One of the worst things that can happen to you in a job interview is to get a tough interview question that makes you freeze, like a deer in the headlights. You are surprised, you don't know which way to go, and so you just sit there waiting for disaster.
I received this great comment from a hiring manager on interviewing, and thought her insights would help you in your next interview, when you answer interview questions.
My observations as a hiring manager are in line with what you are saying in this video. I've interviewed candidates for a position in software development team and asked them a standard question: "Where do you see yourself in three years?" Many responded enthusiastically, "I want to be a manager", not realizing that this be viewed as a threat to the continuous employment of a manager :) A safer answer is "I want to be a senior programmer."
The biggest assumption people make is that if they tell you what they did, you will understand that they will and can do the job. I think this approach is far from perfect, and they will be better understood if they spell this out explicitly. For example, "I can support Oracle database and resolve performance issues because I have such and such experience to rely upon." What I heard often was "I am passionate about Oracle and done a lot of Oracle programming" - how [your passion helps] me was not spelled out for me.
The big ideas here are to remember who you're speaking with and adjust your answers accordingly, and give evidence-based answers (especially quantified ones that include numbers, dollars, and percentages) instead of only talking about your passion. Passion and enthusiasm are good, but evidence is better.
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These questions are pulled from my How to Answer Interview Questions Series. The series contains 101 questions, so feel free to explore and get even more interview answers that will get you the job. Also, Forbes has a great list of 50 questions to ask before hiring sales employees. I encourage you to look over this list for additional questions you may be asked, and practice how you would answer them. When it comes to interviews, it's always better to be over-prepared and ready for anything.
The toughest job interview questions are often those that require us to tell about our greatest accomplishments. First, you have to know what those are--which ones will be impressive to the hiring manager? Next, you need to be prepared to explain those achievements. They want to know details.
In the video below, I will give you a very easy way to prepare interview answers that will get you the offer.
Employers want to know about more than just your skills and experience--they want to know how you'll get along day-to-day. How will you react in stressful situations? What will you do when a customer gets cranky, or there's some issue with the product?
One way for hiring managers to get to that information is to use behavioral interview questions that try to uncover how you have reacted in similar situations, or that set up a theoretical problem to see how you would go about solving it.
Both types of behavioral (or situational) interview questions show how you think, which can be much more informative for a hiring manager than asking about your greatest weakness.
The easiest and most effective way to answer Behavioral Interview Questions is to use the STAR format.
How to Answer Interview Questions - Q5 -- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
How to Answer Interview Questions - Q14 -- How to Answer Interview Questions - Q2 -- How did you deal with the situation the last time your boss chastised you or strongly or disagreed with a statement, a plan or a decision you made?
How to Answer Interview Questions - Q29 -- I noticed that you are applying for a position that is not as senior as you past positions. Why would you consider a job that is, in effect, a demotion for you?
Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.
Think about job interviews. You’re so thrilled when you get the call. The interview prep work is exciting because you’re getting to know what you hope is your new company. You get your resume, your brag book, and your 30-60-90-day plan all lined out, and you choose what to wear. You map out the route and get there a healthy few minutes early. You greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake, and then you start The Conversation.
Everything hinges on your job interview questions and answers. Your answers are THE major deciding factor in whether or not you get asked back for a second interview or get the job offer. Not to worry…Career Confidential is here to help.
I am thrilled to announce that we are launching a new blog article series: How to Answer Interview Questions.
In fact, we are publishing 101 job interview questions and answers in a brand new, open-access series for you. These are typical but tough interview questions that most candidates are asked at some point in their interview process. We will tell you how to answer just about every interview question possible…from the most common standard interview questions to the weird, “personality” interview questions.
But we’re not just giving you the answer to parrot...I don't want you to sound like someone who Googled “how to answer interview questions.” (Although I will give you ideas.)
Job Interview Questions and Answers
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FREE Training - How to Answer Interview Questions
I’m going to address one question per article and coach you through how to approach your answer strategically and construct the best answer possible FOR YOU.
I’ll tell you things like:
What hiring managers are REALLY asking with each question...
How to think strategically about your best answer.
What kinds of things you should always include in your answer.
Some sample job interview answers to get you started.
Without a doubt, this series is unlike anything you've ever seen before. My entire 15+ years of experience in sales, management, recruiting, and career coaching is behind every answer.
By the time you absorb 101 questions and answers, you will:
It's all just one part of Career Confidential's mission to transform you into the top candidate for the job. We want you to get the job you want fast. Please explore our site to see everything we have to offer to get you to your goal.
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Can a 30-60-90-Day Sales Plan make YOUR interview amazing and get you a job offer in 24 hours? You bet. See what it did for Jeanne:
Hello Peggy! I just wanted to let you know my results from using your 30 60 90 day sales plan. [Prior to purchasing your plan, my face-to-face] interview went great! As we wrapped up [the hiring manager] said, "We are going to have another interview and I want you to be able to tell me in our next meeting how you plan on tackling this job." I put together my 30 60 90 day sales plan. At my next interview, when the hiring manager asked if I had given any thought as to how I would tackle the job and when I responded with, "Well, yes I have. I have prepared a 90 day plan that I would love to share with you." The look on his face was priceless!! He was not expecting this, Peggy. The interview went amazing. I was offered the job within 24 hours. -- Jeanne
Look at what Jeanne is teaching us here: Most people would have thought about how they planned to tackle the job, and maybe have formulated an answer before they went to the interview. Jeanne took it up a notch with her 90-day plan and became the star candidate. The 30 60 90-Day Plan is the something 'extra' that can absolutely make you stand out and make the company very eager to hire you.
On this page, there are dozens of job interview questions and answers. They are individually recorded, so you can pick and choose the interview answers you need. They are on video, so it's easier to learn and remember how to answer interview questions.
If you want a great interview, you need the best answers to interview questions....and they are right here on this page:
I am thrilled that my ebook holds the #1 spot. Thanks to everyone who has purchased it...if you haven't yet, take this opportunity to get it.
It contains 'a wealth of useful and practical suggestions' that are 'easy to understand and assimilate thanks to the concise detailed explanations and numerous examples' (from one of the dozens of great reviews).
Are you looking for an IT job? Do you know how to handle an IT interview so that you DO get the job?
I am so excited to let you know that I just had a fantastic and very informative conversation with Jeff Lipschultz, owner of A-List Solutions, a recruiting firm in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area since 2007. A-List Solutions places technical candidates in a huge variety of companies all over the United States. He is an incredible resource for IT folks, and he spent over 30 minutes with me doling out all kinds of advice on how to do very well in IT interviews. I have put the entire conversation in an audio recording for you. All you have to do is click the bar below to hear it. Read more...