Along with the job interview comes the predictable questions that so many prospective employees dread. The secret to acing the interview is to turn that negative thinking around and look at it as your opportunity to shine. There are several interview questions that are commonly asked, so there's not reason to be taken by surprise. Prepare answers for them in advance, practice until you don't sound rehearsed and deliver them better than anyone else.
"Tell Me About Yourself."
Think of this question as your chance to present a personal commercial for yourself, or your one chance to tell the interviewer why you're perfect for the job. Remember to tailor your answer to the specific job. Study the announcement and review any other information you might have access to that offers insight into the skills and experience sought. Focus on both personal and professional values. Be honest but only talk about your good traits. If you want the job, it makes no sense to offer a balanced perspective. Every human being has some negative qualities. If they hire you, they'll discover yours soon enough. Don't advertise them.
"What is Your Greatest Work-Related Accomplishment?"
Try to pick an accomplishment from a previous job and relate it to the job you're applying for. Provide specific details about what you did and what the results were. The interviewer is listening for how you reduced expenses, raised revenues, solved a major problem or enhanced the company's reputation.
"What is Your Greatest Strength?"
This is your opportunity to talk about all that's great about you. Don't make the mistake of sticking to just one. Pick three or four of your best traits and elaborate. Make sure to stay focused on characteristics that relate to the job---examples are leadership skills and team-building ability. Describe your strengths and relate each one to a specific accomplishment.
"What is One of Your Personal Weaknesses?"
Remember, don't pick a weak trait that is essential to the job you're applying for. Having said that, this is still a tricky question. Many job interview experts suggest that you present a negative trait as a positive one, such as saying, "I'm too much of a perfectionist." The problem is that, over the years, these responses have been used so often that they sound canned. Consider pointing out a true weakness unrelated to the job you are applying for and discuss how you've addressed and overcome it.
"Do You Have Any Questions?"
At the end of the job interview, expect to be asked if you have any questions. If you actually want the job, you'd better have a few ready to go. Having no questions indicates a lack of initiative and motivation to learn more about the job. Don't bring up money or ask when you'll be eligible for a pay raise. Do prepare in advance with questions that show you are familiar with the company's accomplishments and challenges.
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