|Careers & Employment Information|
How to Give Job-Winning Answers at Interviews
Human Resources personnel, professional recruiters and various other career experts all agree: one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a job interview is to anticipate questions, develop your answers, and practice, practice, practice.
There are plenty of websites that offer lists of popular job interview questions, and knowing the types of questions to expect can be very useful. But knowing how to answer those questions can mean the difference between getting the job and getting the "reject letter."
HOW TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
First, know these important facts:
1. There is no way to predict every question you will be asked during a job interview. In other words, expect unexpected questions--they'll come up no matter how much preparation you do.
2. Treat any sample answers you find, such as in discussion forums, books or on Internet job sites, as GUIDES only. Do not use any sample answers word for word! Interviewers can spot "canned" answers a mile away, and if they suspect you are regurgitating answers that are not your own, you can kiss that job goodbye. You must apply your own experiences, personality and style to answer the questions in your own way. This is crucial, and it will give you a big advantage over candidates who simply recite sample answers.
3. Job interview questions are not things to fear, they are OPPORTUNITIES TO EXCEL. They allow you to show why you are the best person for the job, so instead of dreading them, look forward to them! The key is to give better answers than anyone else, and that's where your preparation comes in.
Now, take these actions:
1. Make a list of your best "selling points" for the position. What qualifications, skills, experience, knowledge, background, personality traits do you possess that would apply to this particular job? Write them down and look for opportunities to work them into your answers.
2. In addition to any sample job interview questions you find through various resources, you absolutely must develop your OWN list of probable questions based specifically on the job for which you are applying. Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes? what kinds of questions would you ask to find the best person for this job?
3. Write down your answers to likely questions. Study the job announcement carefully. (If you don't have one, get one!) Note the phrases they use when describing the desired qualifications. You'll want to target these as much as possible when developing your answers. For example, if the announcement says they want someone with "strong customer service skills," make sure you include "strong customer service skills" in at least one of your answers. That will make a better impression than saying "I helped customers."
4. Review and edit your answers until you feel they are "just right." Read them over and over until you are comfortable that you know them fairly well. Don't try to memorize them; don't worry about remembering every word. Practice saying them out loud. If possible, have a friend help you rehearse for the interview.
Be A (Short) Story Teller
Make use of this old marketing tip: "Facts tell but stories sell." During a job interview, you are selling yourself. Whenever possible, answer questions with a short story that gives specific examples of your experiences. Notice I said "short." You don't want to ramble or take up too much time; you want to be brief but still make your point.
For example, imagine two people interviewing for a job as a dog groomer are asked, "Have you ever dealt with aggressive dogs?" Candidate Joe answers, "Yes, about 10% of the dogs I've groomed had aggressive tendencies." Candidate Mary answers, "Oh yes, quite often. I remember one situation where a client brought in his Pit Bull, Chomper. He started growling at me the moment his owner left, and I could tell from his stance he wasn't about to let me get near his nails with my clippers. I think he would've torn my arm off if I hadn't used the Schweitzer Maneuver on him. That calmed him down right away and I didn't have any problems after that." (NOTE: I know nothing about dog grooming; I made the Schweitzer Maneuver up for illustrative purposes.)
Don't you agree that Mary's answer is better? Sure, Joe answered the question, but Mary did more than that--she gave a specific example and told a quick story that will be remembered by the interviewers.
In today's job market where there are dozens of highly qualified candidates for each opening, anything you do that will make you stand out and be remembered will greatly increase your odds of getting hired.
Keep the Interviewer's Perspective in Mind; Answer His "What's in it for Me?" Question
While many questions asked during job interviews appear to focus on your past accomplishments, here's an important tip: they may be asking about what you did in the past, but what they really want to know is what you can do NOW, for THEM.
The key is to talk about your past accomplishments in a way that shows how they are RELEVANT to the specific job for which you are interviewing. Doing advance research about the company (such as at their website or at www.hoovers.com) and the position will be extremely helpful.
