Job Interview Vocabuary

Job Interview Vocabulary: 100 Useful Terms You Should Know

Welcome, job seekers, to our comprehensive job interview vocabulary / terms list. Navigating the job search process can feel like exploring a complex maze. Unfamiliar terms, confusing situations, and unexpected turns can leave you feeling lost or unprepared. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just dipping your toes into the world of job hunting, it is not uncommon that we come across some terms that we are not sure what they mean, even if we see them being used regularly.

We’ve all been there – sitting across the table from an interviewer, or reading the details of a job post, only to be stumped by unfamiliar terminology. We’re here to help! This glossary is here to be your trusty guide, shedding light on those elusive phrases and concepts that often leave us scratching our heads.

In this job interview vocabulary, you’ll find explanations for over 100 key terms related to the job interview process, neatly organized into categories for easy reference (see the table below for categories). From deciphering different interview types to mastering the art of post-interview etiquette, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re wondering about the intricacies of terms like “network weaving”, or “time management matrix”, this glossary is designed to demystify some of the terms you encounter during your interview journey.

So in this blog post, we’ll delve into a comprehensive glossary of essential terms, covering everything from pre-interview preparation and interview essentials to navigating the job market landscape and personal development strategies. By understanding these key terms and concepts, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions, present yourself effectively, and stand out from the crowd.

For job interviews, knowing your vocabulary is one thing but there are other factors like managing your stress and making a good first impression in your interview. So make sure you brush up your skills on these, too!

So, bookmark this page, arm yourself with knowledge, and embark on your job search journey with newfound clarity and understanding. Let’s turn those unknowns into opportunities!

Table of Contents

Job Interview Vocabulary

Job Interview Vocabulary: Pre-Interview Preparation

Informational Interview

An informational conversation with someone in your desired field to gain insights into their career path, company culture, and expertise.

Job Crafting

A strategy where you shape your existing job roles and responsibilities to better align with your skills, interests, and long-term career goals.

Network Weaving

Expanding your network beyond direct professional connections, including industry thought leaders, alumni, and potential mentors.


A collection of your work samples, projects, and achievements showcasing your skills and experience, often used in creative or freelance fields.

Power Dressing

Choosing appropriate attire that conveys professionalism, confidence, and aligns with the company culture.

Salary Negotiation Strategy

Developing a plan for discussing and negotiating your salary during the offer stage, considering factors like market value, your worth, and potential counteroffers.

Strengths-Based Development

Identifying your strongest skills and exploring ways to further develop and leverage them for career advancement.

SWOT Analysis

A self-assessment tool (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to identify your unique skills, areas for development, potential career opportunities, and potential challenges.

Value Proposition

A concise statement outlining the skills, experience, and unique value you bring to a company, highlighting how you can contribute to their success.

Behavioral Repertoire Building

Actively practicing specific behaviors desired by the employer, such as active listening, problem-solving, or leadership, to demonstrate them during the interview.

Competency Mapping

Aligning your skills and experience with the specific competencies listed in the job description to showcase your suitability for the role.

Mock Interview

Simulating an actual interview with a friend, career counselor, or online platform to practice answers, communication, and presentation skills.

Mock Interview Feedback Analysis

Reflecting on feedback from mock interviews to identify areas for improvement and enhance your interviewing skills.

Personal Branding

Developing a personal brand that reflects your professional identity, skills, and values, strengthening your online presence and making a strong impression on potential employers.

Phone Interview Etiquette

Mastering phone communication skills to make a positive first impression during a phone screening interview.

Pre-Interview Visualization

Practicing mental visualization techniques to stay calm, focused, and confident during your interview.

Reverse Interview Planning

Preparing questions you might ask the interviewer about the company culture, team dynamics, and growth opportunities.

Social Media Audit

Reviewing your social media presence to ensure you present yourself professionally and in alignment with the company culture.

Time Management Matrix

Creating a time management tool to prioritize tasks, schedule interview preparation activities, and ensure you meet deadlines effectively.

Unconscious Bias Awareness

Recognizing potential unconscious biases in yourself and others, allowing you to present yourself fairly and objectively during the interview process.

Job Interview Vocabulary: Interviewing Essentials

Active Listening

Demonstrating strong listening skills, paying close attention to the interviewer’s questions, and responding thoughtfully.

Anchoring Bias

The tendency to overly rely on the first piece of information presented, potentially impacting the interviewer’s evaluation of the candidate and their skills throughout the interview.

Behavioral Interviewing Framework

A structured approach focusing on specific behaviors and experiences to assess a candidate’s skills and suitability for the role.

Calibration Session

A meeting where interviewers discuss and compare their evaluations of candidates to ensure consistency and fairness in the hiring process.

Candidate-Driven Questioning

Engaging the interviewer by asking well-researched and insightful questions about the company, role, and team dynamics.

Delivery Style

The way you deliver your answers, including your tone, pace, and use of silence, impacting how your responses are perceived.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

The ability to understand, manage, and express emotions effectively, crucial for building rapport and navigating the interview process.

