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How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

An interview coach talks to his pupil about the success in a job interview

How to ace a job interview – simple step by step guide

Success or failure in an interview is neither a question of luck, nor a question of education or your previous working experience. Whether you ace your interview depends mostly on whether you understand what matters in the meeting with the employer. You should learn what the interviewers want to hear from a perfect candidate from the job, and how to make a good impression on them.

At the end of the day, job interview does not differ to any other oral exam: you can prepare for it in advance, and improve your chances of passing the test with flying colors (and with a new job contract waiting for you).

Though your chances depend also on a few factors you cannot influence, for example the number of other candidates who compete with you for the job, and on their interviewing skills and qualities, you should not bother with that. You should focus only on things that you can control. We will have a look at them right now, in our step-by-step guide on how to ace a job interview.

What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

Common job interview questions

To prepare for your interview, consider your answers for some common questions in advance. Below are five questions you are likely to receive in a job interview.

Can you tell me about yourself?

Interviewers often start with this question to learn about your background. When you answer, try beginning by mentioning where you are now before briefly explaining how you advanced to your current position. By taking this tactic, you can establish your professional history and emphasize the most important aspects.

Example: “Currently, I am a junior personal trainer, and I have 25 recurring clients. In my three years as a fitness instructor, I have earned certifications in yoga and pilates, allowing me to specialize in these rapidly growing areas. Because I maintain a full client roster, I have also taken online sales courses. As a fitness enthusiast, I am also highly self-motivated and driven to share my excitement for health and well-being with my clients.”

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Employers typically ask about your strengths and weaknesses to learn more about areas where you excel and where you could improve. When you respond, mention your best technical and soft skills. To discuss your weaknesses, try to choose an area where you have already taken steps to improve. Using this strategy allows you to add a positive aspect to a question that has the potential to be negative.

Example: “After seven years of working in web design, I have mastered technical skills like visual design and user experience. Combined with my natural ability to solve problems and think analytically, these skills give me the power to work seamlessly with clients. However, during my first year of working in web design, I realized that I was not communicating clearly enough with clients, often resulting in extra work for me and frustration for my clients. I researched techniques for improving written and verbal communication, and as a result, I improved my productivity by 15%.”

Know how to manage conflicts

Don’t tell me that it’s always been rainbows and sunshine between you and your co-workers. You may actually have had a big challenge with a previous supervisor.

I want to know how you manage conflict in the workplace and what you’ve learned from workplace conflict. Understanding the way you respond to negative situations tells me a great deal about how you can contribute.

“Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a coworker. How did you resolve the situation; and what did you learn about yourself in the process?”

5 common interview questions

Interviewers often start with this question to learn about your background. When you answer, try beginning by mentioning where you are now before briefly explaining how you advanced to your current position. By following this approach, you can establish your professional history and emphasise the most important aspects.

Example answer: ‘Currently, I am a junior personal trainer and I have 25 recurring clients. In my three years as a fitness instructor, I have earned certifications in yoga and pilates, allowing me to specialise in these rapidly growing areas. Because I maintain a full client roster, I have also taken online sales courses. As a fitness enthusiast, I am also highly self-motivated and driven to share my excitement for health and well-being with my clients.’

2. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Employers typically ask about your strengths and weaknesses to learn more about areas where you excel and where you could improve. When you respond, mention your best technical and soft skills. To discuss your weaknesses, try to choose an area where you have already taken steps to improve. Using this strategy can allow you to add a positive aspect to a question that has the potential to be negative.

Example answer: ‘After seven years of working in web design, I have mastered technical skills like visual design and user experience. Combined with my natural ability to solve problems and think analytically, these skills give me the power to work seamlessly with clients. During my first year of working in web design, I realised that I was not communicating clearly enough with clients, often resulting in extra work for me and frustration for my clients. I researched techniques for improving written and verbal communication, and as a result, I improved my productivity by 15%.’

3. Why do you want this position?

Hiring teams often include this question in interviews to determine how well you understand the job and the company. When you receive this question, you may have an opportunity to demonstrate how much you have researched the organisation and the job opening. In your answer, try mentioning the company’s mission or accomplishments and the unique opportunities that the position offers.

References:

https://interviewpenguin.com/how-to-ace-a-job-interview/
https://www.lifehack.org/858648/how-to-ace-an-interview-guide
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/how-to-ace-your-next-interview
https://www.lifehack.org/788141/how-to-ace-an-interview
https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/how-to-ace-interview