Success in landing a job is all about knowing exactly how you're going to answer key questions -- well before the interview even begins. If you have a big interview coming up, make a point to prepare strong answers to some of the questions hiring managers pose the most, such as those that relate to employee contribution.
Diligence on the Job
If a recruiting manager asks you what you believe you could bring to the company as a potential employee, be specific in your strong points. Don't just tell the interviewer that you're a strong employee. Tell her exactly why you're great. If hard work, focus, attention to detail and diligence are what come naturally to you, say it. Explain that you're not afraid of hard work, doing things until you get them just right and even doing overtime if the need arises. Be specific in how your hard work could benefit the company. If you're willing to learn new skills and have done so in the past, highlight that. Mentioning that you took a graphic design course to broaden your talents for your last job could be a good example, for instance.
You can also use the famous "contribution" question as a way to highlight your special skills. If you're interviewing for a position as a public relations professional, talk about your extensive public speaking experience. If you're multilingual, find a strong application for mentioning that. If the company has a multitude of clients overseas, explain that you might be able to improve communication by speaking in several tongues. Indicate what makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. A job interview isn't the time to be shy about your skills and accomplishments. Always tie your skills to areas that are important for the company. The more research you do on the company beforehand, the better equipped you should be to capitalize on this question.
Ability to Thrive in Team Settings
Being an effective member of a team is an invaluable asset in a working atmosphere, especially if the position involves lots of interaction with other staff members. If interpersonal interaction is a strong suit of yours, let the interviewer know that you can contribute that. Mention your leadership strengths along with your abilities to effectively allocate responsibilities to other group participants, for example. Talk about your ability to solve frustrating problems -- and keep a level-headed attitude in the midst of high stress situations.
Strong Desire to Improve
If you're a perfectionist at heart who is constantly looking to improve things, bring that up as something you can contribute as a company employee. Talk about how you're never satisfied with the mediocre and that you're always willing to go above and beyond to make things right. Lazy slackers are employer nightmares, so differentiate yourself from that crowd by emphasizing your desire for quality in your career. If possible, bring up clear examples from your past work experiences. Perhaps you devised a plan to increase efficiency in data entry at a previous job, which resulted in less time spent on that task and increased employee productivity overall.
- ISEEK: Common Interview Questions
- Monster: What Are the Most Common Interview Questions?
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- Kelly Services New Zealand: Job Interview Tips
- CNN.com: How to Handle 10 Tough Interview Questions
- Monster: Interview Questions - What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
- British Council: Job Seeker's Skills - Talk About Your Strengths and Weaknesses in a Job Interview
- How to Say It - Job Interviews; Linda Matias
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