Stay clear of these 15 words in your interview and application

Career advice experts from the Muse have analysed which words you should omit to sound cleverer. These little recommendations are not only useful for emails and texts but also for interviews, essays and applications.

Picture: Sergey Nivens / fotolia

The 15 words that are often redundant or make your writing harder to digest or even less trustworthy are:


A word that can often be left out and the sentence still makes sense or can be replaced by ‘who’ when referring to a person.


‘Went’ is just lacking imagination as there are a plethora of English words expressing the same in a more sophisticated and precise way like ‘made his way’, ‘walked’, ‘dashed’, ‘hurried’, ‘flew’, ‘crawled’, ‘attended’, ‘visited’, ’wandered’, ‘hiked’…

Honestly, absolutely, really, always, never, literally, just, maybe and very

Those words are often redundant and only make sentences unnecessarily longer or dramatize what you want to say. The experts recommend to leave the sentence structure simple or rather use more interesting adjectives.


Talking about adjectives: ‘Amazing’ and ‘awesome’ are not the right adjectives to impress your counterpart in an interview. If you describe a positive experience for example, rather be specific. Don’t say the Leaning Tower was “absolutey amazing”, rather comment on how impressed you were standing in front and feeling the grandeur of the tower, admiring the intricate stone work and how amusing it was to observe all the other visitors taking selfies whilst pretending to hold the tower up.

Stuff and things

If you are using vague words like ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ instead of naming what you are actually talking about, it will certainly cost you credibility.


This means the same as regardless. So just erase that word from your vocabulary.

Find full report here:
The Sun - Amazing, that, really... the 15 words you should NEVER use in a sentence

Barbara Barkhausen