There’s too much at stake to call the job search a game… but there is a way to win job interviews.
And that starts with unraveling the mystery in each question, developing answers that showcase your accomplishments, and convince the interviewer you are the perfect person for the job. In other words, you need to learn to play the Q & A game.
Of course, all of this takes a bit of work!
Below are seven questions that are regularly asked at interviews followed by a short explanation of what the interviewer is looking for. They are designed to help you understand what the interviewer is looking for… and develop a winning strategy.
Tell Me About a Time, Part 1
Tell me about a time when you accomplished something significant that wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been there to make it happen.
Another related question could be: Tell me a time when you were not a formal leader but became a leader. In both instances, they are looking for leadership competency. Are you an effective leader? Are you willing to assume a leadership role even if your job description doesn’t identify you as a leader?
Tell Me About a Time, Part 2
Tell me about a time when, despite your best effort, you failed to meet a deadline. What factors caused you to miss the deadline? What was the outcome? What did you learn from it?
Are you competent at goal-setting, project management or organizing and planning. Do you understand how to keep track of a project in relation to its deadline? Do you demonstrate above average organizational skills? Are you a procrastinator? Are you quick to blame others, or do you take personal responsibility for failures?
How Are You Working to Improve?
Tell me two characteristics of your personality you have to improve, and how you will do it?
This question is to find out if you are aware of your shortcomings (weaknesses). If so, what steps have you taken to work on them. They also want to determine if you are self-motivated, and can initiate your own developmental plans.
What Will I Be Writing About You?
Imagine I am your manager and I offer you the position. At the end of one year, what will I be writing in your performance review?
In this case, the recruiter wants to know if you understand the importance of defining and setting specific goals and objectives; if you set realistic goals, and if you attain them. Give the interviewer two or three short-term goals you would have set for your first year on the job, then describe the results after the year.
Why Are You a Strong Candidate?
Why should I consider you a strong candidate for this position? What have been your most significant achievements in your previous role?
Have you reviewed the job posting thoroughly? Do understand the duties and responsibilities of the job? Do you have the specific skills and the right experience they are looking?
What Would Your Old Boss Say?
What if I should contact your supervisor to inquire about your technical competence in your previous position? What would he or she list as your strengths? What weaknesses would they mention?
They are looking for evidence that you are highly competent; that you are a contributor who work hard; that you demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills when working with others. They want to make sure you have the right skills and temperament for the job.
What Do You Know About What is Required?
What do you know about the position we are trying to fill? What are your strengths for this job? Is there any reason why you cannot perform the essential functions of this job?
If you put a lot of effort into researching the company, if you understand the job requirements, and if your skills match their needs. You need to understand what they do, then demonstrate how you would fit in. Avoid mentioning any weaknesses related to doing the job.
It’s natural to be nervous and experience some level of anxiety, but there is a better way to prepare for interviews, lessen your stress and present the best side of you.
Want to win job interviews? Win the question and answer game.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Musings.
About the Author: Daisy Wright is an award winning career coach, certified executive leadership development coach, certified career management coach, author, and certified resume strategist who collaborates with executives, managers, and mid-level professionals in all aspects of their job search and career. With more than 15 years in the careers industry, she has what it takes to guide you in the “Wright” direction!