These include “insight” words such as “think”, “sense” and “feel”, which indicates a candidate understands themselves and therefore may have a better ability to navigate the demands of the new job.
Peppering answers with so-called “seeing words”, such as “look”, “see” and “view”, also help to subtly convince an interviewer the candidate is being open about their weaknesses and not concealing any flaws, according to the new research, which is published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
However, the study revealed that the honesty tactic is only an advantage for high-quality candidates.
People who are poorly qualified for a position are advised not to be too forthcoming about their imperfections.
“In a job interview, we often try to present ourselves as perfect,” said Dr Celia Moore, from Bocconi University in Milan, who led the international team of researchers.
“Our study proves this instinct wrong.
“Interviewers perceive an overly polished self-representation as inauthentic and potentially misrepresentative.
“But ultimately, if you are a high-quality candidate, you can be yourself on the job market.”
“You can be honest and authentic, and if you are, you are more likely to get the job.”