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The No. 1 job interview phrase that will set you apart from everyone else, says career expert: It's the 'most powerful'

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A well-tailored resume with relevant experience will often get you in the door for a job interview. But if you want to land your dream job, you need to convincingly articulate why you are the best person for the role.

As a career expert, I've found that there are a number of compelling and powerful phases that hiring professionals love to hear. One of the most powerful ones you can use in a job interview is: "One thing that excites me about this role is ... ." 

Here's why this phrase will set you apart from other candidates:

1. It makes you sound confident

Job interviews are designed with a built-in power imbalance. You want the position, and you have to impress the hiring manager. But when you use this phrase, you subtly convey to the interviewer that you aren't just in desperate need of a job.

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It shows that you are a passionate, curious and capable candidate who is genuinely interested in what the work entails. By flipping the script, you are no longer asking the interviewer to be interested in you. You are telling the interviewer what's interesting to you about the role.

This subtle power dynamic shift can only help you gain leverage.

2. It communicates positivity and capability

Early on, the interviewer is simply looking for baseline competence. So when you express what actually excites you about the position, you show an enthusiasm that not only says "I can do this job," but "I'm also ready for the challenges that come with it."

Employers want candidates who aren't just looking for a job, but are eager to become integral part of the team. This phrase establishes a connection between your forward-thinking mindset and the potential contributions you can make. And it leaves a lasting impression.

3. It demonstrates research and preparation

Interviewers are always looking to see if candidates are prepared. Did they do their research? Are they capable? Would hiring them over the other people be the right choice? 

By using a phrase like "One thing that excites me...," you imply that you not only know the details of the role, but you've also thought about how the role fits into your passions and goals.

Remember that research shows how you say things can matter more than what you say. So be sure your vocal tone and posture align with your interest and enthusiasm. Practice with a friend or film yourself answering questions to become more self-aware of your body language.

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Erin McGoff is an NYC-based career expert, award-winning filmmaker, and founder of AdviceWithErin, a media brand dedicated to democratizing access to quality, soft career and life advice. She has worked with major brands including Google, National Geographic, Meta, Hilton, TikTok, Dell, Amazon, Microsoft and Dell.

Preparing for job interview success: A CNBC Make It course
Preparing for job interview success: A CNBC Make It course