This next section of Interviewing will contain questions that will probably be asked by HR, and ones that you can ask yourself. We have provided a lot of information for you pertaining to each question, and as such we will put these links at the top of every page for you to navigate them easily. After the last few questions there will be some closing information, which you can access at any time at the bottom of this link list.
Questions You Will Probably be Asked
If You Are Done Reviewing The HR Questions Click Here
Strategies for Answering Traditional HR Questions
Tell me about yourself.
This is one of the most common opening interview questions. Most people know it is coming and most people still do a poor job answering it. This question provides you with the perfect opportunity to start down the path to discover what the employer is really looking for and to separate yourself from the competition.
The answer to this question has 3 parts:
- Brief overview of your background
- Identify 3-4 of your key assets / strengths that are relevant for the position
- Ask them a question
Brief Overview of Your Background.
Go ahead and take 30 seconds to one minute to hit the high points of what kind of position you are seeking, where you are going (or went) to college, your major, work/internship experience, etc.
Identify 3-4 Key Assets / Strengths.
After analyzing the job posting and researching the employer, identify the top 3-4 key assets or strengths that you possess that also match the top characteristics you have determined the employer is looking for in the ideal person for the position you are seeking. Note: Be prepared to have a short story you can tell that demonstrates how this characteristic is truly a strength for you.
Ask Them a Question.
Close your response to this question by asking the interviewer the following question, “What do you think are the most important characteristics a person needs to have in order to be successful in this position?” Then be quiet and get ready to take notes.
Why? You have just done what all great salespeople do. You asked a simple yet powerful question that will identify the interviewer’s wants and needs, and most importantly their criteria for evaluating candidates for this position. Make note of the characteristics they identify that you did NOT mention that also some of your strengths. You will need to successfully address these in the interview in order to have a chance of moving to the next round of interviews or getting a job offer.
What else have you just done? By closing your response to their opening question with a question of your own, you have subtly done two important things. First, you have shifted the dynamic of the interview from an interrogation to a conversation. Secondly, you have shifted the balance of power so it is more equal. The person asking the questions is in control of the meeting. You have just asked a question so now you share control of the meeting, formerly interview, with the other person.
Key Point. While it is not generally recommended that you memorize answers to interview questions, this is the exception. You need to know exactly what your response will be going into the interview. Practice your response. And practice it some more until you have it down. Keep in mind that your competition is not doing this! By delivering a succinct response as outlined above you will blow most interviewers away and make a huge and positive first impression that will give you a leg up on your competition.
"I’m looking for an entry-level marketing position. I recently completed my marketing degree at UC-Denver. During the last year, I worked full-time at Dream-On Graphics assisting customers in planning promotional materials for their businesses. I got this position after I completed a four-month marketing internship.”
“My strongest assets are my ability to listen to customer needs, communicate effectively with customers and internal team members, and organizing and managing projects from start to finish. What do you think are the most important characteristics a person needs to have in order to be successful in this position?”
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