English Vocabulary for Interview

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Job interviews in English might be stressful, especially for non-native English speakers. However, with some practice and preparation, you will easily overcome the process and communicate with an interviewer. Below, you will find an extended list of key words to use in an interview.

Enhance Your Interview Skills: English Vocabulary Essentials

General Interview Terms

In every job interview, certain terms are universally essential, forming the foundation of the conversation. Understanding these interview words is crucial for effectively communicating your background, skills, and interest in the position.

  1. Applicant. Someone who applies for a job.
  2. Resume. A document listing your education, work history, and skills.
  3. Cover Letter. A letter explaining why you’re suitable for the job.
  4. Interviewer. The person conducting the interview.
  5. Competence. The ability to efficiently perform a job or task, demonstrating knowledge in a particular area.
  6. Qualifications. Skills or experiences required for a job.
  7. Position. The job role you are applying for.
  8. Salary. The pay offered for the job.
  9. References. People who can vouch for your work and character.
  10. Background Check. A review of your history, often including criminal records.
  11. Hiring Manager. The person responsible for filling the job position.
  12. Bar-raising. A bar-raising interview is a concept commonly used to critically assess potential candidates to ensure they meet or exceed the company's high standards of performance, skill, and cultural fit.

Familiarity with key interview words ensures that you can navigate the basic structure of any job interview with confidence. These terms will help make a strong first impression and find common ground with an interviewer. Mastering them is the first step towards presenting yourself as a well-prepared and knowledgeable candidate.

Behavioral Interview Terms

Behavioral interviews focus on how you've handled various situations in the past, providing insight into your personality and work style. This category includes good words for an interview to articulate your experiences, skills, and reactions in different scenarios. 

  1. Scenario. A hypothetical situation described during an interview.
  2. Enthusiasm. The display of keen interest or excitement towards a task, role, or subject. Enthusiasm often indicates a genuine passion and can positively influence work performance.
  3. Goal-Oriented Approach. A methodical focus on setting and achieving specific objectives. This approach involves planning and dedication to meet set targets. 
  4. Response. Your answer or reaction to an interview question.
  5. Experience. Your previous work or life situations relevant to the job.
  6. Outcome. The result of actions you took in a past situation.
  7. Strengths. Your strong skills or qualities.
  8. Proactiveness. The attitude of taking initiative and anticipating future needs or changes.
  9. Weaknesses. Areas where you need improvement.
  10. Achievement. A significant success or accomplishment.
  11. Feedback. Comments or opinions about your performance.
  12. Teamwork. Working effectively with others.

By learning this vocabulary for interview, you can more effectively communicate your past experiences and how they've shaped your professional capabilities. These terms will guide you in structuring your responses to demonstrate your problem-solving skills, adaptability, and teamwork.

Interview Terms Related to Skills

Many interviews require a specific set of vocabulary to discuss your expertise and experience in your field effectively. The words to use in an interview related to this category can range from 'skillset' to 'problem-solving,' covering various aspects of your knowledge and application.

  1. Skillset. The range of your abilities and expertise.
  2. Project. A specific task or work you completed.
  3. Role. Your responsibilities in a job or task.
  4. Industry. The sector or field of your job (e.g., IT, healthcare).
  5. Certification. A formal recognition of your skills or knowledge.
  6. Portfolio. A collection of your work samples.
  7. Technology. Tools or software you are proficient in.
  8. Deadline. The time by which a task must be completed.
  9. Innovation. Introducing new ideas or methods.
  10. Problem-solving. The ability to find solutions to challenges.

A firm grasp of words for an interview allows you to articulate your specialized skills and experiences confidently. These terms are indispensable for showcasing your technical prowess and your ability to contribute to the field.


Company-Specific Terms

Every company has its unique culture, goals, and jargon, and understanding these terms can significantly enhance your interview performance. This category covers vocabulary related to a company's internal environment, from its mission and values to its brand and growth strategies. 

