HOW TO ANSWER THE TOUGHEST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

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  1. Tell me about yourself- This is a tricky question because it’s very broad and you don’t know what the interviewer wants to know. Not being prepared for this question, however, can risk you coming across poorly and not showcasing your best attributes. You can begin asking for clarification on “would you like me to focus on one particular topic or begin telling the story structured with the big idea, and narrowing down to specifics about your career and the work you’ve done. Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success: “I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years. My most recent experience has been handling incoming calls in the high tech industry. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people. In my last job, I formed some significant customer relationships resulting in a 30 percent increase in sales in a matter of months.”Next, mention your strengths and abilities: “My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time.” Conclude with a statement about your current situation: “What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and has a positive impact on customer retention and sales.”

  1. What would others say about you- These questions test whether what you believe you are is perceived as such and if you can work well with others. Whatever you use as adjectives, make sure you can back them up with examples or how you displayed those qualities.
  2. Tell me about your most memorable achievement- The employer wants to know that you are goal oriented, have a good work ethic and are looking to grow. Focus on something specific to you that makes you shine, whether it’s personal or work related. The point is to convey that you were challenged with something, overcame it, or had the determination to make something happen.
  3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?- The employer wants to know that you will grow with the company and that this role fits into your larger career vision. You can say something like “I am driven to be the best at what I do and I want to work somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to develop my skills, take on interesting projects, and work with people I can really learn from. Some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry work here and that’s a big reason why I would love to build a career here”
  4. Why do you want to work here?- Tests your genuine interest in the role. Use examples such as “I love that your company donates to X or that you promote team building, are leaders in your field through your advanced technology etc…”
  5. What do you know about our company?- This question tests what you know about the company, do your homework ahead of time and know some interesting info about the company and even company culture.
  6. Why should I hire you?- Are you truly qualified for this role? Are you aware of the responsibilities and how well you can meet them? Use examples of how your experience and qualities relate back to the job description and requirements for the role. Try to add value as well, try to use a quality that may not be listed but that can bring something new to the role and help even improve upon it.
  7. What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?- Some roles require a high degree of tenacity and the ability to pick oneself up after getting knocked down. Providing examples of your willingness to take risks shows both your ability to fail and rebound, but also your ability to make risky or controversial moves that succeed.
  8. What would you change about your last job – This question is tricky as it’s easy to begin complaining about your boss, coworkers or the fact that you wished you made more money but don’t fall for it! Beware of complaining about others or painting yourself in an unfavorable light. A safe answer is something like “outdated technology”
  9. Describe a moment when your team did not agree and what you did to bring consensus- Questions pertaining to difficulties in the past are a way for employers to anticipate your future behavior by understanding how you behaved in the past and what you learned. Clarify the situation succinctly and explain what specific action you took to come to a consensus with the group. Then describe the result of that action.