Best Answers for Those Tired Interview Questions

July 16th, 2013

Your résumé got you the interview. So how do you turn those clichéd interview questions into an opportunity for you to shine?

The key to answering these questions is to take ‘you’ out of the equation. It’s all about the potential employer. So, focus your answers on what the employer needs.

Why do you want the job?

Of course you’ve already done your due diligence on the company. You are connected through social media and have been observing discussions, tweets and even hiring notices. You’ve also researched the company culture and the key players. Now it’s time to let that savvy show.

Share what excites you about the company and why you would want to be part of the organization. Weave tidbits of what you’ve learned about the company into the conversation to show you have done your homework, and use quantitative information whenever possible.

Then, step out of your comfort zone to share what you think you can contribute to the company. Sure you’re pitching, but if you are enthusiastic and real, you can be sure your genuine responses will be remembered.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Start with your weakness so you end on your strengths.

First, forget the old ploy of spinning your weakness into strengths. Instead share a little about yourself. Be forthright. Share a genuine weakness and how you’ve taught yourself to overcompensate for it with examples.

Asking your strengths seems like a benign question, but consider turning it around with a positive and memorable answer. List your strengths as related to the potential employer and the position for which you are applying.

Smile, engage with the interviewer and be yourself.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Alison Green in USA Today News & World Report/Money translates that question to “How does this job fit in with where you see your career going?” The answer an interviewer wants to hear is that the position means a career to you, not just a paycheck or a place holder until something better comes along.

Answer thoughtfully, honestly and with enthusiasm. Your answer must demonstrate that:

  • You have vision and it involves the potential employer
  • Your goal is to invest yourself in a career with the company.

Once again, it’s all about making that interview all about what you have to offer a potential employer.

Let Olympic Staffing Services help with your job search.  We don’t simply fill positions—we build relationships, taking the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.


How to Do Well in a Group Interview

February 10th, 2012

Everyone knows that guy – the one who tries so hard to stand out in a group interview that he becomes obnoxious. You feel sorry for him, as you sit there and try to participate in the proper manner. Then, you think about it – could this guy really get the job because he’s loud and so eager looking? A group interview is definitely a time for you to stand out, but you need to do so in the right manner. That is the only way to avoid the risks you could experience otherwise, such as being shut out of another round of interviews.

It’s a Fine Line to Walk

The group interview involves multiple potential employees for the position. The interviewer is asking questions and providing information. You need to make a good impression to move on to the next stage of questioning. Here are some tips to help you to do just that.

  1. Pay attention. Being attentive during the presentation will pay off. Be sure to listen to what is being said without interrupting.
  2. Make eye contact with those doing the interviewing. Be sure your body language is also communicating that need. Non-verbal feedback, such as keeping your arms on the table, helps to show your interest.
  3. Ensure your confidence comes out. Introduce yourself confidently. Speak articulately and slowly. You will want to take the time to look at each person in the room. Be ready to provide a few minutes of information about who you are and what you have to offer the company.
  4. Know the answers to the questions they definitely will ask. If you come into an interview without any information about the business, you lose. Rather, invest a few minutes of time learning about the business.
  5. Be polite to those whom you encounter – both your competition for the job and those working for the company. Be sure you listen to others and avoid interrupting. You don’t need to be the first one with your hand up in the air.
  6. Make sure your exit is a good one, too. Be supportive of the company. Act like you are genuinely interested. Do not rush out the door. Engage in conversation anyone you can if the opportunity arises.

When you walk out the door, you need to be confident that the person doing the interview really does know whom you are and what you have to offer the company. You want them to remember your name for all of the right reasons. Do not invest in being loud, obnoxious or too eager. Rather, be confident and ensure you answer any question answered of you in a professional manner. Do not answer as if you are in a competition. After all, when you are confident, you stand out from the rest.

Use your body language, position and your knowledge to help you to stand out from the rest of the crowd. You want them to remember your name. Offer a handshake and look directly in their eyes. Doing so will make the right impression.