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What is your best advice for interviews?

Tips, answers to difficult questions, etc.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Howard’s Answer

Hi Jeffrey,
In my opinion, go into an interview and be prepared to efficiently tell your story. Try and be comfortable but not too casual and help them see that you are able to communicate and not just respond.
Speak specifically about the action that you took and the role that you played in that example (if the interview is behavioral) and choose examples that have outcomes that either provided a result that the interviewer will understand and be able to see the impact that you played.
Show that you have done your homework about the company and the position so they can see that your level of interest is sincere/high as well.
There are several online resources that will tell you what to do before during and after as well, though I will say the one piece of advice that I received years ago is not in many of the resources that I have used in the past. That was a handwritten thank you later versus an email if you have access to their address. I did this years ago and the interview and the Human Resources lead both made a comment about how that was the only one that they have/had received like that.
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Shaye’s Answer

Come prepared and do ample research about the job opportunity and the company. Be prepared to answer questions like "tell me about yourself" and "what do you know about our company". If it's an entry level job the interview format will mostly focus on behavior questions like describe a time when you worked in a team, handled a conflict, or resolved a problem. I would start researching online and come up with a list of commonly asked behavior questions, then brainstorm 3-5 stories that you can talk about during the interview. Make sure to use the STAR format - Situation, Task, Action, and Result when describing the story. Always end with a positive result or positive course of action to show that you're learning and improving after every given scenario.

Stay energized, refreshed, and motivated to get the job. Dress well and bring extra copies of your resume, bio, cover letter, grades, past projects, etc. Better be over prepared than under. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Ability to use the STAR format is essential - thank you Shaye! Kim Igleheart
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Ernest’s Answer

Many of the jobs that I've applied for and hired for are in the business intelligence domain, here would be my advice for a role in this field.

Research the company: Familiarize yourself with the company's products, services, and market position. Understand the company's goals and objectives, and how BI fits into its overall strategy.

Review the job description: Make sure you understand the responsibilities and requirements of the BI role you're interviewing for. Be prepared to discuss your qualifications and relevant experience.

Brush up on your technical skills: BI is a highly technical field, so make sure you're up to date on the latest BI tools and technologies. Familiarize yourself with SQL, data warehousing, data visualization, and reporting.

Show your business acumen: Demonstrate your understanding of the business, including the various departments, processes, and systems that support BI initiatives. Be able to discuss how you would use BI to drive business value.

Prepare case studies: Be ready to discuss real-life examples of how you have used BI to solve business problems, improve processes, or drive growth.

Practice effective communication: BI often involves working with cross-functional teams, so make sure you're able to articulate technical concepts in a way that non-technical stakeholders can understand.

Dress appropriately: Make a good first impression by dressing professionally for the interview even if its virtual.
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Martin (Marty)’s Answer

• Arrive on time! - It is often said, “You only have one chance to make a good first impression”! Build in extra travel time to ensure you are early. If the interviewer is available earlier than your scheduled meeting, it will be a plus if you are already there! Arriving early has an additional benefit: You’ll reduce the stress. When you arrive with time to spare, you can complete your best destressing routine to make sure you are focused and prepared.
• Dress for success - You haven’t been hired yet, so dress like the eager applicant you are. Arrive looking polished and well-groomed. You’ll never be rejected because you are too well-put together and professional, but looking sloppy makes a statement that can detract from your stellar experience.
• Be informed - Research the hiring company prior to your interview. Look for recent news stories about important developments in the industry they represent. Educate yourself on their stock performance. Review their corporate website (if applicable) to see what they deem important (the company’s vision, mission statement, vision, industry awards received, etc. Know who their competitors and target audience/customers are.
• Be engaged and interested - Hiring managers are looking for employees who are as interested as they are interesting. Show your curiosity. An interview is not exclusively focused on you touting your credentials. Have several customized questions ready that show that you are interested in the company, their products and the role.
• Avoid negativity - Do not speak negatively about former employers or co-workers. Avoid politics. Exude a “can do” attitude. Show your willingness to be a team player. ng anything other than a can-do attitude
• Don’t be arrogant - Cockiness as a personal brand attribute can fail during an interview. Even if that’s part of your personality, find a way to deliver it so it won’t offend the hiring manager. There’s an important distinction between confidence and arrogance – and between persistence and pushiness. Don’t cross the line.
• Choose your words wisely - Try not to ramble or be longwinded in your answers to the interviewer’s questions. Be clear, direct and brief. Practice the things you want to say. Work with a coach or a trusted colleague in advance so you feel confident and sound rational. Keep your answers to a minute or so if you can.
• Don’t discuss compensation and benefits prematurely - The time will come when you will need to negotiate the package, but first you have to earn the right to have that conversation. The initial interview tells your prospective employer you’re looking for a job; it’s too soon to talk about how this job could affect the complete picture of your career. On the other hand, it’s valuable to talk about growth opportunities, logical next steps, and what it takes to get there. Show that you’re ambitious, not mercenary.

