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Quick Tips for the Most Common Interview Questions

Preparing for an interview? Then you know you need to practice, especially those common interview questions that tend to stump job seekers. This blog will cover a few quick tips for how to handle the tricky questions that are asked at most interviews.


Tell Me About Yourself


Many interviews start with this question. Job candidates often take one of two approaches. The first is to launch into a complete autobiography, talking on and on, which is not want the interviewer was seeking. The second is to just be at a loss for words because they don't even know where to start. They end up providing an unclear answer with many filler words, such as "um" and "uh." In either case, the interview is not off to a great start.


The best way to prepare for this question in advance is by creating an "elevator pitch." What is an elevator pitch? It is a short answer that you could provide someone in about 30 seconds (as if you were just with them long enough for an elevator ride). You don't need to cover your entire history, but just want to incorporate 2 or 3 key points about yourself. However, when you answer this question, you want to frame it in a way that addresses the interviewer's need. It isn't about you and your full life history... even if it seems that way by the way the question is worded. A hiring manager is really asking "tell me what you can provide me to fill my need in the workplace."


Think through your areas of experience, your previous accomplishments and your work history and come up with an answer that includes one (or more than one) of those items in a way that demonstrates how you would be the right person for this job opening. You are trying to communicate who you are and how you can benefit the company within a few sentences.


Tell Me About Your Weaknesses


Again, job seekers often approach this one of two ways. Either they claim they have no weaknesses (which is obviously untrue as all human beings have weaknesses), or they are overly honest and let the interviewer know of a weakness that eliminates them as a job candidate.


Your goal in answering this question is to acknowledge that you do have flaws, but you also have ways to address those flaws or the flaws you have will not impact your performance in this particular role. So, either pick out something that really isn't necessary for this specific position or select a flaw that you have worked on to overcome or have implemented tools to help minimize.


Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?


Job seekers are generally seeking new employment because they are unhappy with some aspect of their current role. When asked this question, they sometimes start griping about their boss or the company and can come across as negative and unkind. You want to avoid that during your job interview. Therefore Revision Resume always advises clients to try to spin this question to the positive.


Think through what you are looking forward to in a new role, instead focusing on what you are trying to get away from in your current role. For example, let's say you are leaving your current job because you have stagnated there and you don't see any future growth opportunities. Instead of saying something like "unless my boss leaves, I am stuck in the same boring role forever," you could say "I am seeking a new job opportunity where I will have the ability to grow and learn. This position looks intriguing to me because I see that you have additional educational opportunities that are of interest to me."


Interviews are stressful. You are trying to answer questions honestly, while also portraying yourself in the best positive light. Revision Resume has provided numerous blogs with interview tips. To read other blogs on this topic, click here. If you need help with your career documentation (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc) during your job search, don't hesitate to reach out to Revision Resume. We help people in the Rochester, NY area and beyond!

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