Friday, May 17, 2024

What To Answer In An Interview

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Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths

How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question – 5 Key Tips and Example Response

Dont be thrown off by this questionjust take a deep breath and explain to the hiring manager why youve made the career decisions you have. More importantly, give a few examples of how your past experience is transferable to the new role. This doesnt have to be a direct connection in fact, its often more impressive when a candidate can show how seemingly irrelevant experience is very relevant to the role.

Do You Prefer Hard Work Or Smart Work

Smart work on the other hand, means doing the work efficiently. If you manage to get the job done in 2 hours instead of 5, with the same end-result, youre doing smart work.

Keep in mind, though, that by asking this question, the interviewer is looking to understand what your work ethic is like. Meaning, theyre looking for a healthy combination of both, not just one.

That is, they want you to be the candidate who not only thinks smartly but works hard as well.

So, your answer here shouldnt be one-sided…

Oh, I looove smart work. Thats when you come up with what to do, and make other people do it, right?

Instead, explain how you excel at both:

Sample answer:

I dont particularly have a preference – I believe that both hard and smart work is important to get the best results.

Smart work, on one hand, lets you figure out the best and most efficient way to get things done.

Hard work, on the other hand, means that youll do the job right. Even if theres no way to do it smart or efficiently, youll be willing to put in long hours of work to get it done.

Im the type that does both.

For an example of smart for, during my time at , I was in charge of the sales department. As a process improvement initiative, I migrated from an outdated, in-house CRM, to Pipedrive. This improved the departments productivity by around 20%.

Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position

This is valuable information for employers to understand. It helps them ensure the opening will be a better fit, make sure they can provide for what your previous employer did not or see if you might have contributed to a negative experience for both you and the employer. Answer this question honestly, but refrain from providing too much personal or negative detail.

Example:While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer many opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position aligns perfectly with my skill set and how Im looking to advance my career.

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How Did You Get Along With Your Former Boss

You may strongly dislike your current boss. But if you say that to a potential employer, you might inadvertently portray yourself in a negative light.

The reason: if youre so willing to gossip about your current boss, it doesnt reflect positively on you and the employer may wonder if youll talk badly about them in the future.

If you truly cant think of anything nice to say about your previous boss, talk about the things you were able to accomplish while working with them. And its alright to be honest, gently, and say that there were some areas of your relationship that were better than others, but that you learned a lot about your own management and leadership style through them , suggests Reynolds.

Try this potential way to answer the question: My boss and I had different working styles, but I learned how to meet their needs and even learned more about how to lead a team effectively.

What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer

How to Prepare for an Interview

Be sure to do your homework on the organization and its culture before the interview. Your research will save you here. Your preferred environment should closely align to the companys workplace culture . For example, you may find on the companys website that they have a flat organizational structure or that they prioritize collaboration and autonomy. Those are key words you can mention in your answer to this question.

If the interviewer tells you something about the company that you didnt uncover in your research, like, Our culture appears buttoned-up from the outside, but in reality, its a really laid-back community with little competition among employees, try to describe an experience youve had that dovetails with that. Your goal is to share how your work ethic matches that of the organizations.

Example: That sounds great to me. I like fast-paced work environments because they make me feel like Im always learning and growing, but I really thrive when Im collaborating with team members and helping people reach a collective goal as opposed to competing. My last internship was at an organization with a similar culture, and I really enjoyed that balance.

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Tell Me About Yourself

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but its crucial. Here’s the deal: Dont give your complete employment history. Instead, give a pitchone thats concise and compelling and that shows exactly why youre the right fit for the job. Muse writer and MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using a present, past, future formula. Talk a little bit about your current role , then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have thats relevant. Finally, segue into why you wantand would be perfect forthis role.

Most Common Job Interview Questions And Answers

Speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, author of THE MOTIVATION MYTH, ghostwriter.

Over the past four years this article has been read by between 8 and 10 million people on Inc.

Since Inc. now has a paywall, I decided to re-publish it here so it can be available to anyone interested.

While some job interviewers take a fairly unusual approach to interview questions, most job interviews involve an exchange of common interview questions and answers . Here are some of the most common interview questions, along with the best way to answer them.

