Answering Common Interview Questions in Uncommon Ways

Tell me about yourself…

Did cold sweat just run down the back of your spine? Relax—with a little research and preparation, answering this question won’t make your blood run cold—it will be a warm-up to a great job interview experience.

Use the following tips to answer common interview questions in unique ways that make you sound interesting, memorable, and valuable:

Tell me about yourself…

This question is really asking you to explain how you are the best candidate for the job. Although it may be tempting to share your life story or review your resume, consider surprising your interviewer by showing you’ve researched the company and the job. Frame your answer in terms of what you will bring to the team if hired. Choose a few specific details that give evidence to your claims. For example, if you say you’re a hard worker, provide details that explain why you like to work hard or examples of ways you’ve gone above and beyond for previous employers. After interviewing multiple candidates, the general statements fade into the crowd, but specific details stand out.

Describe a time you faced a challenge at work. How did you overcome it?

Everyone faces conflict and challenges on the job. But it takes a unique individual to admit fault and use the experience to grow. Share an experience where you learned something new, gained insight into yourself or another team member, or came up with an out-of-the-box solution to a problem because of a challenge you faced. Your interviewer will remember that you put the success of the team above your ego and may even be able to identify with your struggle.

Do you prefer to work independently or with a group?

Most interviewers will expect you to lay claim to being a “team player.” If you are—great. Share a brief example of how you worked with a group, collaborated, and created a more impactful solution than originally presented by any one team member. Prefer solo work? Be honest. Both you and the employer want to find the best fit, and they will respect your understanding of how you do your best work.

What is your greatest weakness?

Common wisdom suggests choosing a strength and disguising it as a weakness. For example, perfectionism, caring too much about your work, and being too competitive can be both strengths and weaknesses—and you might come across as not wanting to admit any flaws. Instead, choose an area where you truly need improvement, and discuss the steps you’re taking to learn better habits.

Looking for a great job?

Our friendly recruiters can help you polish your resume and interview skills. Contact your local PrideStaff office to begin your search for a great new job today.


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