Nonverbal Cues

Communication through body language, facial expressions, and eye contact, playing a significant role in conveying confidence, professionalism, and engagement.

Open-Ended Inquiry

Asking questions that encourage elaborate responses beyond “yes” or “no”, allowing for a deeper understanding of the candidate’s skills and experiences.

Power Distance

Understanding and navigating different cultural perspectives on authority and communication styles within the interview context.

Rapport Building

Establishing a connection with the interviewer through active listening, positive body language, and genuine conversation, fostering trust and creating a positive interview experience.

Response Tailoring

Adapting your answers to each specific question, highlighting relevant skills and experiences directly related to the job description and company needs.

STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result)

A structured approach to answer interview questions, providing context, describing the task, outlining your actions, and highlighting the achieved results. (note: Don’t forget to take a look at our blog post about STAR Interviews to get more details about this interview technique.)

Stress Interviewing

A deliberate use of challenging questions and scenarios to assess a candidate’s composure, problem-solving skills, and ability to perform under pressure.


Weaving your experiences and qualifications into compelling narratives showcasing your skills, achievements, and problem-solving abilities.

Thank You Note (Post-Interview)

Sending a personalized note to the interviewer after the interview, reiterating your interest and thanking them for their time.

Tie-Back Technique

Referring back to the job description and your qualifications throughout the interview, demonstrating your understanding of the role and how your skills align with the company’s needs.

Unstructured Interview

A less formal interview format where questions are not predetermined, allowing for a free-flowing conversation and exploration of the candidate’s skills and experiences.

Verbal Cues

The words you choose, your vocabulary, and clarity of communication, significantly impacting the interviewer’s perception of your professionalism and expertise.

Visible Enthusiasm

Demonstrating genuine passion and excitement for the opportunity throughout the interview, showing your interest in the role and the potential contribution you can make to the company.

Job Interview Vocabulary: Interview Navigation

Blind Interview

An interview where the interviewer doesn’t have access to the candidate’s name, resume, or other identifying information, aiming to reduce bias during the selection process. 

Candidate Experience

The overall experience a candidate has throughout the interview process, from initial contact to the final decision, impacting their perception of the company.

Company Culture Fit Assessment

Evaluating how well a candidate’s values, personality, and work style align with the company’s culture and work environment.

Cultural Competency

The ability to understand and adapt to different cultural norms and perspectives, crucial for navigating cross-cultural interview situations.

Follow-Up Email Strategy

Planning and sending a well-crafted email after the interview, reiterating your interest, highlighting key points, and expressing appreciation for the opportunity.

Illegal Interview Questions

Inquiries about personal characteristics protected by law, such as age, marital status, or religious beliefs, which are not relevant to the job qualifications.

Interview Declining

Politely refusing a job offer after careful consideration, expressing gratitude for the opportunity and providing a clear reason for your decision.

Negotiation Tactics

Strategies for effectively negotiating salary, benefits, or other aspects of the job offer, requiring research, preparation, and clear communication.

One-Way Interview

A pre-recorded video interview where candidates answer predetermined questions without interacting directly with an interviewer.

Panel Interview

Being interviewed by a group of individuals from different departments or levels, requiring preparation to address diverse perspectives and answer various questions.

Phone Interview Etiquette

Mastering professional communication skills for phone screening interviews, ensuring a positive first impression.

Post-Interview Reflection

Taking time after the interview to reflect on your performance, identify areas for improvement, and learn from the experience.

Reference Checking Process

The employer contacting your listed references to verify your skills, experience, and work ethic as described during the interview.

Salary Negotiation Range

Researching and determining a reasonable salary range for the specific role and location, empowering you to negotiate effectively during the offer stage.

Second (or Third) Interview

Additional interview rounds after the initial screening, allowing for deeper evaluation and potential interaction with different team members.

Technical Interview

An interview focusing on assessing specific technical skills and knowledge relevant to the job role, often involving coding exercises or technical problem-solving scenarios.

Unforeseen Interview Challenges

Preparing for and navigating unexpected situations or challenging questions that may arise during the interview, demonstrating composure and adaptability.

Video Interview Platform Etiquette

Understanding and practicing proper etiquette for using video conferencing platforms for interviews, ensuring a professional and seamless experience.

Job Interview Vocabulary: Personal & Professional Development

This section explores key job interview vocabulary related to personal and professional development. By using these terms during your interviews, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to self-improvement and your adaptability in a dynamic job market.

Continuous Learning

The ongoing pursuit of knowledge and skills through various means, like courses, workshops, or online resources, to remain relevant and competitive in your field.

Growth Mindset

Believing that abilities and skills can be developed through effort and learning, fostering a positive attitude towards challenges and setbacks.

Mentorship Matching Program

A formalized program connecting individuals with mentors based on shared interests, career goals, and expertise, offering guidance and support.


Acquiring knowledge and skills in small, focused bursts, often through online platforms or mobile applications, allowing for flexible and efficient learning.