Here's another example with Joe and Mary. The interviewer asks, "What is the most difficult challenge you've faced, and how did you overcome it?" Joe answers with, "In one job I was delivering pizzas and I kept getting lost. By the time I'd find the address, the pizza would be cold, the customer would be unhappy, and my boss was ready to fire me. I overcame this problem by purchasing a GPS navigation device and installing it in my car. Now I never get lost!" Mary answers, "In my current job at Stylish Hounds, management ran a special promotion to increase the number of customers who use the dog-grooming service. It was a bit too successful because we suddenly had more customers than we could handle. Management would not hire additional groomers to help with the workload. Instead of turning customers away or significantly delaying their appointments, I devised a new grooming method that was twice as fast. Then I developed a new work schedule. Both efforts maximized productivity and we were able to handle the increased workload effectively without upsetting our customers."
Joe's answer shows initiative and commitment (he bought that GPS gadget with his own money, after all). But Mary's answer relates specifically to the job they are applying for (dog groomer). And Mary had done research about the company and discovered it was about to significantly expand it's dog-grooming operations. So she picked an example from her past that addressed an issue the interviewer was likely to apply to a future situation in his company. See the difference?
Here's one more example. Joe and Mary are asked, "What's your greatest accomplishment?" Joe answers, "I won two Olympic Gold Medals during the 2000 Olympics in the high-jump competition." Mary answers, "I was named Stylish Hounds's Dog Groomer of the Year in 2003 for increasing productivity in my section by 47%."
Joe's accomplishment is pretty spectacular. But remember the interviewer's perspective. He might be impressed, but he's thinking "What's in it for me? What does being a world-class high-jumper four years ago have to do with helping me to increase sales in my dog-grooming department?" Mary's answer is much less spectacular than Joe's, but it's relevant to the position and indicates that she has what it takes to be successful in this particular job. It tells the interviewer, "I have what you're looking for; I can help you with your specific needs."
Looks like Mary has a new job!
Do Not Lie
Last but not least, tell the truth. It's sometimes very tempting to "alter" the truth a bit during a job interview. For instance, say you quit instead of being fired. But the risk of being discovered as a liar far outweighs the potential benefit of hiding the truth.
If you are thinking about telling a lie during the interview, ask yourself these questions (this technique has helped me make many major decisions): "What is the BEST thing that could happen? What is the WORST thing that could happen? Is the best thing WORTH RISKING the worst thing?" In this instance, the best thing would be getting the job. The worst thing would be getting discovered as a liar, which could lead to getting fired, which could lead to unemployment, which could lead to more job searching, which could lead to another interview, which could lead to the stress of deciding whether to lie about just getting fired, and so on? a cycle that can go on indefinitely. Is all that worth getting the one job, perhaps on a temporary basis?
Always consider the consequences of your actions.
In Summary, Here's What You Need To Do When Preparing To Answer Job Interview Questions:
1. Study the job announcement.
2. Research the company.
3. Anticipate likely questions.
4. Prepare answers to those questions that are relevant to the position and the company.
5. Promote your best "selling points" (relevant qualifications, capabilities, experience, personality traits, etc.) by working them into your answers.
6. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Bonnie Lowe is author of the popular Job Interview Success System and free information-packed ezine, "Career-Life Times." Find those and other powerful career-building resources and tips at her website: http://www.best-interview-strategies.com.
Last Year Physician Resident Checklist
Here is a last year resident checklist not to forget:
How to Overcome a Bad First Impression
Have any of these situations happened to you? Forgetting your client's name, unintentionally insulting a co-worker, spilling coffee on your boss, not recognizing an old friend, drinking too much at the company party, sending a racy e-mail to the wrong person, or asking a woman's due date when she's not pregnant ? ouch! You never have a second chance to make a first impression, so what happens when that first impression is a negative one?
Job Search Tips - How to Increase Your Success
Finding a job can be a painful and difficult experience. Here are three things that you can do to minimize the pain and increase your chances of success.
