Words That Get The Job Offer

July 29th, 2015 by lewis


On a job interview, chemistry and rapport with the interviewer is important. Why? Interviewers hire candidates they like!


There are a lot of ways you can get the interviewer to like you. My favorite is to tell an entertaining story. When it comes to telling entertaining stories, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. This morning I came across Richard Bayan’s book, More Words That Sell. Bayan makes several good points about how one should tell their story, and I’ve picked a couple of tips that I feel are most applicable to job candidates:

  • Favor the specific over the general. Most stand-up comics would agree that New Jersey is funnier and more evocative than a Middle Atlantic state. The more specific you can make your language, the more impact it will have. I can’t overemphasize the importance of creating sharp, well-defined images in the reader’s mind.
  • Use colorful words to energize (the listener). Make a habit of combining your copy and substituting colorful words for limp or fuzzy ones. Short, lean, gritty native English words (like short, lean, and gritty) still pack a wallop. Words derived from Latin and Greek (such as efficient, productive, and harmonious) tend to sound more abstract and cerebral. Favor the native English vocabulary when you want to create a dramatic impression. Turn to our Greco-Latin heritage when you strive for erudition and precision.
  • Be aware of rhythm. Vary your sentence structure to create a lively, flowing movement that carries the reader effortlessly downstream. Use dashes here and there to introduce exciting shifts and turns. For dramatic impact, follow a long sentence with a short, taut one. Or inject an occassional sentence fragment. For emphasis. Copy rhythm is an intuitive matter, so it’s not easy to learn or teach. Like jazz, it’s something you have to feel.
  • Put the emphasis on clarity. This is more important that word magic. (Listeners) can’t act until they understand you. And they won’t be able to understand you unless you explain it clearly. Seasoned copywriters swallow their pride and opt for clarity over creative expression.

Photo credit: Cristian Iohan Ştefănescu

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