We all have little sayings we fall in love with and sprinkle liberally throughout our conversations. We get into the, like, you know, groove of our train of thought and we, um, forget that the listener is keeping, oh...what's the word? Track. Right. They're keeping track.
I was talking to a candidate who said the same two phrases so many times that I could now kick myself for not counting them for the duration of our time together. In answering questions, he said, "If you know what I mean" and after making an explanation, he said, "If that makes sense."
Before you can break this habit, you need to know what it is you say too frequently. While I think most of us have an idea of what sort of habits we have in this area, just to be certain you're on the path, you should ask someone who will tell you honestly what you're saying that no longer needs to be said. Ask your best friend or your parents. Be careful not to put the wrong person on the spot. You may want to ask a couple people, but you need for them to be honest. You'll want to choose people who want to help you succeed.
There are tactics you can use to help you break the habit. You can go cold turkey, you can put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you say the offending words, you can start charging yourself a quarter every time you catch yourself saying it or you can pay someone a quarter every time they catch you...whatever works for you.
During an interview, you have only a short period of time to make a good impression, so while these little phrases and words might be okay with friends and family, you want to put your best foot forward from the very beginning of each interview.
If you know what I mean.