Saturday, July 13, 2024

What To Say During An Interview

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So When You Answer What Skills Do You Need To Improve Pick A Real Area Youd Like To Get Better At But Make Sure Its Not Something Essential To The Job

What to say in an interview

You can choose something youre already pretty good at, but still trying to improve even more. You can choose something that you learned a long time ago but havent used in recent jobs very much.

You can name something not directly related to your work but something youre passionate about learning. For example, maybe youre an Accountant but someday youd like to be a Team Leader, so youd like opportunities to improve your leadership. You could suggest that youd like to lead a meeting or project to begin, just to build out that skill-set over the long term.

Lets look at some example answers and this will start to make more sense

Ill put that Accountant example above as the first example.

Dont Raise False Hopes

Most interviewers will say theyll keep candidates resumes on file. But, sometimes, they can get carried away when providing feedback: You only need to work on your Javascript, otherwise youd be perfect for the position. This implies that the candidate might be considered if they become a Javascript master. Sending this message is ok, if its true, but its best to leave your options open. You cant really be sure that youll hire a candidate next time around. If you dont, they might resent you.

Use Filler Words As Little As Possible

John Rampton, an entrepreneur, speaker, and founder of online payments company Due, cautions in Mashable against overusing filler words like um,hmm and erm during a job interview.

Personally, I never realized that this was an issue until it was brought to my attention and I started watching footage of me speaking. Sure enough, I was throwing out a lot of ums. To correct this problem, I started speaking more slowly. If there was a question that I had to think about, I would remain completely silent until I could find the right words. Dont worry if youre concerned about there being an awkward silence. Its better to pause and say nothing-at-all than filling the air with a stream of filler words, he writes.

Read Also: How To Email An Employer After An Interview

Give A Little Personal History

It can be good to give a little personal history or insights into who you are when determining how to answer Tell me about yourself, as long as you do it right. Sharing what inspired you to make the career choice you made is OK, for example. Something like “I grew up in a one-stoplight town in the middle of nowhere and decided to go to West Virginia University because it was close to home and a good option for me” or “I love to play golf in my spare time” are acceptable. This is especially true if you’ve done your research and know that the interviewer has similar interests and can relate a bonus for you!

If you are new to the workforce, you may not have a choice but to use some scenarios that are more personal in nature, because you may not have many work stories or experiences to pull from. When I was interviewing for an internship in graduate school, I remember being asked something along the lines of “What’s one of the most difficult scenarios or challenges you’ve dealt with to date?” My answer? Marriage. It was the most honest answer I could give, and I explained why.

Even though I did have work experience, marriage was still the first thing that came to mind. I was able to make the answer work-related by sharing that marriage requires communication, compromise, teamwork, understanding, and more, all of which are requirements for success in the workplace. I received and accepted the offer and was later offered a full-time position.

‘i’m A Motivated Self

Job Interview

I’ve heard so many candidates say this in response to questions about their professional strengths or notable characteristics.

It’s a wildly overused answer, and if you find yourself saying it, the best case scenario is that your interviewer will ask you to elaborate. Worst case scenario? They’ll be unimpressed because they’ve heard it so many times, and move on.

A more appropriate response might be: “I’m not afraid to take the lead on projects, and I can do so with little guidance,” followed by an example of a time when you successfully did this.

Recommended Reading: What Not To Ask In An Interview

Follow Up After The Interview

No introduction is complete without a goodbye. After your interview has ended, follow the lead of your interviewer: stand when they stand, shake their hand again and thank them for their time with a smile. You can prepare to say a few phrases that will end the conversation on a positive note, like,

  • It was a pleasure meeting you, I appreciate your time today.
  • Thanks for a great conversation, hope you enjoy the rest of your day.
  • It was great to hear more about your role here, I hope to be in touch in the future.

If you have multiple rounds of interviews, be prepared to stand and greet your next interviewer, repeating the steps above.

After youve had some time to process and review your interview notes, remember to send timely follow-up notes to your interviewers, whether that be via email or handwritten. Sometimes recruiters dont give out interviewer emails, so be sure to ask for their business card or ask the recruiter if they can pass a thank you message to the interviewer. If youre sending handwritten notes, an easy way to get them to your interviewers is to send to the office address under their name.

Here are a few additional considerations for making a great first impression.

I Am Seeking To Become An Expert In My Field

Employers love applicants who are increasing their knowledge base to make themselves the best employees possible. Stating that you are aiming to become an expert causes employers to view you as an asset and not a liability. You are a resource that other employees can learn from.

