© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
The best job interview answer that you can give at any point in the interview is the one that conveys your possession of whatever qualities, experiences, skills and characteristics the target company is looking for in its new hire. To be able to give that answer, however, it is necessary that you know what the company is looking for. As in most things in life, this requires some time, effort and work ahead of time. A good place to start your search for what the interviewer is looking for is in the advertisement for the job and the job description, as written by the company.
These documents can steer you towards giving a great job interview answer because they tell you clearly and specifically the formal requirements of the job and the duties the employee will be responsible for performing. You can bet that during the job interview you will be asked to either tell about how you have performed those specific duties, or be asked how you would perform them if you won the job. Preparing yourself ahead of time to relay some relevant examples of your success gives you a fine start on providing an effective answer to those questions. When you give your answer, you want to give examples and insights that come form your experience solving the kinds of problems and achieving the success the job description focused on as a priority. Answering questions in terms of experience and examples gives a more vivid, believable and impressive answer than theory, supposition, or abstract statements.
You should also have a job interview answer set prepared ahead of time, in order to handle questions which move beyond the simple technical and skill sets requirements that you would find described in the job description. For most jobs there are formal, written requirements and informal, unwritten preferences for the position, as well. To learn about the requirements that have not been listed on paper, you should turn to your social network. Do you have friends that work at the company or in the industry? What kinds of people do the target company and field tend to attract? What keeps people working there and what makes people leave? Most important, what kind of personal characteristics make people successful at that job?
At every point in your interview, you can work those characteristics and skills into your job interview answer. Again, it's a good idea to use personal experiences and examples when you relay this information. For instance, it's so much more convincing to hear someone talk about pulling an all-nighter to make sure a project document was performed flawlessly than it is to hear someone say that they are committed to following up on details. When you have some rough ideas for job interview answers ready in your mind, it's a good idea to move to the next step of practicing with a friend or colleague for the interview. If you can record those answers, that's even better because then you can go back later and work on your weaknesses.
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