Best of luck in your future interviews!
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Vamshee’s Answer

This is what I found online which i like and shared with my friends as well.

Know your Resume: Meaning, you know what you have put on your resume and able to answer any questions specific to your courses, achievements, projects, experience etc.
Know The Job Requirements and Responsibilities: This will help you focus on the topics which are of interest for the position.So you can prepare and tailor your answers accordingly.
Attitude is important: They observe how you look, how you behave, your confidence etc. Its ok if you cannot answer 1 or 2 hard questions, but you can be able to show that you can learn or know how to go about it.




Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Use interview questions that are more general to deliver an elevator pitch about why you are the perfect candidate.
When asked about potential negatives, be honest and constructive, but never criticize past employers.
Don’t hold back when asked about your successes. Acknowledge your collaborations and teamwork with colleagues.
In the process of preparing for your interview, you have researched the company, figured out how your skills align with the job requirements and come up with some thoughtful questions to ask. You might not be able to predict exactly which questions you will be asked during the interview, but there are many common questions that you will likely be asked, and it is helpful to have a strategy for answering them.

“You only have so much control over the success of an interview,” says career coach Lauren Berger, the founder of CareerQueen.com and InternQueen.com. “You don’t know what the other person is wanting, you don’t know what the other person is thinking, you don’t know what other candidates might be in their minds, so all you can do is control you and the way that you attempt to do your best to answer these questions.”

Study some of the common interview questions employers ask below so that you can avoid any surprises when in the hot seat.

Answer general interview questions with your best elevator pitch.
One of the most common interview questions is “Tell us about yourself,” says Ms. Berger. For the interviewer, it is an easy way to start the conversation. For you, it is a chance to set the foundation for your relationship with the employer during the interview and hopefully over the years you will be working together. While you can take it in any direction, don’t fall into the trap of going on and on about your work and life experience, getting lost in irrelevant asides.

“I always say this is a little bit of a trick question because people take it literally and they give their life stories,” says Ms. Berger. “When you’re asked the ‘tell me about yourself’ question, it’s really important to keep your answers short, sweet and to the point and always bring everything back to the employer.”

A rough structure to guide your answer could be: “‘I’m so and so, I’m from here, I do this, I have experience with this, and this is why I’m the best fit for your company,’” says Ms. Berger. “So you’re basically tying every answer back to the company to keep your interviewer’s ears perked up.”

Common general questions:

Tell us about your background. Tell a concise story with a beginning, middle and end that explains your current career status, why you are qualified and clearly defines why you are the best candidate for the job.
Why do you want to work for us? Focus on what makes you passionate about the job and company. Demonstrate how you fit into the company’s culture.
Tell us about something from your résumé. Pick out the accomplishment that most clearly relates to the job.
Why should we hire you? Use your concise elevator pitch, which should touch on the skills and experience you have that qualify you for the role.
Highlight your achievements and credit those who helped you along the way.
“It’s really important to make sure that you tailor your experience for the position that you’re applying for.”

— Lauren Berger, founder of CareerQueen.com and InternQueen.com
When discussing your achievements, Ms. Berger stresses the importance of tailoring your response to the job you are interviewing for. “People tend to talk about why they’re the best candidate in the world instead of the best candidate for that specific role,” she says. “It’s really important to make sure that you tailor your experience for the position that you’re applying for.”

If you find it difficult to talk yourself up during an interview, it may be helpful to mention some of your colleagues who helped you hit or surpass targets as part of a team effort. On the other hand, if you can speak confidently about your achievements, a bit of humility also goes a long way and shows the employer that you are a team player. Employers typically want to hire high achievers who can work well with others.

