Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Navigate Potential Interview Minefields - Part 1

Job interviews are a study in contrasts. You are excited but terrified at the prospect of an interview. You prepare yourself for the interview but often feel unprepared once you enter the room. I have said before on this blog that the best way to achieve interview success is to prepare yourself in advance. One of the ways you can do this is to prepare answers to some of the most commonly asked interview questions. Unfortunately, these same questions are often the ones that are most commonly answered incorrectly.

"Tell me about yourself."
As I explained in this earlier blog post, when this question is asked, it is usually asked first. Interviewers use the question as an icebreaker to help get the ball rolling and get to know you. However, don't make the mistake of thinking the interviewer wants you to share personal details such as marital status, age, religion, or how many kids or dogs you have.

Prepare a two-minute career summary that details your experience, your skills, one of your major accomplishments, and how you fit into their company. Practice this answer until you can recite it from memory.

"What are your biggest weaknesses?"
When asked about your weaknesses, you should pick an actual weakness that you learned to overcome. State your weakness, and demonstrate the steps you took to ensure that this weakness does not interfere with your ability to do your job.

Be sure not to bring up a skill that is critical to performing the job for which you are applying. Stating your weakness as a lack of patience for whiny children when you want to manage a child care center will not win you any points!

Check back on Tuesday for two more potentially damaging interview questions and tips to successfully navigate your way past them.

No comments:

Post a Comment