Most of the time, when we use the word "but" without thinking -- or "yet", "however", etc. -- we're either:
(a) justifying ourselves for what we perceive (and implicitly communicate to whoever is listening) is a weakness or problem -- and weakening our position in the process; or
(b) challenging and/or correcting the other person (and that never goes down well, ever!).
I learned from a language therapy expert recently, that on a more subconscious level, whenever we hear the word "but" our mind negates what came before it.
Here's what I mean:
"I worked hard this year, and I performed well above my pay grade, and I contributed a ton of value... but..."
Do you see how that works? The word "but" negates all that hard work you did and all the value you contributed, and it puts the other person on guard.
If you used the word "and" instead, it doesn't negate what came before or make it "wrong" in any way, it doesn't put the listener on guard or make them defensive, and... it strengthens your position!
I hope this small tip helps.
If you want some interview help that's a bit more "hardcore" and structural, then you might want to dig into Interview Success Formula. I can show you how to prepare killer interview answers to any question the interviewer will ever throw at you. (And, of course, this "but" tip helps with that.)
There Is No “But”Written by Alan Carniol
I have a quick tip for today that I think will help.
It applies not only for job interviews, but also for annual reviews, salary negotiations, and, in fact, any kind of "difficult" conversation.
Here it is:
Pay close attention to when and how you use the word "but".
In fact, if you can, get rid of it altogether.
(You can often use "and" instead.)
Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.