8 Buzzwords for Interview Questions (Plus Interview Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 August 2022

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.

You can use buzzwords during interviews to gain the hiring manager's attention and make a good impression. Buzzwords are important terms or phrases that communicate important information to the hiring team. If you're interviewing for new positions, learning more about buzzwords can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what buzzwords are, describe why they're important, list eight buzzwords you can use and provide helpful tips for improving your interviews.

Related: 15 Signs You Will Get the Job After an Interview (With FAQs)

What are buzzwords for interviews?

Buzzwords for interviews are important terms and phrases that the hiring manager may listen for when you answer their questions. They are buzzwords because when the hiring specialist hears you use one, they may note it or listen more intently. These words can communicate your knowledge, skills, confidence and interest to the hiring team. Buzzwords can differ depending on the industry, company and specific position, but many of them are the same.

Why are interview buzzwords important?

Buzzwords are important because learning to use them correctly can improve your interviews and help you communicate important information about yourself. Hiring managers may take more interest in candidates that use buzzwords than those who don't. These are some benefits of using buzzwords during a job interview:

  • Gain the hiring manager's interest: Many hiring managers listen for important terms and phrases that show your qualifications for the position. By using them, the hiring manager may listen more intently to what you say and note important information.

  • Communicate your knowledge: If the buzzword you use is industry-specific, it can show that you know important skills or concepts. It can also show that you study recent developments in the field and understand how the industry changes.

  • Show your interest in the position: Buzzwords that communicate your enthusiasm can help express your interest in the position. These buzzwords are useful for explaining why you like the industry, the company and the specific role you're applying for.

  • Structure your interview answers: Understanding important interview buzzwords can help you to create coherent answers spontaneously. Using important terms and phrases to structure your answers may help you to remain calm and composed.

Related: How to Answer 'What Is Your Greatest Achievement?' Interview Question

8 buzzwords to use in your next interview

These are some buzzwords you can use in your next interview:

1. Example

This is an important buzzword because it shows you have evidence to support your answer to the interview question. Hiring managers may listen for this because including examples shows your reasoning skills. It also allows them to learn more about your previous experiences.

Example question: 'What is your greatest weakness?'

Example answer: 'Currently, I'm working on improving my work-life balance to ensure that I can continue to be productive at work. For example, I started logging out of work chats at the end of working hours to make sure I don't mix my work and home time.'

Related:

  • Examples of Weaknesses: Top 7 Things to Share in a Job Interview

  • Interview Question: “What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?”

2. Experience

Many hiring teams ask questions about your experience in the field or position. Though this buzzword can be helpful when the hiring specialist asks about your previous positions, you can also use it when answering other questions to refer to your accumulated skills and knowledge. This buzzword may be especially useful for those who have at least five years of experience in their field.

Example question: 'What do you think is more important, strategy or energy?'

Example answer: 'In my experience, strategy creates energy, which makes it more important. You can strategise to improve team energy and enthusiasm, but you can't use energy to create a strategy where there is none. My previous teams could all lean on solid plans and goals when energy was low.'

3. Flexible

'Flexible' is an important buzzword because it can show a hiring manager your versatility and value. Being flexible means you can contribute to different projects and provide help where it's needed. The hiring specialist may prefer candidates who emphasise an ability to adapt to changes and provide value in many situations.

Example question: 'What skills did you gain in your previous position?'

Example answer: 'The best skill I built in my last position was flexibility. As a server with kitchen experience, there were some nights when I joined the kitchen staff to help catch up on orders, or when I assisted with dishes or other prep. That flexibility helped us provide the best service possible to our customers.'

Related: Adaptability Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

4. Goals

Speaking about your professional goals for yourself and for the position can show organisation and strategy. Consider using this buzzword to express your planning for the future and understanding of professional growth. You can focus on the specifics of your goals, or you can focus on your process for creating them.

Example question: 'Why are you interested in this position?'

Example answer: 'My professional goal is to become the accounting department manager, and I believe this role can help me gain the necessary skills and experience. I also understand this company focuses on career advancement and growth, and I'm interested in a workplace atmosphere that can help me develop.'

Related:

  • Career Goals: How To Set, Examples and Tips for Achieving

  • How to Answer "What Are Your Future Goals?" in an Interview

5. I look forward to

This buzzword communicates your enthusiasm, and you can use it at multiple points during the hiring process. You can discuss your interest in the position before you meet for the interview. You can also use this buzzword at the end to communicate your interest in hearing from them about the role.

Example question: 'What is your five-year plan?'

Example answer: 'In the next five years, I plan to test for engineering licensure and develop my leadership skills. I look forward to working in an environment where I can learn from experienced engineering professionals and refine my abilities. Though I learnt a lot during my engineering programme, I know hands-on experience is more important.'

Related: How to Answer "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?" Interview Question (With Examples)

6. Initiative

'Initiative' is a word that shows your energy and independence. Hiring managers may look for candidates who can manage their work and provide help to others when they need it. Using this buzzword can show that you prioritise self-sufficiency and can offer suggestions for improvement and solutions to problems.

Example question: 'Tell me a bit about yourself.'

Example answer: 'I'm a recent graduate from Blue Lake University, and I pride myself in being self-sufficient and taking the initiative to improve myself. I elected to complete additional certifications during my marketing programme and now have both event planning and advertising experience.'

7. Leader

Leaders provide others with guidance and direction and can improve the function of a team. This is an important buzzword to use, even when you're not applying for a leadership or management role. Consider including an example of how you showed your leadership in the past.

Example question: 'How would your friends describe you?'

Example answer: 'My friends often describe me as a natural leader. When we go out together or on trips, I always organise and plan all the excursions. They can always count on me to have extra supplies and great advice.'

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

8. Opportunity

You can use this buzzword to talk about your outlook on the interview and position. Expressing your interest in the position by framing it as a great professional opportunity can show your commitment and positivity to the hiring manager. Only use this buzzword to describe your outlook if you're sure you want the job, and provide details about why you're interested.

Example question: 'Thank you for coming in to talk to us today. We can reach out next week to discuss how we intend to move forward.'

Example answer: 'Thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and I'm excited to hear about the position. Have a wonderful day!'

Related: How to Prepare for These Competency-Based Interview Questions

Tips for improving your interviews

These are some interview tips you can use to improve your interviewing skills and performance:

  • Research the company: Before attending the interview, it's important to understand more about the company and their practices. Consider reading through the information on their website or reviewing news articles about what they do and the impacts they've had.

  • Practise being confident: Being confident during an interview can help you express your qualifications to the hiring manager. Depending on the situation, consider shaking hands, making professional eye contact and smiling to show your confidence.

  • Conduct mock interviews: Ask your friends and family to conduct mock interviews in which you can practise answering interview questions. Consider asking someone you respect to be your interviewer, as it can more closely mirror the experience of a real interview.

  • Bring important materials: Being prepared for an interview shows the organisation and enthusiasm for the position. Bring copies of materials like your resume, CV, cover letter, business cards and portfolio in case the hiring specialist asks for them.

Related: 9 Interview Skills to Help You Excel in an Interview


Explore more articles