Answering Interview Questions The Right Way
We’ve gone over a few of the most common interview questions, but there are bound to be more that you may not have studied or shown up to the interview prepared for. So how do you go about answering interview questions that you didn’t expect?
There are just a few key pointers to keep in mind that will make answering interview questions a breeze.
1. Stick to relevant facts.
If an interviewer asks you to tell them a little about yourself, they usually don’t want to hear about how you like long walks on the beach and prefer your coffee black. Answering interview questions is about sticking to the subject- which is that great job you’re after, so keep your answers related to your skills and work experience. You can talk about a few personal things here and there, but try to keep it to a minimum.
2. Stay up on current events.
It might sound like a silly piece of advice- what does this have to do with answering interview questions? Well, you don’t want to appear to be an airhead if the interviewer conversationally brings up a current event. Also, you want to make sure that you’re aware of any recent developments in the particular field you’re interviewing in or with a particular company. Not knowing this stuff is going to make you look more clueless than Jessica Simpson while she’s snacking on tuna. And although a lot of employers (usually of the male variety) would want to hire her because of her hot factor, they probably wouldn’t trust her to run a division of their company.
3. Stay positive.
Sometimes you’ll get a little confused answering interview questions because they’ll throw something at you that you don’t expect. If you’re asked about what you didn’t like about your last job, for instance, don’t fall for the trick. Those wiley coyotes are most likely just trying to gauge your reaction. Answering interview questions like this with something short and sweet like “I actually rather enjoyed my job, there just wasn’t a lot of opportunity for advancement within the company,” or even “It was just too far from home, unlike this job,” will keep you in a positive light. The last thing you want to do is trash talk an old boss, co-workers, or the job itself. You’re probably applying for the same kind of job anyway, and even if you’re not, you could convey that you’re the problem, not the job.
4. Use proper grammar and professional lingo.
Of course you’re probably not planning on answering interview questions with phrases such as “Like, totally,” but you never know what might pop out of your mouth when you’re nervous. Just make sure you speak correctly, and use any professional terms that are relevant to the job. Answering interview questions with confidence and like a pro will score you brownie points for sure.
5. Try to act like you’re talking to your best friend.
Don’t be stupid, here. Of course I’m not saying to start answering interview questions as if you’re old drinking buddies (and especially not like you’re drunk right there in the interview) but you want to stay relaxed and try to keep it sort of conversational. Don’t forget what I said about being grammatically correct and using proper verbiage though. Sometimes just answering interview questions casually, acting like you’re practicing in front of your mirror instead of staring your potential future boss in the face will help you exude a confidence that you didn’t know you could.