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Five words not (especially) to say during a job interview

Syntax errors, vocabulary errors… Le Figaro comes back to five frequent blunders, to be banned during a job interview.

Last step before the holidays. For some, the summer does not begin without the sacrosanct job interviews. This is a defining moment for his professional future. It’s about not failing. The candidate must not only be convincing, but also assure his future employer that he has mastered the fundamentals of the French language. Le Figaro has concocted a guide to the five mistakes not to reproduce in order to shine during this famous oral.

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● “Basically, I have an engineering background”

This phrase is often used during a presentation of oneself. “Basically / at the base, I have an engineering background”. But it is misused here. As the French Academy reminds us, “basic” means “fundamental, essential”. Example: “a basic work” or “acquire basic vocabulary, basic knowledge.” But be careful not to give it the following meanings: “in the beginning, at first, in the beginning”.

● “Sometimes I think (…)”

This is an expression that proliferates. Better to forget it if you want to give a good impression, as the academics recommend. prefer adverbs “sometimes” or “sometimes”. The phrase is only allowed to vehemently mark its disagreement, its indignation, in popular expression: “No, but sometimes!”.

● “I will make it short”

“Introduce yourself please.” To this frequent phrase, posed by an employer, we sometimes hear “I will make it short” as a preamble to a response. This is not so much an error as a matter of language register. Be careful not to overuse the verb «faire», as we increasingly see. It is more chastened to say: “I will be quick”or “Here’s a quick introduction.”

● “I became bilingual after I went abroad”

Watch out for the subjunctive! Few people have never failed. “I became bilingual after going abroad” is an incorrect sentence, because it is shown here that one considers this experience as accomplished. Therefore, the verb must be put in the indicative. We will therefore say: “I became bilingual after I went abroad”. Let’s remember that“before”which introduces an eventuality, is on the contrary followed by the subjunctive.

● “It’s the greatest feat I’ve ever achieved”

This phrase is tempting when you want to highlight your career. Be careful, however, to use the right words. “Never” means “in no time”but also “at any time, at any time, on any day”. When it has this positive meaning, it should not be used with the negation «Ne», remind the sages. So don’t say “It’s the greatest feat I’ve ever achieved”since this feat was achieved, but “It’s the greatest feat I’ve ever achieved.”

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