First off, you may not realize it but you know at least 95% of the questions in a typical hour interview. Why? Because the only information the hiring organization has about you is written on your resume. That means that you can prepare answers to the questions you know are going to be asked. What are those questions? How should you answer them? Read on.
THE QUESTIONS: The interviewer will likely work down each line item of your resume and ask:
What did you do?
How did you do it?
What was the result?
THE ANSWERS: Keep answers specific to the question. Answer in 30 seconds (a mini-pitch):
This was the issue we had
This is the action I took
This was the outcome we achieved
EXAMPLE: Q – What did you do in the summer after graduation? Instead of saying, “I spent the summer as the head lifeguard at the country club”, say instead, “As the head lifeguard, I hired the staff, supervised and managed the pool operations resulting in no critical incidences during the entire summer”.
EXAMPLE: When interviewing for an accounting position, instead of saying, “I installed a new accounting system for my current company”, say instead, “Due to our growth, we changed from a manual accounting system to an electronic application. My job was to install the new system while paralleling the manual one. We had no errors and, in fact, reduced our overhead by 15.7% and increased performance by 12.5%”.
EXAMPLE: When interviewing for a marketing position, instead of saying, “I ran the digital marketing segment of the marketing division for 3 years”, say instead, “The Company had no digital marketing experience. I was brought in to design and install a new growth segment for the business. We increased our revenue by 12% in the first year along with expanding our customer base by 18% to a younger age group. Currently it’s 25% of our business.”
The way you respond to the questions that you know are going to be asked elevates your candidacy. However, you need to prepare yourself beforehand:
Write down your answers to each question. Once you see it in print you can sharpen your responses to best fit.
Practice your responses out loud until you feel comfortable. Your responses should be spontaneous, not scripted
Be ready to give a story with a positive tilt for your contribution
Listen for the important “second” question. If the interviewer asks a follow-up question, it gives you insightful as to the critical issues of the hiring organization… it’s what they are looking for in a new hire!!
Become a successful candidate by understanding the needs of the hiring organization. Develop the answers beforehand to the questions you know will be asked!
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