Job Interview Questions
This time tutor Steve is wearing a suit and tie to answer your Business Question of the Week.
It’s quite common in a job interview that one of the starting questions to break the ice and bring you closer together with the interviewer (while you’re the interviewee) is
Tell me a bit about yourself.
Of course, asking that they won’t be as smily as Steve’s here. Interviewers usually put on a serious face. And your don’t answer to that would be as follows.
Sure, in grade 7 I was great at writing. At that same time I had a cousin and his father was a journalist. So because I had a crush on him, you know… I kind of wanted to become a journalist too… just to be closer to him. Mostly that was the 1st time I thought of becoming a journalist. And then, after that things were… you know… happening, going and here I am.
You don’t want to give too much info, going too much into detail. Keep it short and sweet, as they say. That way not only are you not giving too much info away about yourself but also not telling maybe what you liked to do in childhood or something like that.
Even with the info regarding your professional career you want to keep that short and straight to the point. In the business world where everything is so fast we want to keep things very straightforward.
Sure, since I finished my master’s degree I started working for The New York Times. And that was a great experience – I’ve learned a lot with them. After that I went to South America and Africa as a special correspondent for The Washington Post and that was also a very important experience in my career. So now I’m back to the United States.
That’s the style/approach you want to get your info across in a very efficient and kind of cut-and-dried manner.
Here’s another typical job interview question set in a serious kind of setting.
What do you consider as being one of your weaknesses?
My weaknesses? I don’t have any. I don’t think I’ve ever had any. Maybe once one of my bosses told me I was very unorganized. But this was his opinion because… you know… my desk was always a mess but it was the kind of mess I could understand. So I think that’s good enough.
Try to avoid giving such an answer. You need a straightforward and honest answer which is politically correct. A great typical answer about your weaknesses is:
My weaknesses? Well, my previous employers always told me not to worry too much, not to work too much because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. So I always forget to take some time for myself and my family. And they all complained a little bit about that. They said I can become stressed out. So that’s it. I need to learn how to relax.
In a great answer you want to show a sense of defying yourself but at the same time you don’t want to knock yourself down being your own worst critic. That’s a way to show your ability to analyze yourself but at the same time always putting yourself in a higher position of advantage. That’s the bottom line in all of this in a job interview – you want to market yourself in the best way possible.