  1. Culture. The values and behaviors of a company.
  2. Mission. The company’s primary goal or purpose.
  3. Vision. The company’s long-term aspirations.
  4. Values. The principles guiding a company’s actions.
  5. Integrity. Adherence to moral and ethical principles, and consistency in actions and values.
  6. Stakeholder. Individuals or groups interested in the company's performance.
  7. Clientele. The clients or customers of a company.
  8. Competitor. Another company offering similar products or services.
  9. Networking. Building professional relationships.
  10. Growth. The development and expansion of the company.
  11. Brand. The identity and image of the company.

Knowing these terms helps you align your answers with the company's ethos and demonstrate your fit for their specific environment. Your ability to use these terms effectively can make a significant difference in how recruiters perceive your potential fit within their organization.

Soft Skills in Interviews

Soft skills are non-technical abilities that reflect your personality and approach to work. Here are positive interview words to describe soft skills, along with brief definitions to help you understand and express these traits effectively.

  1. Communication. The ability to convey information clearly and effectively.
  2. Confidence. The belief in one's own abilities and judgment. Confidence allows an individual to face challenges with assurance and assertiveness. 
  3. Positivity. The practice of maintaining a positive attitude and outlook, especially in challenging situations. Positivity often influences one's ability to stay motivated and overcome difficulties.
  4. Reliability. The quality of being dependable and consistent in performance. A reliable individual is someone who regularly meets expectations and commitments. 
  5. Adaptability. Being able to adjust to new conditions or changes.
  6. Flexibility. The willingness and ability to adapt to new challenges and changes, whether in tasks, work environments, or job roles. Synonym of adaptability.
  7. Honesty. The quality of being truthful and transparent in one's actions and communications.
  8. Leadership. The skill of guiding and inspiring others.
  9. Empathy. Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
  10. Creativity. The capacity to generate innovative ideas and solutions.
  11. Time Management. Efficiently managing your time to meet deadlines.
  12. Collaboration. Working well with others to achieve a common goal.
  13. Attention to Detail. The ability to perform tasks with thoroughness and accuracy.
  14. Resilience. Recovering quickly from difficulties or setbacks.

Soft skills are just as important as technical skills in most job roles. Be prepared with theses words to use in the interview to give examples of how you've demonstrated these skills in the past.

Industry-Specific Jargon

Every industry has its own set of specific terms and jargon. Understanding these key words for an interview can greatly help in demonstrating your knowledge and fit for the role. Here are some industry-specific terms across various fields to help you prepare for interviews in these sectors.

  1. ROI (Return on Investment). A measure of the profitability of an investment.
  2. Benchmarking. Comparing business processes and performance metrics to industry bests.
  3. Synergy. The increased effectiveness that results when two or more entities work together.
  4. KPI (Key Performance Indicator). A type of performance measurement used to evaluate success.
  5. Lean Management. An approach to running a company that supports continuous improvement.
  6. Agile. A method of project management, particularly used in software development.
  7. Compliance. Adhering to laws and regulations governing industry practices.
  8. Supply Chain. The entire system of producing and delivering a product or service.
  9. B2B (Business to Business). Transactions between businesses, rather than between a business and consumer.
  10. Market Penetration. The extent to which a product is recognized and used by customers in a market.

Knowing industry-specific jargon can significantly enhance your credibility in an interview. These terms showcase your familiarity with the industry and demonstrate your readiness to be part of it. Make sure to research and understand the jargon relevant to your field of interest.


By familiarizing yourself with these interview words, you can communicate more effectively and confidently. Remember, each word you learn not only enhances your language skills but also brings you one step closer to acing that interview.

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PromovaFeb 20th, 2024
A behavioral interview focuses on past experiences to gain insight into an applicant's personality and work style. Key terms associated with behavioral interviews include "scenario," "experience," "outcome," and "strengths."