How to Survive in Business Long Enough to Win
As a former human resources professional it has always intrigued me as to why people were more 'successful' than others. By 'successful' we are referring to an innate ability of some people to set and achieve worthwhile challenges for themselves.
Medical Billing Businesses Are Growing Fast And Providing A Needed Service For Doctors
You've seen the commercials and web sites about starting medical billing businesses in your home. You can't just start calling doctors and telling them you will take care of the billing for them. It is their income and they want to know you are a true business and that you have experience. So, before any thing else, look into classes to help you get those medical billing jobs.
Negotiating Skills: How to Obtain the Salary You Want
Salary negotiating is an important topic that must be addressed prior to your initial interview with a prospective employer. Knowing your bottom rate, and being able to live with it [or on it?] is an important thing for candidates to uncover before the first interview. Why then do so many of us make the tactical mistake and go to the interview unprepared?
So You Want A Promotion - What Do You Need To Do To Get the Champagne Corks Popping?
The champagne corks have been popping to celebrate your promotion. You have a well paid job you love ? its really interesting. You are using your talents to the full and your boss really values your contribution!
Creating a Winning Resume
Preparing your resume can often seem like a daunting task. You've done your research, but there is so much information, and how do you pick from the countless formats?!
Are Your Intentions Clear in Your Job Search?
1. Do you REALLY know what you want?
Job Interviews: What to Wear
It takes between seven and seventeen seconds for a person to make an impression of us and much of that impression is based on how we look. It stand to reason, then, that what we wear to job interviews will make a far greater impact on our success than anything we're likely to say once those first crucial seconds have passed.
De-Bunking The ?Follow Your Bliss? Myth
Hello Fellow Seekers!
The Top 10 Mistakes Job Seekers Should Avoid In Contacting An Employer
There are numerous tools and resources available to guide job seekers through the steps of a career transition. These tools are very useful and suggest much that you should do. At the same time, some individuals benefit equally by learning what to avoid. If you count yourself in this latter group here is a laundry list of things that "turn off" an employer. Make sure you steer clear of the following:
Are You Bored By What You Do?
Is your working life in the doldrums? Do you feel stuck in a rut? Uncertain about the future? Depressed by what you can see ahead? Still looking for a job that will fully engage your interest?
What to Ask During the Interview
Don't just sit there and bob your head, waiting to answer the next question - be prepared to ask your own questions and make the interviewer know that you care!
Writing Resumes That Attract Your Perfect Job
Let me introduce you to Ben. He made it happen
Focus On White-Collar Crime: Accounting Fraud and Computer Crimes Creates Need; Qualified Investing
An epidemic of white-collar financial crime has resulted in the development of specialized education programs focused on economic crime investigation and fraud management. These college-level degree programs attract students who are interested in law enforcement and are attracted by the very unique nature of these types of crimes and the special investigative techniques required to solve them.
Whiners Need Not Apply
Sometime last summer I decided to host a pity party and invite all my friends. Well, not all my friends, exactly. Only those whose livelihoods might have, like mine, been suffering from the downward slide of the economy. To make the guest list, invitees would have to possess the ability to grumble, gripe, groan, fuss, snarl, scream, fret, rant and complain -- preferably all at the same time. I wanted world-class whiners at my party. Optimists need not apply.
Mid-Life Crisis: Its Not Just for Men Anymore!
A recent story in Career Journal begins:
The 4 Job Search Facts You Need To Know!
Are you harboring bitterness or anger towards your current or past employer?
Surviving Unemployment Through Emotional Damage Control
Looking for work is a roller-coaster ride: high with elation when you think you've found a great position, low with discouragement when you realize that someone else was offered a job you wanted.
|Home | Site Map | Careers | Australian Domain Names | UK Domain Names | Investment Property | Sydney Web Hosting | Email Hosting | NZ Website Hosting | NZ Domain Names|