Important job search advice: Job hunters must avoid using five phrases when communicating with potential employers in job interviews, phone calls, and letters. Job seekers who use these phrases risk appearing lazy or ludicrous and, worst of all, reduce the likelihood they will get job offers.

1ST Phrase to Avoid = “NO PROBLEM”

Job hunters who say “No problem” in job interviews sound like lazy bums. Saying “No problem” implies you (a) will do work you do not consider a “problem” to do and (b) may avoid doing work you feel is a “problem” to do.

For example, when a service worker – such as a customer service rep or a waiter/waitress – does something I request, I say “thank you.” If that service worker replies, “No problem,” I always feel like asking, “Well if it was a problem for you to do, would you have done your job and handled my request?”

Highly valued employees do all work they need to do – regardless of whether they feel it is a “problem” to do. In fact, I deal with a lot of super-successful people, and I never heard any of them use the phrase ‘No Problem.’” That fact says a lot.

 2ND Phrase to Avoid = “MY PLEASURE”

Some job hunters delude themselves into fantasizing that saying, “My pleasure” sounds pseudo-sophisticated. Actually, if you think about it, the phrase “my pleasure” sounds sexual. And that is not the tone job seekers want to set for most jobs.

Also, do you fantasize a possible employer cares if you consider the job pleasurable? Sure, employers want you to feel motivated. But they are not going to hire you just because you mouth the silly, senseless inanity of “My pleasure.”

 3RD Phrase to Avoid = “TRY”

Saying “Try” is like being ‘a little bit pregnant.’ Either you are pregnant or you are not pregnant. You cannot be ‘a little bit pregnant.’ “Try” is similar. Either you actually do your job assignments or you do not.

Job hunters must realize no employer wants employees to “try” to do work assignments. Instead, employers search for job candidates who actually do their work. So, useful job seeking advice is to delete the word “try” from your vocabulary

 4TH Phrase to Avoid = “YOU KNOW?”

Any job hunter ending sentences with “you know?” sounds ridiculous and self-doubting. When you make a statement, and then add the phrase “you know?,” you sound like you wonder if you said something stupid. Job hunting advice: (a) Avoid making stupid remarks in job interviews and (b) never end your remarks with a stupid question, “you know?”

 5TH Phrase to Avoid = “DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING?”

A job seeker who makes a statement, and then asks, “Do you know what I’m saying?” sounds unsure. This is a variation of ending your sentences with “you know?” Also, if you know what you said, and said it clearly, you have no reason to ask, “Do you know what I’m saying?”

Actually, hiring managers may make fun of job hunters who use that phrase. For instance, in one episode of “South Park,” a humorous cartoon show, one character repeatedly asks, “Do you know what I’m saying?” Another character keeps answering, “Yes.” After awhile, the other character cannot stand being asked that question anymore. Finally, he says, “Yes, I know what you are saying. So, you do not need to ask me again.” Since even cartoons make fun of “Do you know what I’m saying?,” imagine what hiring managers say about you if you use ask, “Do you know what I’m saying?”


Phrases job hunters use reveal a tremendous amount of useful information to prospective employers. Say smart things, and you might seem sharp enough to get a job offer. Say dumb or ridiculous, and hiring managers may well laugh at you behind your back. After laughing, they will continue searching for applicants who sound like the type of person they might want to employ.

Job Hunting Advice = Job seekers who want to be taken seriously must avoid saying five common yet ridiculous phrases that stop hiring managers from taking them seriously.

 COPYRIGHT 2011 MICHAEL MERCER, www.JobHuntingMadeEasy.com