Interview Questions and Answers: How to Sell Yourself to Employers and Get the Job
Knowing the interview questions and answers is key.
This is where we put it all together. Previously we have talked about the following aspects of the interviewing process.
We discussed how to prepare for a job interview and the importance of knowing your employer.
We also discussed how to dress for a job interview and the importance of body language.
In this episode of The Dorms to Daybeds Podcast, Tony and I discuss interview questions and answers.
Most importantly, we focused on how to sell yourself to employers and ultimately, get the job. After all, they hold the power in their hands.
They can decide right then and then whether to give you the job or give you the ax.
The interview questions and answers are redundant (and often irrelevant).
This is common sense. When you go through the job interview process over and over again (as I have), you realize that all job interviews are basically the same.
They pretty much all ask the same textbook interview questions and answers are your opportunity to sell yourself.
In most instances, your interviewer will focus their questions on the following:
- what company core value truly resonated with you
- your thoughts on company news
- your education experience (and relevant courses)
- your previous work experience
- a specific time when you had to exhibit leadership in the workplace
- a specific time when you had to go above and beyond your job requirements
- a specific time when you dealt with adversity or had to adjust in the workplace
- a specific time when you messed up at your job (and how you fixed it)
- your strengths/weaknesses
- Why should I/we hire you? (usually the final question)
Don’t believe me? Go interview for some white collar jobs. Your questions will be almost identical to the bullet points above.
This is standard procedure. You can easily prepare for this and there are tons of awesome resources out there.
Check these out:
Interview questions and answers are an opportunity for you to sell yourself.
What exactly are you selling yourself on in a job interview?
You are selling yourself on 3 things.
1. You are likeable.
One of my good friends I met during freshman year of college said it best:
“You can be the best guy for the job but if people don’t like you, they’re not going to hire you. They want to hire someone who is good but who they can also shoot the shit and grab a beer with.”
Interviewers are hardcore screening for whether or not they like you. They make that decision during the course of your face to face interview.
If they like you, they will give you the job. If you don’t get the job, they didn’t like you enough because they weren’t sold on you. It’s as easy as that.
How can you improve your “likeability”?
Be positive and smile.
When you reflect on a past experience, be humble and use phrases such as “I’m very grateful for this experience because…”
2. You are competent.
I made this second because what my friend said is very true.
Think of all the examples of some ditzy chick getting a job over her male and less attractive female competition.
Is she the most qualified or competent candidate? Sometimes, yes. But many times, no.
This is because she is the most “likeable” candidate.
Competence is an easy requirement to fulfill. Think about it.
Are most job interview candidates qualified? Of course, and the reason is very simple.
Most job interview candidates (who are recent college graduates) are all equally unqualified.
That’s the big joke and one of the strongest indicators why college is one big scam.
Most candidates fulfill the requirement of having a four-year degree from an accredited university. Great. Everyone has a college degree now.
A B.A. is the equivalent to a high school diploma 30 years ago.
Other than that, it’s very difficult for a prospective entry-level employee to distinguish themselves.
Recent college graduates lack experience and concrete job related skills because they do not get these during college.
So how do you distinguish you competence over your competition’s competence?
Know your resume. Know the job description. Relate your job experience to the job description as much as possible.
3. You are the best candidate.
Interviewers hit this point by asking one of these questions.
“What makes you the best candidate?”
“Why should I hire you?”
They will usually ask this type of question towards the end. This is your time to shine and give an extended response.
This is when you sell yourself.
How do you tie it all together? How do you convincingly link interview questions and answers?
It’s obvious and you make it obvious.
You hammer the concrete evidence in to their head.
You reiterate your work experience and strengths. You relate it to the job description that you already know by heart.
You appeal to their emotions by emphasizing your intangibles and hidden positive attributes. In other words, you explain your qualifications that you cannot readily get from a resume or 30 minute long cookie cutter interview.
Here are some keywords job interviewers love to hear when a candidate is selling themselves:
- hard working
- team player
- natural born competitor
- can take orders
- fast learner
- excellent communicator
I know I’ve said a lot. Check out the podcast where Tony and I discuss interview questions and answers.
There’s a ton of stuff we talk about that were not covered in this article (namely “projecting” yourself as already having the job, questions you should ask, and understanding the future)
Click play or go to iTunes to download.
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