How To Answer Job Interview Questions

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Video Tutorial Summary

In this video I hope to provide a foundation that you can use to answer almost any interview question you may be asked.

RESEARCH

The first half of the foundation is doing research. The research itself is also broken into two parts – researching the company & job listing and researching your own background.

To research the company and job listing, you will consider a lot of different questions. You will want to verify specific skills that they are looking for so you can emphasize them in your interview. You’ll also want to see if there are specific vocabulary words they use to describe processes that maybe you’ve called something else. Ultimately, you want to be on the same page as the future employer.

You will also want to do research on the company through Google on what type of interview questions they ask and who you will be interviewing with. With a smaller company, you may interview with your direct boss or the owner on the first interview. In a larger corporation, you may interview with someone in human resources first before making it to another round of more in-depth interviews. Both situations provide unique ways in which you will want to answer the questions.

You will also want to research yourself. It sounds silly, but you need to go back through your career and take a good inventory of your skills and positive outcomes that you’ve been a part of. You should try and come up with three scenarios from each job that you can use to answer interview questions. They should be specific and with as much detail as possible. Remember to target times where you used skills they are specifically looking for.

STRUCTURE

The second part of the foundation is how we will come up with our answers or how we will structure them.

STAR METHOD

The STAR method is important because it gives us a rough guideline for how we will answer. STAR stands for Situation or Task, Action, & Result. The situation or task you were asked to perform in your job that presented a challenge. The action you took to overcome that situation in a positive way. And the result of the situation – what happened?

STAR gives us an outline on how to search back through our career and find good situations that we can re-tell as answers. What we also have to do is turn our STAR answers into a story.

Most good stories are made up of three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Your interview answers should also have a beginning, middle, and end. With STAR as your guide, setting the stage with the situation will be your beginning. The lead up and subsequent action acts as the middle of your story. And the result is the resolution of your story – the ending.

A few key takeaways to spinning your experience into a story:

· You are the hero of the story. And every story is a success story.

· The points of STAR will act as place-markers in your story. From A to B to C.

· Your answer should hit two key points for the employer: you have a skill they are looking for and you have experience you can talk about using that skill.

· Your answer should be in the time range of 2-3 minutes. Any outside information you tell during your story that does not advance the idea of how skilled you are is wasting time.

EXAMPLES

“What is your greatest strength?”

This is a common question that you may be asked. Here’s my answer:

My greatest strength is my ability to communicate. As the Career Services Director I coordinated efforts across departments with my director colleagues to address our collective ability to communicate with students. I was responsible for talking with students after they graduated. Part of that responsibility was working with the director of finance to communicate any financial issues or questions between our director and the student. The director would also help me with additional student contact information from their file if I had lost touch with a student. Our ability to keep a continuous line of communication open between each other and the students helped me to find more students jobs and helped her have more students pay their bills.
The great thing is that this story works for multiple answers. Obviously, you don’t want to give the same answer to multiple questions, but you can use your answers differently depending on the questions asked and the company involved.

The great thing is that this story works for multiple answers. Obviously, you don’t want to give the same answer to multiple questions, but you can use your answers differently depending on the questions asked and the company involved.

So with the example I give above, if I wanted to use a different story to describe my greatest strength I will still have the above story in my back pocket. I could use it to answer questions like, “why should we hire you?”, “tell me about a time when you had to communicate with your co-workers”, or other similar questions.

Here’s another example:

“How do you deal with pressure?”

My Answer: “One of the ways I deal with pressure is by staying organized. Just one example, in my job as director of career services I relied on my organizational skills during an accreditation audit. It was my responsibility to walk the auditors (along with our Owner and other high ranking employees) through my files, answering any questions about students or the files themselves they may have had. They also followed up with past students and employers via phone to ensure accuracy of the data in my files. Because the auditing process was essential to our staying open, there could not have been a more pressure packed situation. And even though there was still a very tangible feeling of pressure during the audit, I was able to know in the back of my mind that I had prepared for this moment and that I was ready and organized. So that’s one way I deal with pressure.”

I can use the above answer for a number of questions. So when thinking of situations and scenarios to use, think about how they can be told to answer different standard or behavioral questions in your job interview.

Before we close, here are some quick last minute tips:

Practice a lot. Find a friend, family member, or a mirror to practice with. You need to feel comfortable with the content of your answers as well as talking aloud to a stranger. This can be overwhelming for some so do not go into an interview unprepared with little to no practice.

Remember to bracket your answers by repeating the question. This will help you to gather steam in the beginning of your answer and to avoid awkward silences at the end of your answers.

Music : http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music


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