Common questions that focus on your achievements:

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Tell us about a challenge you faced at work and how you dealt with it. Highlight your problem-solving, teamwork and leadership skills.
Why are you the best person for the job? Focus on past successes that are most relevant to the job.
What is your greatest achievement? Tell a short story about an achievement, how you overcame challenges to accomplish it, the impact it made and what you learned in the process.
Be honest, positive and constructive as you consider how to answer interview questions about flaws and failures.
Employers ask some questions to identify any potential red flags. Keep in mind that, while everyone has failures in their careers, the way you frame them is important. “Is the candidate pointing fingers and not taking ownership? That’s a key indicator of their ability to work as part of a team and of taking ownership of the product and decisions that are being made,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half.

Never criticize your previous employer or company. It reflects badly on you. “You don’t want to be negative about the organization. You don’t want to talk down about supervisors that you’ve had,” says Mr. McDonald. “A good interviewer is going to pick that up, and it doesn’t bode well for your candidacy.”

Common questions to assess your flaws:

What did you like least about your last job and why? Focus on some of the day-to-day drudgery that didn’t inspire passion but had to be done. You can also mention anything about the position you are interviewing for that would be an improvement on your last job.
What is your biggest weakness? Identify something job-related that you have struggled with but which you have worked to improve. Avoid tired responses like “I am a perfectionist.”
Tell us about a time you made a mistake. Acknowledge your part in the mistake and avoid blaming others. Explain how you learned from the experience.
Use your responses to creative-thinking interview questions to demonstrate how you solve problems.
Some employers, especially large corporations, ask creative-logic questions, such as “Why are manhole covers round?” or “How many ping-pong balls fit into an elevator?” to see how you respond under pressure and solve problems.

“At work sometimes you do face challenges and what you don’t want is a team member who throws their hands up in the air and gets frustrated, gets mad, gets overwhelmed, shuts down, like so many do,” says Ms. Berger. “You want to hire that team member that has the FIO mentality—the ‘figure it out mentality’—and is going to do whatever they need to do to get the job done.” Have fun with your answer and don’t worry too much about being right, because typically, there is no right answer, Ms. Berger says.

Common creative-thinking and problem-solving questions:

What animal describes you? Use the answer to highlight a feature about yourself that is pertinent to the job. If you say you are a lion because you are brave, for example, talk about the bravery it took to apply for a role at a company where you have no connections.
How many tennis balls fit into a Boeing 747? Walk your interviewer through the steps you are taking to solve the problem. Ask for clarity if you need to, and share your assumptions, the calculations you are making and any necessary caveats.
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Kim’s Answer

Be yourself! If they won't hire the "you" you really are, you might not be a good fit, and it's probably best that you not get the job.

I was in an interview once where they tested our ability to lift a box of copier paper off the floor and set it back down (weight requirement of the position). I lifted with horrible form (I cannot squat!). Actually grabbed the open box by the top edges, tossed it up to get my hands under it, and in so doing, blurted out, "it doesn't wiggle nearly as much as my dog." They actually liked that! The rest of the interview was gravy.

Ask the hard questions. Ask why there is a vacancy. Is the company growing, or did someone leave? Why? What is the number one gripe of the employees working there? Don't accept "they're all happy," without further investigation. Ask to see the break room. Is it a busted table in the corner under an air conditioner, or do they actually spend money to have their employees comfortable on a break?

Kayla's advice to know yourself is critical. You need to be able to think of examples of everything. Using Shaye's advice to use the STAR format when answering. The questions can be anything. Tell me about a time when you failed. (If you've never failed, do you have an aversion to risks?) What was the Situation? What Task were you trying to accomplish? What Action did you take. What was the Result? (hint, NEVER blame someone else, even if it was their fault. Accept responsibility)

Try to interview once or twice for a job you have no interest in. Use it for practice. Don't feel bad about doing it. I recommended someone do this, they ignored me. Their first interview in 20 years was for a job they really wanted. They blew it.

Realize that someone conducting an interview may be doing so for the first time ever, and may have had only 20 minutes to prepare. Not every interviewer is good at it. If an interview goes south, learn from it, and move on. Don't blame yourself, and don't expect the next one to go bad.

Sometimes companies have specific hiring needs. Sometimes they need experience, sometimes they have time to train you. If you get turned down once, try again. Might have different needs, might be a different interviewer.