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Could You Give Us An Example Of A Personal Or Professional Achievement

If you can think of an achievement that relates to the job for which you are applying, it will seem more impressive and relevant to recruiters. However, if you have an equally impressive achievement that you would like to share, dont be afraid to do so. If you are talking about a previous job, be sure to include what you were working as, for how long you worked on the achievement prior to the result or outcome.

Think about which of your achievements would be most relevant to your potential employer? Whenever you are asked any competency based question, use STAR format:

SITUATION / TASK Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. Be very specific and give details, but keep it short and concise. Give them a bit of context about every example what was the situation before you had to step in? What was the problem? What was the impact of this problem on you/others?

ACTION Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did not the efforts of the team. Use words such as I initiated/led/managed for etc. otherwise the interviewer will not know what your personal contribution was. You can mention some time-frames, people involved, names, results etc.

RESULTS Describe what you achieved. What happened? What was the final result? How much money/time did you save? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What feedback have you received? etc.

Tell Me Something That Makes You Uncomfortable Common Interview Questions

Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Body Language & More

The trick to this question is to focus on a single thing that makes you uncomfortable, and give an example of it. While this might seem to be a weakness, you should put a positive spin on it by giving an example of how you overcome this discomfort, meaning that you were capable of doing your job.

Example: Im uncomfortable in environments where things arent well organised. I entered my previous role to find that a lot of the information I had to work with regularly was disorganised. Therefore, I took the time to ensure that everything was well organised, so that I could work more efficiently and comfortably.

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Put The Following Three Words In Order Of Importance To You Money Recognition Promotion

There is no right answer to this question, but its an opportunity for you to show you have a reasoning behind your answer, and you know where your priorities lie. Self-awareness is important to hiring managers.

With a question like this, as long as you have a logical answer, and sincerely mean it, you should be fine.

Example answer:

Money, Recognition, Promotion, because if I make the company, my clients, and myself a lot of money, the recognition and promotion will follow in that order.

What Are Your Salary Requirements

What They Want to Know: Questions about salary can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what the job pays. One approach to answering this question is to say you’re flexible, based upon the entire compensation package including benefits.

I average around $39K annually, and I know from online salary calculators that the approximate salary here for professionals with my experience ranges from $38K to $40K. But Im open to negotiation, depending upon your benefits package.

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What Interests You About This Job

It sounds like a softball question youre interested in the work, after all but you can mess this one up if you focus on something thats a very small part of the position or the benefits, salary, or short commute or even sometimes if you focus mainly on getting a foot in the door . Instead, your answer should focus on the substance of the job itself the work youd be doing day-to-day and the outcomes youd be working toward. Interviewers want someone whos enthusiastic about doing whatever the person will be spending most of their time on.

What Are Some Good Job Interview Tips

10 of the most common interview questions

1. Arrive early and engage in friendly communication with other people there in order to get used to connecting with people.2. Set up Google alerts for the industry and company youre interviewing with. This way youll be up to date with any recent news and can bring it up in the interview.3. Turn the interview from an interrogation into a conversation between peers. Ask questions and get some back and forth going between you and the interviewer. This will lower your nerves and you come across as more of a colleague or a peer to the hiring manager.

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Why Did You Decide To Leave Your Previous/current Job

When asking this question, the interviewer wants to learn:

  • Did you have a good reason for leaving your last job? The HR manager doesnt want someone that just jumps ship the moment things go bad.

Incorrect Example:

Oh, well, the company started bleeding cash and was on its way to bankruptcy.

Correct Example:

I felt like it was time – I got to a point where everything I was doing felt monotonous. I learned as much as I could at this position while delivering amazing results. It was, however, time to switch to something new.

  • Did you leave on good terms? Meaning, did you go through the offboarding process, instructing your coworkers on how to take up your responsibilities? Or did you just say Adios and stopped showing up at work?

Incorrect Example:

Things started to get really boring, and the boss man was kind of mean. I totally deserve better, so I just ghosted them and now Im looking for a new company. Hi!

