Before an interview, many people prepare for tough questions. However, don’t forget, “easy” questions can be difficult too. Here are three frequently asked questions that are more difficult than they seem.
What Can You Tell Me About Yourself?
The Obvious (But Wrong) Answer: I was born … I went to school at … and now I am looking for a job.
This appears to be a straight-forward question. After all, who knows you better than you? However, as job-hunting expert Richard N. Bolles explains, “What employers are looking for here, is an answer to a somewhat different question… That unspoken real question the employer has, is: What experience, skills, or knowledge do you have, that are relevant to the job I am trying to fill?” In other words, don’t give a personal history or a summary of your hobbies. Instead, prepare a one- to two-minute elevator pitch highlighting the top three skills and/or experiences that make you a great fit for this position.
Why Do You Want This Job?
The Obvious (But Wrong) Answer: The job seems interesting, and I’ve heard you are a great employer.
Again, this question isn’t about you. It’s about the company. The interviewer is trying to find out if you will be a dedicated and productive member of the team. Begin by doing your homework before the interview. Learn as much as you can about the organization and the job. Check out their website, follow their social media channels and, if possible, talk to people who work there. Then, use this information to explain why you are excited about this company. Do you love their products or services? Are you impressed with their recent growth? Or, do you admire their corporate values? Finish your response by explaining how one or two of your skills would allow you to excel at this job. Your goal is to display both interest AND ability.
What Is Your Greatest Strength?
The Obvious (But Wrong) Answer: I am hard working and I always do my best.
Most of us know something we are good at, but as with the other questions, the trick is to match your strengths with the needs of the company. Provide specific details, so your answer stands out. Vague answers such as “I’m very motivated,” aren’t very convincing. Back up your statement with facts, figures or brief stories. For example, did your greatest strength allow you to meet a tight deadline, assist in the creation of a new product or even earn you a promotion? Finally, practice your response so you can answer honestly and with confidence. If you sound like you are bragging, the hiring manager may assume you are arrogant. But if you are overly humble, you may appear unqualified.
Are You Looking for Work in Duluth, Georgia?
You don’t have to job search alone. The professional recruiters at BOS Staffing will help you write your resume, find the right opportunities and prepare for interviews. Plus, our services are free to all job seekers. Learn more about our 10-step process and get ready to hear “You’re hired!”