Be genuine. Be spontaneous. Don't regurgitate memorized answers. It's an adventure, that's for sure!
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Sean’s Answer

The best thing to do is prepare. Read the posting carefully and make note of skills, tools or experience they are looking for. Do some research about trends in the industry and make yourself aware of what differences exist in the industry.

Then get ready for questions. Typical questions you will get focus on your skills both interpersonal and as the pertain to the job. They will ask about situations where you had to deal with problems with other people and or time lines. Also situations where you made a mistake or delivered under pressure. How you communicate bad news or deal with negative responses.

Before your interview, try to think of examples for those. And most importantly, in your examples and answers, try to tie your response to a job requirement. If you have an example relative to software they want you experienced in, speak to that in your answer.

Also, we use the STAR format...situai, task, action, result. Always speak to the outcome. If you solved a problem, say that. If the project was successful, say how. If you learned a new skill, highlight how that helped you.

Beyond that, try to stay relaxed but stay professional. Follow the interviewers lead, but don't go overboard. Never badmiuth your previous employer.

Hope that helps
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Lisa’s Answer

Great Question!

You want to make sure you connect with the interviewer prior to the question and answer portion of the interview. The interview is not just for the interviewer to know if you're the right candidate, but it's also for you to know if it's a position that fits your strengths and abilities but most importantly will make you happy.

Understand the history and culture of the company. This will help you mindfully answer questions that best align with the organization.

Last but certainly not least, answer the questions thoroughly. A complete answer would include the situation, the task you had to accomplish, the action you took to accomplish it, and the end results.

Remember: it doesn't always have to be a happy ending. It's not just about being successful but also about how you handle failure as well.
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Kayla’s Answer

Research, research, and research! Research yourself. As dumb as it sounds, take a look at your resume and portfolio. What does it say about you? Does it represent you and your job that you are applying for?

That being said, tailor yourself, your stories, and your skills to the position. I like to make a word doc where I outline each part of the position they are looking for. Then, I write a little tagline about how I fit each requirement!

Then, research the company and anyone who might interview you. See what you can specifically ask about their experience. See if you can see yourself fitting the company values! You want to be on a team that you work well with, so it's no use applying for a job with a company that you will hate working for.

Kayla recommends the following next steps:

Write/Review your resume.
Write/Review your portfolio.
Outline the job position's requirements and write your applicable skills to match.
Research the interviewers.
Research the company.
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david’s Answer

Jeffrey,
My best advice is to visit your local public library and check out a couple of books on the subject. There are many outstanding books that walk you through job interviews: how to ask for the interview, how to write the resume, objective of the cover letter, and how to act in the interview. For the interview itself:
- dress slightly better than the daily job requires
- be prepared to speak and not just sit like a stone waiting to be asked questions
- be prepared to make some statement(s) on the company that show you know a bit about them and their product
- be prepared to tell why they should hire you.

BUT, read the book. Seriously. This is an involved topic and the best you will get here are short summaries. Good luck.
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Ariel’s Answer

Hi Jeffrey,

I made a list of 10 advices:
1- Research the company and the role before the interview.
2- Prepare responses to common interview questions and practice answering them.
3- Dress appropriately and arrive early to the interview.
4- Make a good first impression by greeting the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.
5- Listen carefully to the interviewer's questions and answer them fully and honestly.
6- Use specific examples from your past experiences to demonstrate your skills and qualifications.
7- Show enthusiasm for the role and the company.
8- Ask thoughtful questions about the role and the company.
9- Follow up with a thank-you note or email after the interview.
10- Be confident, but also humble and willing to learn.

I hope them help you with your future interviews!
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Alex’s Answer

Hi Jeffrey - The best way to ace an interview is to first do your research on the company and try to find out certain things that may have an impact on the position you are seeking. Practice interviewing with a friend. There are many mock interview questions on the internet based on the job you are interviewing for that can help you.
Be sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to the interview site. Dress professionally, bring multiple copies of your resume. Not everyone on the interview panel will have a copy of your resume. Bring a pen and paper to take notes. Greet your interviewer with a smile and enthusiasm, that goes a long way. Breath easy and be yourself.

Best of luck!
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Patty’s Answer

Research the company. Compare the job posting to your skills and experience. You do not have to have all the requirements. Prepare for the questions by comparing your experiences along with the skills/strengths you have that would apply to this role and write them out.