Correct Example:

I didnt feel like the companys values coincide with mine. The management was too controlling and micromanaging. I prefer to have some control over my work, and being able to contribute by going above and beyond my requirements.

Of course, I went through the off-boarding properly. Meaning, gave a timely resignation notice, and transferred all the essential company knowledge to my replacement.

  • Did you leave voluntarily, or were you fired?

Incorrect Example:

I got fired for missing work for a week without an excuse.

Correct Example:

Common Job Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

Interviews can be high stress, anxiety-driving situations, especially if its your first interview. A little practice and preparation always pays off. While we cant know exactly what an employer will ask, here are 10 common interview questions along with advice on how to answer them. The questions include:

  • Could you tell me something about yourself and describe your background in brief?: Interviewers like to hear stories about candidates. Make sure your story has a great beginning, a riveting middle, and an end that makes the interviewer root for you to win the job.
  • How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?: Share an instance when you remained calm despite the turmoil. If its a skill youre developing, acknowledge it and include the steps youre taking to respond better to pressure in the future.
  • What are your salary expectations?: Before you walk in for your first interview, you should already know what the salary is for the position youre applying to. Check out websites such as Glassdoor, Fishbowl, or for salary information. You could also ask people in the field by reaching out to your community on LinkedIn.

Where your work meets your life. See more from Ascend here.

Below is a list of 10 common job interview questions, along with answering techniques that will help you dazzle your prospects, and hopefully, secure the role you want.

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Why Should We Hire You Interview Question

I can understand in your position you want someone who will excel in this role. You are investing time, money and resources and therefore, you want to get the right person. Having studied the job description in detail, I feel I am that person. The job description requires an ability to deliver excellent customer service, an ability to consistently meet targets and to also fit quickly within your already established team. My resume and previous work experiences makes me strongly believe I can do all of those things. I am a hard worker, professional, self-motivated and committed to achieving your goals and the company mission. I feel confident that, if you hire me, you will be more than happy with my performance and dedication within the role.


Tip #1 Focus on how you can add benefit to the role you are being interviewed for.

Tip #2 Mention the key qualities and attributes of the job within your interview question answer.

Tip #3 Match previous experience to the job in your response.

What Do You Like To Do Outside Of Work


Interviewers will sometimes ask about your hobbies or interests outside of work in order to get to know you a little betterto find out what youre passionate about and devote time to during your off-hours. Its another chance to let your personality shine. Be honest, but keep it professional and be mindful of answers that might make it sound like youre going to spend all your time focusing on something other than the job youre applying for.

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Who Was Your Best Boss And Who Was The Worst

What They Want to Know: This question is designed to discover what type of leadership and management style works best for you. Be careful answering, and don’t be too negative. Even if you had a terrible boss, how you speak about them can leave the interviewer wondering how you will speak about other supervisors if you didn’t get along with them.

My best manager had an open-door policy where we were always welcome to speak to her privately about issues. Ive never had a bad manager. Im not as comfortable with those who prefer to micromanage my work, but when this happens I try to gain their trust so that theyll feel more confident about giving me some autonomy.

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What Is Your Salary Range Expectation

Interviewers ask this question to make sure your expectations are in line with the amount theyve budgeted for the role. If you give a salary range exceedingly lower or higher than the market value of the position, it gives the impression that you dont know your worth. Here are three ways to approach this response:

Provide a range

Research the typical compensation range for the role on Indeed Salaries and make the low end of your range your lowest acceptable salary. For example, if you require at least $50,000 annually, you might offer the interviewer a range of $50,000-$60,000 per year. Let the hiring manager know if youre flexible.

Example answer:My salary expectation is between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX, which is the average salary for a candidate with my level of experience in this city. However, I am flexible and willing to discuss.

Include negotiation options

There may be other benefits, perks or forms of compensation you find just as valuable as your salary.

Example answer:I am seeking a position that pays between $75,000 and $80,000 annually, but I am open to negotiate salary depending on benefits, bonuses, equity, stock options and other opportunities.

Deflect the question

If youre early in the hiring process and still learning the specifics of the job duties and expectations, you may want to deflect the question for later in the conversation.

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