Knowing how to deal with tough interview questions properly can put you miles above other candidates. Your body language, voice and content of your answers are all factors that play into you getting hired.
This article will detail some tough and misleading questions that generally confuse potential employees and will help you get an insider view on what employers are looking for in your responses.
Remember in order to ensure your success you need to take the time to properly prepare your responses, practice them and always stay hungry for new information. This article will point you to the right direction for you to be successful in job interviews.
Tell me about yourself.
This is a very misleading question if you don’t approach it properly. Interviewers are looking for a lot more than just some information on what you do in your spare time. When you are asked this question it is important that you align your skills with what the interviewer is looking for. Don’t be afraid to play to their strengths and interests – in fact this is what they are looking for.
Start off by detailing your most recent and strongest accomplishments. Talk about the last position (or a position) that you held and what you made such a great fit for it. Discuss the skills and attributes that helped you and show how these skills will help you in the position that you are applying for. No interviewer really wants to hear about your personal life, instead only focus on the parts about your personality that make you a great employee.
What can you do for us that someone else can’t?
Here employers are obviously looking for specific things that set you apart from the rest of the candidates. You have every right (and perhaps an obligation) to brag and emphasize your positive attributes.
Focus on your ability to get things done, give concrete examples when you faced deadlines and how you were able to meet them. Draw specific accomplishments from your resume and explain how you were able to achieve them. To wrap up this question talk about how your skills, attributes and record of getting things done makes you the perfect candidate to help advance the team.
What didn’t you like about your last job?
Trick question. While you are being asked what you didn’t like about your last position it is imperative that you do not focus on the negative. The interviewer is looking for signs that you might grow bored easily with the position and checking the strength of your commitment..
When answering this question be sure to preface your answer with a few things that you did enjoy about your previous position. For what you disliked keep it short and to point. Something along the lines of “looking for more responsibility” or “looking to expand my skill set” are answers that show your desire for growth. Make sure any answer you select shows off a positive skill of yours.
Are you a team player?
Everybody says yes to this question so it is important that you set yourself apart using concrete examples. Employers are looking for you to expand on your answer, a true team player will have a plethora of stories that show off skills related to teamwork.
Center your answers around skills such as being empathetic, solving problems and sharing knowledge. Give concrete examples of a time you’ve had to resolve a conflict or a time you got people to work together.
If you were to win a million dollars what would you do?
When you get asked this question the employer is looking for where your priorities are and the type of person you are outside of work. Focus your answer on staying productive and maintaining your hard working qualities despite the fact you have money.
It is fine for you to say you would take a vacation for a little bit but employers don’t want to know the exact model of the car you would buy or how big your house would be. Stay away from material answers, focus on activities such as volunteering, passion projects and overall still being an active and productive person.
What is the main thing that gets you out of bed each morning?
This is a question to see what type of person you are by finding out what motivates you. Obviously answers like “I was hungry” or “I need money” are not what employers are looking for. Share with them an ambition of yours that you are working towards and how it inspires you to keep moving every morning.
Your ambition should be related to a skill needed for a job and once you have mentioned it you can mention other important parts of your life such as your family and friends. Show that you need little external motivation to perform your best each day.
What are your weaknesses?
When answering this question be sure to stay away from typical answers. Answers like “I am too organized’ or “I am a perfectionist” are tired and cliched.
Instead focus your answers around improving specific skills of yours. The skills you choose should be related to the position your applying and should show your own desire for personal growth and growth in the work place.
Whatever weakness you choose slowly transform it into a strength with your explanation. Mention one or two things that you are doing to improve this weakness and show how the position you’re applying for will give you an adequate chance at improving on this.
Why do you want to work for us?
When you are asked this question employers are looking for you to show off what you know about them. Prior to any interview you should do research on the company, when you are asked this question you should play to the company’s needs.
Your answer should detail how your research has shown that this is a company that you would like to work for. List some reasons why you personally would like the position and how some of your skills align with what would be required of you. Emphasize that you chose them because you look to grow as an employee and that their environment seems like a place where you would have endless opportunities to improve your skills.
Ending the interview
Practice these eight questions to get in the proper state of mind for your interview. Keep in mind interviewers may ask questions that seem normal and easy but there is always a hidden motive behind it.
Most importantly keep your ears open while being asked questions and take your time before responding. Do not think you are obligated to respond to every question instantly, giving thoughtful answers ensures that you are giving your best possible answers to the interviewer. Always stay learning to best prepare yourself for success!
Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/george-papaconstantinou/7120970251/ via farm8.staticflickr.com
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