When you land that long-awaited job interview, be ready to stand out as the best person for the job with your answers to the questions you’re asked. Your goal is to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Here are five examples:
“Tell us about yourself.”
This is not just a question. It’s an invitation to share whatever you think is most important in an employer’s hiring decision. Break it down into two parts:
- How and why you are qualified. Don’t regurgitate what’s on your resume, and don’t assume your interviewers remember all your qualifications. Present the highlights that are relevant to the job.
- Why you have applied. Focus on helping the employer meet their needs as you move forward in your career. Avoid any purely personal reasons, such as the desire to work closer to home and avoid a long commute.
“Why should we hire you?”
Keep your response centered on them, not on you. Share how you will not only provide immediate value once hired, but also be an asset to the company’s future success.
- You are the seller in this situation, not the buyer. So do not respond by saying something like “I’ve always been interested in (whatever the company does)” or worse yet, “I need the money.”
What is your greatest strength?
You may have many strong qualities, but focus on the ones your prospective employer needs the most. Since the same traits won’t necessarily work for every job opportunity, develop a list of three to five you can use as appropriate.
- Think about the aspects of your work that make you feel the most successful. Write them down. What accomplishments are you the proudest of? What rewards or recognitions have you earned? Include soft skills that make you a good team member and a productive employee.
Explain your gap in employment.
If your resume shows any gaps between jobs, explain how you filled that time with productive activities. Show your interviewers you have remained current and up to date in your field.
- If your absence was because of family-related issues, it may be better to address this in a short entry on your resume. Your interviewers may ask about it, but most often they will stay away from the topic. However, it could be an unspoken concern, so be ready to make it clear the situation is unlikely to arise again.
Do you have any questions?
The answer should be “yes.” This is your chance to reiterate the fact you are truly interested in this job.
- Use this as an additional opportunity to shine. Ask questions that show you did your research and will prompt a good, productive discussion.
- Turn the tables. Validate you are a strong candidate by asking if your interviewers have any additional concerns about you. You might say, “I feel like I would be a good fit for this role. Is there anything I said or did not say that would make you believe otherwise?”
Let us help you prepare for your next interview!
At Lyons HR, we’re in the business of matching great candidates with great companies, throughout the southeastern United States. We can help design the job search strategy that will open the right doors to your future. Contact us today to learn more.