By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

Interview questions can be tricky and sometimes difficult.  The simplest answer is usually the best answer.  Complexity can get you into a tangle of conflicting responses.  In this series, Part 1 is the easiest of tricky questions. Part 2 is the most difficult.  It’s assumed you have done the necessary research to understand the key elements of the company your interviewing.  If not, you’ve already lost the interview to other candidates who have done their homework.  Here are some initial questions.

1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF.  HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOURSELF? Provide a crisp but positive assessment, based on the interviewer. A Human Resources Manager is looking for your ability to fit in and have the basic requirements.  The hiring manager is looking for key knowledge, skills and abilities that will get the job done, given today and tomorrow’s need for results.  Connect your assets to the position based on the role of the interviewer.

2. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR ASPIRATIONS?  WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER OBJECTIVES? Are your expectations realistic and can they be accommodated?  Their interest is in your ability to grow with the company.  Saying you want to expand your responsibilities to better support and stay ahead of the needs of the company is always a good response.  In that way, everyone wins!

3. WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE?  WHY DO YOU THINK YOU’RE A GOOD FIT? First you need to search and understand the goals and strategies of the company.  Any company wants their employees to parallel their mission.  Check out the website for potential answers and look for compatibilities. The question is designed to identify similar values, style and culture.  You need to bring added value to performance so the business can grow.

4. DO YOU WORK BEST AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR AS A TEAM MEMBER? Careful here!  Of course you want to do both, but you can’t make it sound contrived.  Stating that you work best as a part of a team where you can contribute as an individual may cover the question.  If you have examples of your team contributions, how you’ve gotten results as an individual, then as a leader of a team effort, all would be good to explain.  Make sure your answer is credible and is not a smoke screen.

5. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT US?  WHY DO YOU THINK YOU’LL SUCCEED HERE? Again, your research is a must.  Be specific about what you know about them:  Products, growth, industry position, competition, future direction, and so on. Be more general unless you know what the issues of the function/company are, and what some potential alternative solutions may be.  Sneak into your response some areas of your competence and successes of the past.

6. WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU OVER ALL THE OTHERS? Hopefully you can match your impressive background with the needs of the organization.  Connect new ideas and alternatives to help solve problems or add to the growth of the function/company.  Never tell them you have the answers, only that you have experiences that may prove to be helpful as alternatives to a solution.

Your primary objective is to stand out as a candidate.  These questions are poised to answer the ultimate question of why a company should hire you.  But if you are prepared, have done your research and practice your responses, you will become a candidate of choice over those who are not ready.

Part 2 will explore even more difficult and tricky questions, so tune in next Wednesday.

Take control of your destiny.  Let me help you succeed in the marketplace. Want some answers to you questions?  Contact me by Email:

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By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.