Last Friday we started to talk about Interview Preparation, and here is the 2nd part part follow up series about Interview Coaching. This article is the 11th part in the series from Paul Mullan of Measurability.ie. Measurability offers career coaching to individuals looking to change careers as well as companies looking to train their staff for better things. If you have a question you can either leave it here or send Paul an email at email@example.com. The other articles can be found here in our articles section.
Coaching so far
Last week we looked at two difficult questions that keep coming up at interview – why should we hire you? and why do you want to work for us? This week we will look at a few more difficult questions and how you can answer them effectively.
What can you offer us that other applicant’s can’t?
Basically this question is asking what are you unique selling points (USP’s) or what makes you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. This information will be identified at preparation in your self assessment. Are there any key skills or personality traits that will help you stand out from other applications. It is important to offer this answer in a structured summary format as many jobseekers tend to ramble on in a bit to say something relevant that strikes a cord with the interviewer. You can take the opportunity to reconfirm that you have the key skills “On top of meeting your key requirements of x, y and z I have ….”
What positive attributes would an old boss say you have?
Jobseekers often struggle with this one but think about it logically. Most of us have had positive feedback from an old or current boss or this information may be found in an old written reference of past performance review. If you are a hoarder and keep copies of your references or performance reviews the answers will be written down (if you have these at interview with you – why not read a quote for impact). For those who don’t have written documentation try to remember what was said. You can focus answers targeting the key skills that the employer is seeking but by putting the answer into the context of a previous employer quote can make more impact.
What would you describe as your weaknesses?
Probably the most feared question by jobseekers and will is often met with the rabbit in headlights impersonation. There are a number of strategies to answer this question but my favourite will involve answering in a fashion that minimises the weakness and amplifies the strengths. If possible try to focus on professional traits and stay clear of personal qualities. “I am always putting in effort to improve my presenting and skills. I volunteer at every opportunity to make presentations at work.”
Next week is the final piece in the series on difficult interview questions and how to handle them. If you have any difficult questions you want answered please feel free to post them on the comments and I will post an answer or I will post a separate article with these questions and answers for all to view.
Article by Paul Mullan of Measurability.ie. Measurability offers Career Coaching to individuals (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and Assessment Solutions for businesses to improve their recruitment decisions.