Knowing how to put together a strong answer to the most common interview questions is obviously key to landing a job. The art and science of creating great answers involves being strategic in crafting your responses as well as practicing till you’re as strong a possible.
The best job candidates are not lucky. They spend a ton of time both on preparation because they know how important that 30-60 minute interview can be to their entire career.
To truly excel as an interviewee, you’ll want to consider investing in an interview coach (like Pamela Skillings) or an interview training program (like Big Interview) that will provide you with the intensive training you’ll need to do well in the interview.
10 Steps to Acing the Job Interview
If you’d prefer to get started with a free resource before paying for a coach or a program, this tutorial is designed to get you up and running with the basics for acing your next interview (in ten easy lessons).
1. How to Answer: “Tell Me About Yourself”
Your elevator pitch that gives the interviewer a quick idea of who your are – for better or worse.
2. How to Answer: “Describe Your Current (or Most Recent) Position”
One of the easier questions to answer – but you’ll still need to use it to highlight your job-relevant greatness.
3. How to Answer: “Why are you looking for a new opportunity now?”
The question that can either put your interviewer at ease or raise serious red flags.
4. How to Answer: “What are your strengths?”
Your chance to toot your own horn – but make sure to do it artfully. Being able to do 20 pull-ups does not count as a strength.
5. How to Answer: “What is your greatest weakness?”
A question that can sink you unless you’re careful. Obviously, “I work too hard” is not the answer.
The above is a more in-depth version of the older article: How to Answer: “What are your weaknesses?”
6. How to Answer: “Why do you want to work here?”
Repeat after me: Don’t say “for the money” — Don’t say “for the money” — Don’t say “for the money”
7. How to Answer: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Possibly one of the silliest questions – but it requires an artful and diplomatic answer.
8. How to Answer: “Why should we hire you?”
The money question. “Why” indeed. This is where you need to spend a ton of time thinking about the role, the competencies, and how you’re the perfect fit.
9. How to Answer: “Do you have any questions for me?”
Your questions here can either leave a strong, lasting impression on the interviewer, or make you come across as clueless. Here are some good questions to think about.
Before a face-to-face, you typically have a phone screen you need to get through. Here are some tips for getting through to the next round.
Follow these commandments and they may lead you to the promised land – or promised cubicle (same thing).
About the Author: Pamela Skillings is one of the nation’s top interview coaches. She is the co-founder of Big Interview and President of Skillful Communications.