skills by showing how you've led teams and projects while explaining any results and accomplishments throughout your career.

Example interview question: Can you tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership capabilities on the job?

Example answer: "While working for my last employer, I was made leader of a team and given an important project to supervise. It was my responsibility to ensure its success, which also included the coordinating of other team members. I scheduled meetings where we devised a plan with a specific timeline for the completion of each task. Ultimately, the project was delivered on time, exceeding expectations."

4. Skills

Describing your skills helps the interviewer know you a bit better. It's tempting to list all the 20 skills you excel in, but it's best to hone in on the most relevant skills. It's best to describe them in detail, as just listing several skills out loud doesn't convincingly convey your potential to the interviewer.

Example interview question: Can you describe some of your soft skills?

Example answer: "The most valuable skill I have is my communication skills. I understand the importance of effective verbal and noncommunication in this line of work. As a receptionist, effective communication has helped engage customers, take back feedback and provide solutions to their problems."

5. Mission statement

A company's mission statement typically mirrors its values and ideals. You can also observe these in their About me pages, social media pages and job postings. It's always good to familiarise yourself with their values and draw out aspects that resonate with your personal working philosophy. You can also ask questions about the evolution of their mission statement. It gives the impression that your values and ideals align with theirs, and you understand the standards they have set for themselves.

Example interview question: Do you have any questions about the company?

Example answer: "While reading your mission statement, I noted the aspect of reducing the housing deficit by 25%. This drew and inspired me the most and I am excited to learn more about how you achieve that goal."

Related: Research Skills: Definition, Benefits and How to Develop

6. Communication

This is a highly valued skill in any professional position that employers look for in candidates. This is also important in job positions that require teamwork and employee supervision.

Example interview question: How do you describe yourself?

Example answer: "I describe myself as a good communicator. I am friendly, an active listener, very open-minded and empathetic. I believe these are necessary attributes for a great therapist."

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

7. Teamwork

Several positions require the ability to work in teams, especially team-specific, leadership and supervisory roles. It's important you demonstrate your teamwork abilities and commitment to work effectively with others.

Example interview question: Describe a time when you worked well as part of a team.

Example answer: "Five of my colleagues and I worked on an important project in my last position. We worked together, relying on each other's strengths to complete tasks. We assessed the work in front of us and divided them into small achievable tasks. We also kept ourselves accountable by cross-checking the work done. In the end, with our teamwork, we exceeded expectations."

8. Flexibility

Interviewers generally look for flexibility in their job candidates, as change is a constant factor in organisations. These companies treasure the ability to adapt to new situations, procedures and processes quickly and effectively. It shows you can function efficiently in different environments.

Example interview question: Tell me about a challenge you faced at your previous engagement and how you dealt with the situation.

Example answer: "In the last project I supervised, the designated location set for the event suddenly got involved in a lawsuit and the owners prevented us from using it. We had to devise a solution and adapt to the new situation. We engaged one of our other contacts and began designing immediately. Ultimately, the conference was held at the slated time and met all company standards because of my flexibility"

9. Accomplishment

Providing examples turns general statements into specific and more personalised ones. It allows you to describe situations where you performed a particular skill while explaining what you achieved. This convinces your interviewers of your experience and gives them concrete reasons for believing in your competency for the job.

Example interview question: What is one of your greatest accomplishments?

Example answer: "My greatest accomplishment is when I saved $25 million for my previous employer by creating a new record-keeping system."

10. Experience

The point of providing an example is to outline your experience. You can use this word to provide your past duties or projects, the length of time spent on these projects and the results. This word also proves that you are knowledgeable and qualified to interviewers.

Example interview question: How have your previous jobs prepared you for this one?

Example answer: "I have over 15 years of experience in customer service. I spent most of this time in one company, and in that time, I have worked with different clients. I know how to effectively communicate with clients, make them feel comfortable and engage them while I satisfy their needs or problems."

11. Initiative

Using the word initiative proves to interviewers that you can and have been able to perform and set positive examples without the need for supervision or directives. You can use this opportunity to bring up scenarios where you demonstrated this initiative.

Example interview question: Tell me about a time you took initiative.

Example answer: "In my previous employment, I noticed flaws in our customers' record-filing system. I provided a new initiative by presenting a database system to the company. They adopted it, and it led to easier file retrieval."

12. Goals

You can use this opportunity to show how the desired job aligns and meets your professional goals. You can describe your goals and how the job can enhance your skills and experience. It helps your interviewer see your passion for the job while also seeing the alignment of your goals and the company's goals.

Example interview question: What are your career goals?

Example answer: "One short-term goal of mine is to work as an assistant manager for a company such as yours, one that places such importance on customer service and care. I believe this role can prepare me for larger responsibilities as they become available."

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