How To Answer Job Interview Questions and Ace Them

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Recently, I helped a small business owner interview job candidates.  As I sat there listening to the answers we got for standard interview questions, I couldn’t help but be dumbfounded.  These were the basic, every job interview has them, questions and people obviously had no idea how to answer them.  I made a comment to the business owner at the end of one of the interviews that these must be some really lame candidates.  He was confused by my opinion.  Turns out that almost EVERYONE interviews like that.  I couldn’t believe it.  So, as my gift to you, I present The Right Answers to Job Interview Questions.

Getting the Answers Right For Job Interview Questions

I’ll have to cover the whole topic over several posts, but lets jump right in with both feet for now.

The questions is Why do you want this job?

First, recognize the variations of this question:

  • Why do you think this is the right fit for you?
  • What made you go into <insert field or career>?
  • Why do you want to be a <insert job title>?
  • And so on…

Second, here is how to nail the answer.

  1. Start with "I always have been interested in…"  This makes you sound dedicated.  It also makes you sound like someone who knows what they want and won’t be quitting in 6 months. 
  2. Move on to the Gandhi part of the answer – This is where you come off as a saint.  No matter what the job, work in something like this:  "I really enjoy helping people and sharing the knowledge I have gained with others."  Obviously, some tweaking is required depending upon the job.  If applying for a server position in the cafeteria, maybe something like, “I really enjoy working with people, and being a server lets me interact with lots of different people.”
  3. Politely say "I gotta get paid" -  "There aren’t many opportunities out there where someone can provide real value and have that value appreciated."
  4. Bring it home"This seems like a great place to work, and I would really like to contribute to that."

Works for every job interview.  For example, a job within schools:

I’ve always been interested in education, both from a traditional schooling perspective as well as the general concepts of how knowledge is passed on to others.  I am working on my teaching certificate now because I have always enjoyed helping people, and this gives me an opportunity to work with young people.  However, I would also like to share what I have learned with adults who might be able to benefit as well as pass those benefits along to others they might encounter in an educational environment.  I’ve read a lot about this institution and it seems like a great community, and I would really like an opportunity to be a part of it.

The Wrong Answer to Job Interview Questions

Wrong answers will involve anything resembling these real world answers:

  • Well, I this isn’t really what I want to be doing, but I can’t find anything else right now.
  • I wanted to be a <whatever> but I didn’t have good enough grades, so I’m doing this now.
  • I am the greatest <job title> there is, and I want this job.  (Um…what was the question again?  Did you answer it?)
  • I need the money.
  • My parents said I have to move out of the house by the end of the year.

 

Remember, confidence (but not arrogance), genuine (sounding) desire, and a willing attitude are the ways to get a job.

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