Interviews can be anxiety ridden and nerve racking, but they don’t have to be! Follow this simple guide to help you answer some of the toughest interview questions. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) method. STAR is a method that will help you create an easy-to-follow story with a clear conflict and resolution. During the situation stage you will provide context of the circumstances. You will then describe your role in the situation and further discuss the goal you set out for. During the action stage you will provide hard evidence of how you overcame the situation. This stage is crucial as it is the depth of your response and indicates what steps you took in your previous position. Show your results. This will help the interviewer to fully understand the outcome of your decision making. Practice the STAR method to become an interview master.
Tell me about yourself.
This is typically the first question, so it is important to sell yourself. “Tell me about yourself” is an open-ended question that tends to stump people. How do you respond? Talk a little bit about what you do at your current job, mention an accomplishment. Continue by telling the interviewers how you got where you are, talking about an experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Finish by sharing what you are looking to do next and explain why you’re interested in the job.
What are your weaknesses?
This question is particularly difficult to answer as it forces you to share something about yourself that doesn’t reflect your work ethic. Avoid negative words such as failure or inept. Instead of dwelling on a weakness, turn it into something positive, use phrases like “improving on,” or provide examples of how you are practicing getting better. Provide a real weakness but tell them what you’re doing to work on it. For example, “I am not great at public speaking, however, I have been immersing myself in uncomfortable situations to boost my confidence as I know public speaking is a valuable skill.” Remember to stay calm and be confident in your response.
How do you handle conflict?
To answer this question, be sure to emphasize your problem-solving skills. Provide examples of when you experienced conflict in the workplace. To do this effectively, use the STAR method and organize your response. Briefly explain what happened, mention your role in the situation, and explain how you handled the conflict and what actions you took to resolve the problem. End with the results and how you provided a positive outcome.
How do you handle constructive feedback?
Employers ask this question to see if you are self-aware and are actively striving for self-improvement. To properly answer this question, provide a piece of feedback you received, how you responded, and the steps you took to improve. You want to show them that you are willing to work on yourself and are open to constructive criticism. Feedback gives you the opportunity to be the best employee you can be.
Why should we hire you?
Be unique, what differentiates you from everyone else? Before heading into the interview, review the company website and the job description. Pick out keywords and apply them to the answers. This is an opportunity to define your strengths and skills to persuade them that you are the perfect fit for the position.
All in all, remember to research the company prior to the interview. Be confident in your responses. Ask questions, it shows genuine interest in the company and will give you a better idea of whether the position is right for you. This helps promote positive dialogue and gives both parties a chance to get to know each other. Good luck!