This is also a subtle way of illustrating that you have an attitude of excellence. You are aiming to be the best at what you do. This will let employers know that you are not just a fly-by-night employee, but are in it for the long run.

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How To Answer What Areas Need Improvement Quick Instructions

  • Choose one specific area that youre actively working on improving
  • If youre going to mention being weak in a certain area, make sure that you do not say anything thats vital or crucial to the job youre interviewing for
  • Rather than naming a weakness, consider naming something youre already average or okay at, but wish to become much better
  • Sound humble, coachable, and willing to learn new things and take on new challenges when answering
  • Use your answer to show employers that youre self-motivated and actively looking for ways to improve your skills and value in your career
  • Give a genuine answer and never a generic answer like, well, sometimes I work too hard, so I need to learn to take more breaks
  • Practice your answer at home! Nothing comes out the first time, so before you go on an interview, rehearse what you plan on saying when the interviewer asks, whats something you need to improve on?

    If you have interviews coming up and dont want to leave anything to chance, Ive created a new guide where you can copy my exact step-by-step method for getting job offers. You can get more details here.

    What To Do Instead: Remain Factual And Dont Call Anyone Out

    Things Not to Say During an Interview

    Salemi states, If youre asked a behavioral question like, Name a situation when you dealt with a difficult , focus more on how youre selling yourself and how you rose to the occasion. You dont have to say that it was your boss. If youre asked why you want to leave the company, dont reveal its because you have a toxic boss. You can just say, Ive learned everything there is to learn in this role, Im growth orientated and thats why Im interested in your opportunity. In other words, pivot without pointing the finger.

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    I Focus Too Much On The Details

    Being detail-oriented is typically a good thing, but if youre someone who tends to spend too much time on the specifics of a project, it could also be considered a weakness. By sharing that you focus too much on details, youre showing your interviewer that youre capable of helping the organization avoid even minor mistakes.

    Be sure to explain how youre making improvements in this area by looking at the big picture. While employers may not love the idea of having an employee who is preoccupied with the finer points, a candidate who assures quality and strives for balance can be a great asset.

    Example:My greatest weakness is that I sometimes focus too much on the details of a project and spend too much time analyzing the finer points. Ive been striving to improve in this area by checking in with myself at regular intervals and giving myself a chance to refocusing on the bigger picture. That way I can still ensure quality without getting so caught up in the details that it affects my productivity or the teams ability to meet the deadline.

    Do You Have Any Questions For Us

    If you dont ask good questions in each interview, you might be costing yourself job offers. Asking questions shows interest in the position and shows employers that youre looking for the right fit, not just any job. This will make them trust you more and want you more.

    You can ask about the work, the training, the challenges youd face, the overall direction of the company.

    Dont ask about salary, benefits, time off, or anything that isnt related to the work. Wait for them to bring it up, or until you know they want to offer you the position.

    Here are 105 of the best questions to ask the interviewer.

    Example answer:

    Yes, I have a couple of questions actually. The first thing I wanted to ask: Is this a newly-created position, or did somebody hold this role in the past? And if so, what did that person go on to do after this position?


    If you have interviews coming up and dont want to leave anything to chance, Ive created a new guide where you can copy my exact step-by-step method for getting job offers. You can get more details here.

    Read Also: How To Prepare Google Interview

    Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job

    Let’s start with what you shouldn’t say .

    Don’t talk about how your boss is difficult. Don’t talk about how you can’t get along with other employees. Don’t bad-mouth your company.

    Instead, focus on the positives a move will bring. Talk about what you want to achieve. Talk about what you want to learn. Talk about ways you want to grow, about things you want to accomplish explain how a move will be great for you and for your new company.

    Complaining about your current employer is a little like people who gossip: If you’re willing to speak badly of someone else, you’ll probably do the same to me.

    I Am Energetic And Have A Positive Attitude

    Inspirational Bursts: 7 Things You Should Never Say During ...

    Employers are looking for candidates with optimism and a “can-do” attitude. Attitudes are contagious and directly affect company morale. Let the optimist in you shine during the interview process.

    Be sure to always speak positively about past employers. will make you look petty. If you bad-mouth your past company, employers are liable to believe that you will do the same thing to them.

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    This Work Sounds Interesting

    Everyone knows that the employer wants to see if you can do the work, but they also want to make sure this is a job youll actually like.

    So saying something to indicate youre interested in this type of work is crucial, and one of the most important things to say in your job interview to get hired.

