Interviews can be daunting endeavors, in which you might feel that you’re being interrogated rather than interviewed. The pressure, stress, and anxiety that often accompany an interview can also have a strong impact on how well you conduct yourself. If you sometimes grapple to find an answer to a standard interview question, you need to practice more on the best way to answer these questions.
The following suggestions will help you ace all interview questions.
Research the Company
Before your interview, research the prospective employer’s history, products/services, and culture. This knowledge will help you articulate how your professional experiences and skills can be applied to the company’s business interests; more specifically, how you can make a positive impact at the company. By knowing the important issues of the prospective employer, you demonstrate to the interviewer your familiarity with the employer and its inherent challenges. This familiarity will give you a strong competitive edge during the interview process.
Direct Your Answers
Regardless of what is being asked of you, always direct your answers to the message you want to convey. If a hirer asks you a question, provide a concise answer, as well as an additional selling point from your resume. For example, if a prospective employer asks you why you’re interested in the position, explain what attracted you to the position, as well as the reasons why you are an ideal fit for the opportunity. Remember to keep your answers concise.
For more anecdotal questions, such as “provide an example of a challenge you’ve faced thus far,” be sure to have a few brief stories prepared that can be used to illustrate various skill sets, such as time management, crisis management, creative problem-solving, and entrepreneurialism. By having several anecdotal stories prepared, you can answer most of these types of interview questions. As discussed above, be sure to add to your interview question a top selling point from your resume, and how your prior experiences can add up to potential value for a prospective employer.
Some classic interview questions ask you to describe your weaknesses. Ironically, here is another good opportunity to discuss some of your strengths. Talk about the lessons you have learned from making mistakes. By demonstrating your ability to grow out of your weaknesses, and how these experiences have helped you make a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, you continue to stress your value to any prospective employer.
You can ace any interview question by researching a company’s products and history, and by articulating your “message” of how you’re going to make a positive impact at a prospective employer. This message should be supported by key points from your resume (such as past accomplishments, awards, and skills), as well as several anecdotes that illustrate how you have used your skills and knowledge to affect positive change.