Five Tips to Impress the Other Side of the Table
By Sharon Boerbon Hanson
All interview questions are really the same question: How can I eliminate you? Your task is to answer them in a way that convinces the potential employer that they need you. Here are 5 ways to do that.
Q #1: Tell me about yourself.
Here’s the secret – this looks like a question to simply break the ice. But consider the employer’s viewpoint – they care about their need. That is what you need to care about too. Be brief and make sure what you tell them about you relates to the job.
Q#2: Why are you interested in working in this field / for this company?
Passion is the number one attribute employers want to see in a new hire. Have a specific story (a true one) that shows your passion for your IT field. Research the company, be prepared to offer a positive comment about it and how it fits into your career goals or values.
Q#3: What do you consider the most important idea you contributed or your most noteworthy accomplishment in your last job?
This question trips up the unprepared – which is the whole idea behind it. The secret here, is that your idea or accomplishment needn’t be monumental, you just need to have something to share.
Q#4: Describe your best/worst boss. Danger, danger, danger.
Do not say anything negative, ever. If pressed, try to choose a work-related characteristic. For example: “I had a supervisor who was vague about project duties – but I took the opportunity to ask questions so I knew what I should do.”
Q#5: In a job, what interests you the most/least?
Keep the positivity going, but give an example that speaks to a part of the job. For example: “What I really love to do is project management (or something that relates to the job) and that takes writing project plans. In the past, I didn’t like to take the time, but I’ve learned how important communicating a clear plan is when working with a team.
I’ve started this article with “All interview questions are really the same question: How can I eliminate you?” So here is the most important consideration for every question you are asked: it is ALL about them, and how you can help them solve their need. Keep your focus there.