The Key to Answering Interview Questions

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By: Joshua Kitzke: A UNO Student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as part of Heather Nelson’s Service Learning Academy class.

In today’s tumultuous job market, employees have been resigning their jobs at an alarming rate. However, in the mix of it all, there as also been an uprising of new job opportunities and individuals that are looking to get their foot in the door, for better paying work, higher levels of appreciation as an employee, and numerous other factors that are causing the current situations to play out as they are in the labor market today.

With all that in mind, many current and former workers are looking for ways to upgrade or enhance their performance when it comes to interviewing in the current age. Whether its workers that are unemployed, workers that are under employed, or simply workers looking to hire other workers, people should be best prepared when faced with the usual string of interview questions that tails along with the process of workplace hiring.

Some of the most typical and common questions that are asked by the interviewer according to U.S. News, surround the topics such as:

- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to work here?
- What’s your greatest strength?
- What’s your greatest weakness?
- What is the most difficult situation you have been faced with?

With these questions in consideration, in order to best answer questions such as these, an article from Forbes states that you must “do your homework”. Many of the interview candidates that are being questioned are typically looking to just be hired for the job that they applied for. More so, it is best practice to actually find meaning and value in the company you are looking to be employed by. Research information on the company, and gain a sense of knowledge on how it operates and functions as a whole, but also the values and promises it makes to its business. This in turn, helps better illustrate and bring understanding to the answers that you provide to the interviewers, so that it is known that you have done your research on the company itself, and truly dug deep to create a relationship and interest in the business.

Another good piece of advice provided by Forbes is to interview yourself for the position. In the article the author states, “I tell my clients to post the question, ‘Why should we hire you?’ On their bathroom mirror, refrigerator or anyplace they will see it during the day,”. By doing this, you are able to get yourself more comfortable, natural, and well acquainted to answering potential questions the interviewer my ask from you. That way, when confronted with them, it will be like second nature to you, on how you respond and come across to them. When you’re able to start off on a strong note with the lines of questioning, the rest of the interview will follow suit, and things will only feel easier and more relaxed when the initial phase of building rapport has occurred, and conversational pieces have taken place from the first few questions being asked.

A key point to be made, in regards to answering questions is to always make sure you are never answering questions with to specific or personal of information about yourself. This can at time’s create possible red flags. If you were to incorporate certain explanations or answers to questions in this type of format, you always want to ensure that you are remaining positive in your response, and to make it tailored more about your individual performance as a worker, and the positive and advantageous qualities about you. In an article by Robert Half, he talks about this very thing, and that any conversational points of the interview, or answers given to questions, always remain concise, that you don’t want to take up to much time talking about yourself in your response. “You don’t have to tell the hiring manager every single thing that you think makes you a great candidate. Just give a few important details that will spark their interest in learning more about you, and you’ll get the interview off to a strong start”. With all this said, next time you or someone you know, is looking to be entering back into the work force, simply “leveling-up” their career, or just looking for a job after an unexpected event took place at the previous employment, when it comes to mastering the interview process and questions, there’s no doubt you will be able to control and
flow through it based off all the information covered

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