When asked a question similar to "What makes you a good fit for this role?", Do not follow your resume. The interviewers have your resume and have read up on your history. I encourage people to explain what you will bring to the role through your strengths, skills and experiences. Then in your answers to the interview questions you can inject the strengths and skills you outlined in the introduction. Keep the introduction to no more than 3-4 minutes. Do not ramble on and keep talking because you are nervous. Interviewers understand that interviewing is stressful so they know your nerves may show but try to not let it shake your confidence and how you are able to communicate with the interviewer/s.

Ex: I bring to this role strong communication skills which I developed during my role at xx. This position required me to interact with multiple teams and with different levels of leadership. I have a strong technical understanding of xx which I strengthened during my time as a xx.

You are not just going through your resume and each position but instead focus on you, your strengths/skills and where you developed them and what you will bring to the position.

An interview is not only about specific knowledge and experience but gauging your communication skills and how you interact with others.
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Jay’s Answer

Preparation is everything!

Review the job spec. Look at LinkedIn to see who else is employed there, you can look at their backgrounds. If you are really keen on the company you could contact some of their employees on LinkedIn and ask to speak to them and get their advice (this shows great initiative). Know the companies values (should be on their website), what is the companies strategy, watch videos of their CEO or videos the company has posted on YouTube, review their products/services (website), look at their list of customer, read the customer stories/testimonials. Glassdoor is a good website/app to understand what current/past employees think about the company.

Basics:

Arrive early. On time is late!
Dress as best you can.
Have relevant question prepared in advance (write them down)
Take notes during the interview
Ask for feedback with open questions (start open questions with how, what, which, when)

Power / Control

After answering a question ask the interviewer if you answered the question so that they have the opportunity to confirm or let you know they want to hear more from you. This gives you the chance to make sure you have addressed what they wanted to know.

Ask the interviewer about the process/next steps (what is the next stage? Who else will you meet in the hiring process? When will that be?

Ask for feedback. How does the interview feel about you as a candidate? How do you compare to other candidates?

Also, remember you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. You might decide they are not the company that is right for you! It's a mutual relationship. You need to be happy to join the company and believe it is a place you want to give yourself to.










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Dhruvin’s Answer

Hi Jeffery- Sharing some thoughts gathered by talking to few colleagues with diverse backgrounds-

- Research about the company: Do the research about the company and its mission, values and culture. This will help you understand if this is the right company for you. Also for the hiring company, it shows that you're genuinely interested. Moreover, you can look up recent business news about the company.
- Review the job description: Make sure you understand the roles and responsibilities of the job description. Think about how your skills, experience, and interest match up to the role. This will help you prepare your answers and show that you are a good fit for the role.
- Prepare your questions to the interviewer: An important aspect of the interview preparation is to know your employer as much as they want to get to know you. So here are a few pre-interview actions you could take to get to know your employer better: Research the business, values and mission of your employer. For established enterprises, it's easier to find information online. For the smaller ones, you might have to seek connections or network through your family and friends or LinkedIn. Major news feeds related to the business or industry they operate in (more so for Business or Finance oriented roles where you could gain more knowledge even going over the 10k to gain brownie points).
The intention for doing the research is really two-fold. One, you walk into the interview prepared to put your best foot forward to answer company/industry-specific questions. Two, you know what you’re getting yourself into and it can help guide your decision-making for the career and organization suitable for you.
- Prepare your responses to key questions: There are typically broad categories of interview questions like personality-related, tell-me-about-a-time type questions, resume-based questions etc. that candidates can typically prepare themselves for. Using the STAR format to weave your purpose, intent and motivation in the responses for these question categories is a great way to draft holistic responses for your stories and experiences. And if you don’t have any work experience, it could be beneficial to show how that institute’s values align with yours and how you could bring value to the organization by being part of it. Follow Star interview method to answer Behavioral questions. Practice common interview questions using sites public sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn etc to research about past interview questions
- Follow up: Have a email communication open with the recruiting team before and after the interview, make sure to follow up at appropriate intervals
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Ronald’s Answer

1). Prepare: Complete research of the position you are applying for.
2). Provide a brief summary of your role and your time with the company
3). Know your interviewer if internal/company if external
4). Highlight your experiences that relate to the position applied for
5). Try to answer questions with as much relevant detail as you can, clearly and concisely. In your answer, explain the situation, what your response was, and how it turned out.
6). Be able to accurately and fully assess your potential to succeed in the position.


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