Successful Interview Answers


It is a given that interviewers ask questions to find the best employee for a job. The questions they ask are meant to discern applicants’ talents and skills, and if they would fit well within the organization. Your answers to these questions should demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the job. These answers should be positive, to the point and be centered on your professional skills and experiences.


Think of examples of how you demonstrated using certain skills before you are interviewed. Interviewers like to hear stories of candidates using their skills to do a job well. The examples should be from your professional past whenever possible. For example, if you are asked about a time you successfully lead a team through a difficult situation, you might mention how you broke your team into specialized groups based on talents and interests to come up with different solutions to a problem. You could then mention how the team found a viable way to solve the problem while maximizing resources at the lowest cost possible.


Interview answers should be short and to the point. Provide enough information to adequately answer the question, but avoid giving too many details that would cause your answer to be longer than it should. Interviewers’ time is limited, and other candidates could be in the reception area waiting for their turns to interview. If you find that you are unclear whether the interviewers would like more information about something you said, you can broach the subject to find out.


Answer interview questions so that they focus on your professional experiences whenever possible. When asked to tell the interviewer about yourself, avoid responding that you have three children, like to ski and are currently taking a tai chi class. The interviewer is most interested in information about your professional experiences and capabilities. Angle your answers to emphasize how you can benefit the company and why the employer should consider you the best candidate for the job.


Your interview answers should be positive at all times. When asked about why you are leaving your current job or why you left your last employer, avoid saying negative things about your supervisor or co-workers. Provide a truthful answer, but do not give negative details. When asked about your weaknesses, mention one, but show how you have improved from having that weakness. Specify what you have learned from it. When asked about what you know about the company, do not say, “Nothing.” Instead, mention the products and philosophies you have read about on the company’s website, any current news you read in a trade publication about it, and then say, “I would like to know more.”

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