To be able to think quickly on your feet reminds me of that television show, ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway.’ Those funny characters are fantastic at knowing what to say at just the right time. Don’t you wish learning How to Answer Job Interview Questions could be just as easy as it is for those guys thinking quick on their feet?
Like it or not, hiring managers ask specific Job Interview Questions on purpose. It’s so they can test how quickly people think on their feet. And with statistics showing that fast thinkers are charismatic and more compelling in the heat of the moment, it’s no wonder their looking for those who are “on the ball.”
One of the top 5 interview questions is, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” And if you are lucky enough to run across a hiring manager who asks one of the most bizarre questions: “If you could choose one song to sing to a group of 10,000 people, what would it be?”
Here at Hired Resume Service, we strategically write your resume so you can land interviews. Now, let’s figure out some clever ways to make a verbal impression.
Think flash cards and quiz yourself. No, seriously. Write the questions out on index cards and quiz yourself every night. This will teach you how to answer job interview questions quickly and efficiently.
Popular Job Interview Questions | Tips, Tricks & Answers
1. How to answer job interview questions about strengths and weaknesses.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to use them to your advantage. Try and choose a flaw you are really trying to improve.
Here at Hired Resume Service, we have the best formulas that take answering interview questions to the next level. Write each of our “How to Best Answer Job Interview Questions” formulas on a notecard:
For weakness questions,
- Write down your biggest weakness.
- Write about how it plays into a strength.
- Then note how you are learning from the weakness.
See how I turn being shy into a strength:
“When I was 19 I took a college course on public speaking. I dropped the class because I was painfully shy. I knew I needed to improve to pursue public speaking goals, so I took improv classes. I’m now a top speaker at XYZ conference and can confidently lead group discussions.”
2. How to answer job interview questions about salary.
This one requires research on the market salary for your job type. Investigate resources such as PayScale.com, GlassDoor.com or Salary.com.
For salary questions,
- Try not to mention a number right off the bat.
- Sell yourself.
- Put pressure on the organization to make a fair offer.
See how to answer a question about salary during an interview.
“I’m interested in finding a position fitting my skills and expertise. I feel confident your company is current on the market value for this position and offering a competitive salary.”
- Pause and listen. Allow the hiring manager respond. Once he/she asks for the number, then say,
“According to my research and previous understanding, 75-90K per year is commonly based on my skills and requirements.”
3. How to answer job interview questions about big mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. And it’s not that hiring managers want to hold what you’ve done wrong over your head. In fact, they are most concerned with knowing how you handled the problem(s).
The “big mistake” formula:
- Own it. Admit it.
- Don’t blame other circumstances.
- Explain your resolutions(s) by turning them into strengths.
- Describe lessons learned by turning them into strengths.
Here’s a great example of how you can turn a mistake into a strength:
“Three years ago, I was working for Hospital X in radiology. I failed at diagnosing an abnormality because I didn’t notice the irregularity on the chest x-ray right away. As soon as I realized I made a mistake, I contacted the patient immediately and apologized. Since then, I’ve never missed an oddity, and now I often lead discussions on how to catch red flags during screenings. The patient underwent treatment and is doing well to this very today.”
4. How to answer job interview questions about yourself.
This is the dreaded (and most failed) question of the year when it comes to job interview questions. Contenders flop on this one because they fumble through long spiels about their husband, kids, and dogs.
Here’s a little secret: All the interviewer wants to know about is your past job experiences and how those skills ensure you are fit for the position at hand.
Here’s the “about yourself” plan:
- Reflect on your past experiences by utilizing the names of the skills from the job listing.
- Script your strengths. (Example: Attention to Detail, Meeting Deadline)
- Script your needs. (Example: I’m looking for a company that values XYZ.)
- Practice your script.
Please read the following customer service job post. I’ve bolded what you need in your script.
Company X is offering customer service positions in hospitality. Qualified candidates will be taking inbound calls to help find solutions for billing problems, cancellations and less than appealing hotel stays. Candidates must be familiar with Zendesk. Applicants must be able to think fast while toggling screens, speaking with potentially angry clients and coming up with resolutions
Now for an example of a script put together from the job post:
“I have been working as a customer call center representative in the hospitality industry for the past decade. My experiences entail multi-tasking while handling incoming calls from irate customers. Not only have I toggled between billing and account information during each call, but I’ve created refund tickets within Zendesk while speaking with angry clients.
My real strengths are giving proper attention to detail on Zendesk tickets while providing quick resolutions with billing, cancellation and lousy hotel stays.
What I’m looking for now is a travel company that believes in trusting someone like me to implement company solutions while on the phone with the client, where I can grow in authority while at the same time improving the customer’s experience.”
5. How to answer job interview questions about challenges.
Describing challenges, you’ve overcome can go beyond work-related stress factors. Chances are, by you naming your trial, your recruiter may be able to relate because it may be happening to them this very moment of their own life.
Think academic or athletic challenges. Think personal tragedy or ethical dilemma challenges. How about personal goal challenges?
- Write down your biggest challenge.
- Write about how it plays into a strength.
- Then note how you are learning from the challenge.
Here’s a great example of how to describe a challenge:
“During college, I lost a dear friend from a car accident. I had to make the difficult choice of continuing to attend my classes or going for a week to be with family and friends. I made a choice to stay in classes since the funeral was on a Saturday. At least I wouldn’t get behind by missing classes and at least I could still go to the funeral since it was on a Saturday.”
Practice Interviewing with Notecards
Placing questions and formulas on notecards, along with the answers, is a sure-fire way to one-up your competitors. All it takes is preparation and practice.
Pop quiz. Now it’s your turn. Please reply to the following interview questions by utilizing the formulas we’ve discussed.
- Tell me about a situation where communication has gone wrong.
- Describe a time when working with a team felt disappointing.
- Name a rewarding college campus learning experience.
- Tell us about a time your trust was challenged.
- Tell about a period when you felt frustrated while working with others.
Please don’t hesitate to call us at 612-400-5563 for a free consultation. Our certified resumes are professionally written to pass the Applicant Tracking System. We service every state in the country including, Minneapolis, Virginia, New York, Illinois, Utah, Ohio and Georgia.