Interview Tips

How to Interview - Packet

General Tip: keep responses 1-2 minutes. If they want to know more, they’ll ask.

Tell me a little about yourself.
This question means: tell me what you can do for me. Don’t tell them your name, high school, family info. Focus on who you are, your skills/abilities, and how these relate to the prospective employer’s needs. Also, help them understand how your personal attributes will fit their culture and the team you would be working with.

What led you to choose your field of study/career?
Help the prospective employer see/hear enthusiasm and commitment here.

What is your biggest weakness?
Avoid responding with “one of my weaknesses is….” Keep it singular. Turn the weakness around, never leave it as a weakness, e.g., My biggest weakness is _______________, however, I have learned to _____________________.

What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful in your career?
Make it relevant, and if you can give an example, your response will be more powerful.

What would your former boss say about you?
Make it relevant and honest. Avoid using phrases like “I think” or “I guess”. It should be “I am” or “I do”.

What sets you apart from the other people who want this job?
Focus on relevant skills and accomplishments. Use examples.

Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with your boss; how did you handle it?
To keep your answer to one to two minutes in length, use the PAR method: P=problem, A=action, R=results. Briefly tell them what the problem was, what you did, and how it turned out. If you haven’t had this experience, offer something similar, e.g., a problem with a subordinate or peer. Keep it positive and do not criticize.

What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced? How did you handle it?
This type of question is to discover how you deal with adversity. Use the PAR method and keep it positive.

Many interviewers will “put” you in a situation and then ask how you would handle it. Another great time to use the PAR method.

Do you have any questions for me?
ALWAYS have questions for them.