There is not one person on this planet who has ever stepped into a job interview feeling completely calm. It is one of the most nerve-wracking things you’ll ever have to do as an adult, especially if you are interviewing for your dream job. Because of this, it pays to be prepared.
Luckily, there are a few questions that are quite standard in most interviews, the two most common being ‘So, tell me about yourself?’ And ‘what is your greatest strength?’. Here’s our input on how to formulate impressive answers that will force your interviewer to take notice.
Tell me about yourself…
The first mistake that people make when presented with this question is to talk about their personal lives. Nobody wants to know that you broke up with your girlfriend a few weeks back and have since taken up yoga to calm your nerves.
What the interviewer really wants to know is your work history and experience. A mention of specific career goals and achievements is also welcome here. Relevancy is important – you’ll want to focus on information and stories that showcase why you would be a great fit for the role that you’re interviewing for.
What is your greatest strength?
While the interviewer wants you to brag a little bit, you definitely want to steer clear of coming across as over-confident or arrogant. You can avoid this by picking one or two of your strengths and talking about them in detail, as opposed to rattling off an entire list of your best qualities without substantiation.
Back up your claims with stories and examples. For example, if you think of yourself as a talented problem solver, tell the interviewer about that time you suggested substituting avocado for asparagus when the chef ran out of ingredients at the restaurant you worked at, and how the guests couldn’t stop raving about it. Stories help your claims to come across as more genuine and make it easier to relate to you as a person and as a professional.
Practice makes perfect! If you have a big interview coming up, convince your friends or relatives to help you work on your interview skills. The more you practice, the more prepared you are likely to feel… and the more likely you’ll be to ace the interview and land that job. Good luck!