Networking Mentality

Approaching professional interactions with a focus on building genuine connections, learning from others, and fostering mutually beneficial relationships.

Passion Project

A self-directed personal project driven by personal interest and motivation, allowing for exploration of new skills, creativity, and professional development.

Performance Feedback Loop

A continuous process of receiving feedback on work performance, reflecting on it, and using it to improve skills and achieve goals.

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

A personalized roadmap outlining career goals, desired skills, and learning activities to achieve professional aspirations.

Reflective Practice

Regularly evaluating your experiences, identifying areas for improvement, and learning from successes and failures to enhance your skills and approach.

Reverse Mentoring

A mentorship relationship where a younger, tech-savvy individual mentors a senior professional in areas like digital literacy or social media trends.

Skill Gap Analysis

Identifying the difference between your current skills and the skills required for your desired career path or job role, informing your learning and development goals.

Strength Development Plan

Strategically planning and implementing activities to further develop your existing strengths, maximizing your potential and contribution in the workplace.

Upskilling or Reskilling

Learning new skills or updating existing ones to stay relevant in the evolving job market and adapt to new technologies or industry demands.

Volunteer Work

Contributing your time and skills to a cause you care about, gaining valuable experiences, developing new skills, and expanding your professional network.

Well-being Practices

Incorporating activities like mindfulness, exercise, and healthy habits into your routine to maintain physical and mental well-being, improving overall performance and resilience.

Workplace Learning Opportunities

Utilizing resources and programs offered by your employer for professional development, such as training courses, conferences, or internal mentorship programs.

Work-Life Balance

Managing your time and priorities effectively to maintain a healthy balance between work commitments and personal life, preventing burnout and promoting overall well-being.

Year-End Review and Goal Setting

Reflecting on achievements and challenges from the past year, setting new goals for professional development, and creating a roadmap to achieve them.

Your Personal Brand Development

Cultivating a personal brand that reflects your professional identity, skills, values, and accomplishments, strengthening your online presence and career network.

Networking Etiquette

Understanding and practicing appropriate social interactions and communication skills at professional events, fostering genuine connections and building valuable relationships.

vocabulary for interview
Knowing your vocabulary can go a long in your interviews

Job Interview Vocabulary: Job Market Landscape

Knowing the job interview vocabulary for the general job market landscape will allow you to showcase your awareness of industry trends and impress your interviewer with your sharp communication skills!

Disruptive Technologies

Emerging technologies that significantly change existing industries, creating new job opportunities and transforming existing ones.


Providing professional services to clients on a project basis, offering flexibility and autonomy in work arrangements.

Gig Economy

A market characterized by temporary, contract-based work, offering flexibility and variety for workers but also potential instability.

Global Workforce

The growing presence of individuals working remotely from different countries, impacting communication, collaboration, and cultural considerations in the workplace

Hidden Job Market

Unadvertised job opportunities found through professional networks, industry events, or personal connections.

Changes and developments specific to a particular industry, impacting job types, skills demands, and overall outlook.

Job Automation

The use of technology to automate tasks previously performed by humans, potentially impacting some job roles in specific industries.

Job Market Volatility

Fluctuations in the availability of jobs and the number of job seekers, creating both challenges and opportunities depending on the specific circumstances.

Remote Work Opportunities

Jobs that allow employees to work from a location outside of a traditional office setting, offering increased flexibility and work-life balance.

Skills Gap

The discrepancy between the skills employers are looking for and the skills available in the workforce, potentially impacting hiring and training needs.

The Great Resignation

A recent trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs in high numbers, impacting job market dynamics and employer strategies.

Upskilling and Reskilling Grants

Government or organization-funded programs offering financial assistance for individuals to acquire new skills or update existing ones, supporting career development and adaptability.

Workforce Diversity

The inclusion of individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the workplace, fostering innovation and creativity.

Workplace Culture Shift

Evolving expectations and priorities regarding work styles, employee well-being, and workplace flexibility.

Gig Economy Platforms

Online platforms connecting businesses with freelance or contract workers for specific projects or tasks.

Job Market Data Analysis

Utilizing data and statistics to understand trends in job openings, salaries, and industry growth, informing career planning and job search strategies.

The Future of Work

Emerging trends and predictions about the nature of work, job roles, and skills required in the future.

Emerging Industries

New industries with significant growth potential, creating new job opportunities and requiring specific skills and knowledge.

Shortage Occupations

Jobs with a high demand and a limited pool of qualified candidates, potentially offering increased job security and earning potential.

Unconventional Career Paths

Exploring non-traditional career paths that deviate from typical career progressions, catering to individual interests and passions.

end of vocabulary

That’s it for now, we hope that you find the job interview vocabulary useful. If you have a job interview and want to put your vocabulary to a good use, make sure to check out our Top 136 Most Common Interview Questions post. For specific guidance on job interviews, head to our top-selling products list!

Cover hoto by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

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