How To Answer Interview Questions

Making sure you have an answer to your interviews questions is crucial in getting a job. the right interview prep can be the difference between getting hired or continuing your search. Here are some great

Making sure you have an answer to your interviews questions is crucial in getting a job. the right interview prep can be the difference between getting hired or continuing your search. Here are some great answers to questions you might be asked.

Why should I choose you over other candidates?

The Real Question: You probably have the skills to do this job, but what sort of person are you? What intangibles will you bring to the company?

Top-line Tactic: Skip the competencies here and instead focus on what sets you apart as a person.

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This question gets candidates rattled. When you don’t even know the other candidates, how on earth are you supposed to compare yourself to them? The trick to keeping your cool here is to forget the comparison framing, and simply take the question as an opportunity to expand on your finest personal characteristics.

Obviously, interviewers ask this question because they want to see what sets you apart from everyone else, but chances are their main concern isn’t your competencies. You’ve already been selected for interview. No hiring manager gives up their time for a candidate they don’t believe can do the job based on their résumé. So what they want to hear when they ask this is what you can bring aside from your skills. What are the most interesting facets of you as a person that aren’t captured in the work experience section of your résumé?

This is a chance to highlight the intangibles you haven’t been able to work into the conversation up to this point. Essentially, you’ve just been given the go-ahead to brag a little about yourself. Take the opportunity—just don’t go wildly overboard with the self-praise. Consider something along these lines:

I’m a person who likes learning and continually improving. I have a natural curiosity. I like getting out of my comfort zone and try to do whatever I’m doing as well as I can. I’m self-motivated and flexible—in a working environment there’s a need to adapt and if it means having to run a training course then I’ll do it; if it means covering the floor I’ll do it; if it means motivating the team, I’ll do it. I also look at my other colleagues because they may have skills that I don’t and I’m not afraid to ask for help. I’m extremely dedicated to my work and I think that’s something that’s part of my personality. Also I’m very honest and if you ask me something I will give you my sincere opinion, whether I think it’s what you want to hear or not. I feel like honesty is something you’ve got—it’s like a lapel badge. I like people to come to me because they know I’m going to give them a straight answer.

This is also a good opportunity to stress skills you have that are unusual for a candidate applying for this sort of position, or special abilities that have not yet been discussed in depth in the interview. The idea is to sell yourself as offering a unique package of abilities to the employer. Perhaps something like:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who understands this software, but I believe I’m also great at putting complex, technical concepts into everyday language, and I think that’s pretty rare among technical people.

Or:

All the candidates you’re interviewing no doubt have the requisite childcare experience, but as I studied in Paris for a year, I also speak fluent French, which I used to create fun and educational language lessons at my current job. Both the kids and the parents loved it.

If you hear this question, you can definitely see it as a positive sign about how the interview is progressing. If they bother to ask you something along these lines, they probably think you can do the job and simply want to determine if they’ll like doing it with you. Lots of people can perform the job, but what is it about you that will make the interviewer want to hire you?

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