Strange as it may seem, some senior executives are not awfully used to talking about their achievements. They have the mental capacity to dissect them in minute detail, but until they sit in an interview with a headhunter or a prospective employer, there will be very few occasions when there will actually need to indulge in self-promotion.

The great thing about being the boss is that the achievements of your team speak for themselves – you don’t often have to discuss your part in the process.

Thus, every now and again, even the most experienced of executives sometimes struggle to convey their thoughts about themselves.

An executive interview is not a board presentation littered with jargon, it is not a Monday meeting peppered with figures and nor is it a carefully planned press conference. It is a conversation, often between two strangers, that has to become very personal very quickly if the maximum value is to be realised.

This is where the initial language issue lies – most senior executives are not used to using language that implies authenticity, but in order to give a realistic picture of who they are, they have to temper the hard-charging aspects with the softer sides that they often have to keep hidden. Talking in official “board-speak” doesn’t allow executives to let down their guard. Talking like a friend who has a problem will give them the words to explain various situations with far greater depth. Too many people think that they have to keep up an ultra-professional façade, but this denies them the vocabulary to truly describe what was happening.

If you enter the interview room with your head held high as a CEO, you will leave as a CEO who has effectively presented their case. If you enter as a normal person, who needs some guidance, you will leave having offered a true understanding of who you are.

If you adopt the latter attitude, you will automatically find it more comfortable to find the words that you are looking for. Interviews are about conveying what you want to say in the simplest and most memorable way possible, in the most human way possible. Speaking like the Harvard Business Review won’t set you apart, speaking from your heart certainly will.

One important thing to mention is that everyone’s words will be different. There isn’t a set of phrases that will land you a COO job and a different set that will land you a CFO job. The most important thing is to think through your career before you go to the interview and think what you really want to say about yourself. How would you describe your career in such a way that a listener could see it through your eyes, and understand why you made certain decisions? Your words will be out there for interpretation by someone who has only just met you, so make sure that they are true to who you are rather than how you would like them to perceive you – a good interviewer will be through that one immediately.

If there is an authentic truth in your words, you will tell them all they need to know.