    Heres why employers care about this

    If you dont like the job, youll:

    • be more likely to leave
    • put in less effort
    • have lower energy and a less positive attitude

    No employer will hire you if they have those concerns!

    So dont just show you can do the work show them that this type of work is something that excites you.

    This is true about the specific job youre interviewing for, and also the type of work in general.

    This is why interviewers ask why did you choose this career? or why does this career interest you?

    What Is Your Greatest Achievement

    You shouldnt brag about yourself in every interview question and answer, but sometimes its called for. And this is one of those cases.

    Dont be timid and dont hold back. This is your chance to share one accomplishment that youre most proud of and why. I recommend choosing a professional achievement, but if the biggest win that comes to mind is personal, thats fine too.

    Ideally, share a story that illustrates how you overcome a challenge, went through a transformation, or overcame doubt or fear to accomplish something that youre proud of. If you can show determination and resiliency, thats going to impress most employers. However, there are plenty of scenarios where your biggest achievement might show other traits instead. Thats fine, too.

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    List Of Weaknesses: 10 Things To Say In An Interview

    It can be hard to answer the question, What is your greatest weakness?especially when you expect to be discussing the skills, talents and capabilities that make you the strongest candidate for the job.

    Framing your weaknesses positively can be challenging, but when you combine self-awareness with an action plan, you can quickly stand apart from other job applicants.

    The key to preparing for this question is to identify weaknesses that still communicate strength. This will show the interviewer youre introspective enough to know your areas of opportunity.

    Explain Why Youre A Great Match For The Job

    10 Things to Never Say in an Interview | Interview Tips

    Dont stop at mentioning your skills and achievements, also explainwhy these qualifications matter for the job. Tell stories about your previousinteractions at work, challenges youve encountered, and other accomplishmentsthat match the criteria on the job description.

    You dont have to wait for the interviewer to ask you abehavioral interview question to weave these anecdotes into your answer. Justtell a brief story when the interviewer asks about a skill or job entry listedon your resume. Here’s a tutorial that can help you with behavioral interviews:

    Also Check: Should You Email After An Interview

    How To Answer Why Did You Leave Your Job

    This can be a challenging question to answer. Perhaps you left your job due to long hours and impossible deadlines. If you do not phrase your explanation carefully, you might appear lazy or unmotivated, which is off-putting to employers.

    Your best bet is to keep your answer short. Be honest, but frame it in a way that puts you in a good light.

    Keep your response positive , and try to pivot to discussing why the job at hand is an ideal match for your skills, knowledge, and experience.

    If you’re still working but are about to quit, then alter your responses accordingly. Every situation is unique, so be sure to tailor your response to fit your circumstances.

    Tell Me About Yourself Sample Answers

    Thats all great in theory, but what would a solid answer actually sound like? Check out these examples from Zhang, Dea, and Campos.

    Stav is a senior editor and writer at The Muse, where she covers careers and work with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Before joining The Muse, Stav was a staff writer at Newsweek, and her work has also appeared in publications including The Atlantic, The Forward, and Newsday. Stav earned a B.A. in history with a minor in dance at Stanford University and holds an M.S. from Columbia Journalism School. She won the Newswomen’s Club of New York’s Martha Coman Front Page Award for Best New Journalist in 2016. She prefers sunshine and tolerates winters grudgingly. You can find her on and and can visit her website here.

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    What Exit Interviews Aren’t For

    Know that the exit interview won’t solve all of the company’s problems, however. If you experienced more systemic, recurring issues, you can bring up how they impacted your decision to leave, but it may no longer be the time to get into the details.

    “I don’t think exit interviews are the place to rehash something you know you had multiple meetings about and ultimately didn’t get what you were looking for,” Thomas says.

    Leaving more general feedback in these cases could help you “protect your peace,” as Jay puts it. She cautions against going into the conversation angry and ready to bash your employer or colleagues. You never know if you’ll need them for a future reference she says. And even if you never intend to work with someone directly, it’s possible you could still be connected through the same industry, or have common connections that could impact your work.

    “You want to make sure the majority of your relationships while you’re working are positive, and that people will say kind things about you when you’re not in the room,” Jay says.

    Lay Off The Profanity

    Job Interview

    You should never cross this line.

    Youd think not swearing is Interviewing 101, but youd be surprised how often people still do it, According to The Muse. Even if your interviewer drops a few S- or F-bombs, youre better off keeping your language PG.

    Of course, different workplaces have varying standards of conduct, but you shouldnt assume this is safe territory especially since you dont yet work there or know the culture.

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