Some thoughts on how to answer interview questions

You will no doubt get asked lots of questions in an interview. In fact, an interview is pretty much a series of questions and answers.

Your success in landing a job lies in your ability to answer interview questions for success.

Here’s a list of tips:

  1. Super Important – Answer the person asking the question, not the most “influential” person in the room. It’s really rude not to answer the person asking the question. Look at everyone as you answer, but be sure to focus most of your eye contact and body posture towards the person who asked you the question.
  2. Don’t answer open-ended questions with one word answers. An open question is your chance to explain in detail but don’t waffle on. Answer the question with evidence, then be silent.
  3. Don’t answer closed questions with a diatribe. Succinct yes or no answers are fine for binary questions like “Did you work there between 2015 and 2016?”
  4. Answer the question fully and with as much details as you see fit – don’t meander on and wander on to different subjects
  5. Don’t be afraid of leaving silence at the end of your answer. If the silence becomes uncomfortable then ask the interviewer whether you answered their question well.
  6. Answer the question being asked – not a side topic, different question or other random thought in your head
  7. Answer honestly. Don’t lie. The truth is more important than a made up story – a good interviewer will unravel made up answers quickly. Trust me, getting caught lying about your experience is pretty much an immediate “no”.
  8. Practice your answers to common interview questions such as “what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are you most proud of, what is your biggest mistake and where do you see yourself in 5 years from now”.
  9. Work out how you will deal with the questions you simply cannot answer. Sometimes “I simply cannot answer that question” is better than a made up response that you don’t believe in.
  10. Try to avoid jargon when answering questions. An ability to clearly explain your thinking is an ability rarely seen in many people. Practice it and you’ll no doubt stand out from the crowd.

Until next time