The day-and-a-half sales training session included one day of skill practice interviews (a less frightening term than role playing), and a half day of discussing twenty key questions every top sales professional must answer satisfactorily.

One of the major benefits of the training was the group's ability to identify pet words and phrases that add nothing to a sales conversation--and can even annoy sales prospects because the expressions have become so common.

I call these throwaway words. Obviously, I give them that tag because we can throw them away without losing meaning.

Not only are these sayings annoying in the sales setting, they grate on an interviewer's nerves during a job application.

Consider these selected words and phrases the sales team spotted that we identified as disposable:

Absolutely! (Repeated too frequently, loses its impact)

And things like that

Needless to say (Then why say it?)

To be honest with you (If you have to tell them when you are being honest, then what are you doing the rest of the time you are talking?)

You know (Maybe they don't know, until you tell them.)

Like, you know (A college speech teacher told me she would be rich if she had a penny for every like her student speakers uttered.)

Actually (Would you be saying something that was not actual?)

Basically (If it's so basic, will the listener want to skip it?)

Really? (Could sound like you are questioning the validity of the speaker)

You may not believe this. (OK, then I won't)

If you will (TV broadcasters have saturated the tube with this pointless expression.)

That being said (We know it was said, so you don't have to tell us.)

At this point in time (Now says the same thing much more concisely.)

Very unique (It's unique enough without needing a modifier.)

When all is said and done. (Ugh)

At the end of the day (Double Ugh)

By now, my guess is that you are thinking of other grating expressions you have used during job interviews. So what's your next step?

*Start observing throwaway words people use. Notice how they distract you from the intended message.
*Make a list of these words, and then beside each one list a substitute word that would be less offensive. Start using them until they become habitual.
*When someone talking to you sprinkles the conversation with throwaway words, exercise patience, and concentrate on what they want to communicate.

Try these suggestions. You'll become a breath of fresh air when you bend someone's ear in your next job interview.