Out of 250 applicants, you were chosen for an interview. You made it. You’re experiencing a sense of relief that you’re finally going for an interview and a sense of trepidation that you might make a fatal interview mistake.
In my career coaching business, I have helped hundreds of job seekers ace interview questions and answers. In my blog, 2021 Interview Questions and Answers for Job Seekers, I show how to respond to the most common interview questions. Here, I want to show you how to respond to some unique questions asked during an interview.
Before I dive in, let’s review the three main purposes of an interview:
- To find out if you are qualified for the job in terms of skills, abilities, and knowledge.
- To find out if you’re a good fit for the company culture based on your personality, character, and interest.
- Determine why you should be hired based on your overall career goals and whether you will be an asset to the company or need a replacement in a year from now.
Most interviews are less than an hour. This is a lot of information to pack into one hour, especially when a fair amount of time needs to be spent determining your skills and abilities. Over the years, employers have tried to come up with creative questions to learn what motivates candidates, how they will respond in specific situations, and who they are as people.
Three questions asked to determine motivation. These questions let the employer know what motivates you in your career. Your responses should tell the interviewer a story aligned with your career path.
- Describe your ideal company and the role you would have.
- What aspirations do you have within our company?
- Describe the type of work that motivates you most.
Three questions to learn about who you are as a person. These questions relate to your soft skills. These questions are similar to the questions about your strengths and weaknesses, only they dig a little bit deeper.
- If you had several project deadlines coming up, how would you manage your priorities?
- When your work is criticized, how do you handle that?
- Tell me how you go about picking out a gift for your best friend for her birthday?
These final three questions focus on how you respond to different situations. Of course, it is almost impossible to figure out how someone will react in different situations; however, these questions aim to assess how you work through the process.
- If you were hired to replace our CEO, what is the first thing you would do?
- Think of a time when you “saved the day”, tell me about it.
- Tell me about a time when solved a problem but were not happy with your work and why.
These are just samples of questions you might be asked in an interview. Your responses should be well thought out. Use examples that are appropriate. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. Stay true to your career path. For example, if you’re asked what aspirations you have within the company and you want to be CEO, tell them. But be able to back up your career path to get there.
So, how do you ace interview questions and answers? Begin by doing your research on the company. Review my blog on common questions and answers and look through these unique questions and decide how you would answer them. Most importantly, rehearse how you will respond to the questions asked.
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