Interview Question Help
When in an interview nerves are high and sometimes it is hard to know exactly how to answer some of their questions. Most people approach interview questions in one of the following ways:
- Babble on and on, hoping to say one or two things that interest the interviewer(s).
- Do a résumé walk-through. This is incorrect because the interviewer didn’t say, “Walk me through your resume.” That’s a different question.
- Stumble, hesitate and use too many filler words like “umm,” as if it’s the first time the question has ever been asked.
Interview questions like, “Tell me about yourself” is concurrently one of the most common interview prompts and is answered poorly by most. This question, along with others such as, “What are your strengths,” “what are your weaknesses,” etc., should all be scripted well before the interview.
To help you better answer these important interview questions write them out and practice them beforehand. A great way to answer is by saying three short sentences and then stop talking.
Example: “Tell me about yourself.”
- First sentence: Your educational background
- Second sentence: Your work history (ie: Administration, Accounting, Construction, Marketing, Supervisor, Vice President)
- Third sentence: Why you are making a career change and interviewing with them now
Now put it into motion:
- I have a strong educational foundation with a (insert degree(s) and where from here).
- My (insert your main work experience) spans multiple industries. I spent (insert how many years with your last employer here), (insert years with 2nd previous employer), and the most recently (insert years with last previous company).
- I am interested in expanding my career into (wording of position applying for) and I am very interested in the (insert the exact position) role we are discussing today.
After you make your three fabulous statements, stop talking, smile, and let the interviewer ask the next question.
The most common fears people have with replying this way is they are afraid they will sound scripted. If you practice you will not sound scripted, rather you will sound confident and like you know yourself well. Some would argue that it does not feel like a long enough answer. If they want more of an answer they will ask you a more specific question. More often than not they are looking for your ability to provide a lot of information in a compact summary.
Remember, body language says a lot also. Sit up straight, make eye contact, dress to impress and smile!