How To Answer Interview Questions

Preparing for an interview is difficult. From choosing what to wear to how early you should arrive, there's a lot to consider. Wil you be ready?

Preparation is key to making a great impact. But, making a splash is hard when you don't know what questions your interviewer may ask or what their interview style is. To help you begin preparing, I'm covering 3 tips to show you how to answer interview questions.

Be Detailed Without Being Boring

Let's face it, nerves cause you to say and do stupid things sometimes. Be mindful of your wandering thoughts, random statements and useless prattle when answering interview questions. The last thing you want to do is bore someone with irrelevant chatter.

While blabbing is off limits, it's just as important to not clam up during an interview. You have to balance too little and too much. Aim for a conversational approach focused on the role, your skills and how you can make an immediate impact. Limit useless stories.

As you answer questions, be conversational without over talking. Provide detailed answers and provide examples of when you performed a similar function. When possible, ask the interviewer a follow-up question after you've concluded your answer. The goal is to have a conversational exchange, not an interrogation.

Get Ready For Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time when…. Sound familiar? If not, that's how nearly every behavioral interview question begins. Behavioral interview questions are trending and you need to be prepared to field a few of them.

Some interviewers base their entire interview on behavioral questions. Others will just pepper behavioral questions throughout. In either case, these are extremely difficult questions to answer so study up!

Behavioral interview questions are designed to better understand your problem-solving skills, leadership abilities, stress management and decision making skills. The interviewer wants to hear details and examples when they ask these types of questions, you cannot be vague or clam up. For a deep dive into behavioral questions, as well as examples of questions and answers check out our article: How To Prepare For Behavioral Interview Questions.

Be Candid

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to be candid and approachable in your interview. Candidates often blow professional opportunities because they are overly stiff when interviewing or appear to be “performing”.
When an interviewer cannot connect with you or they feel you're masking something,  you'll likely be eliminated. There's a fine line between being polished and professional or stuffy and awkward.

Remember this isn't life or death. The reality is, if you pretend to be someone you aren't, you'll end up miserable in a job or culture that doesn't fit you. So it may sound cheesy, but just be yourself!

Want To Crush Your Next Interview

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About The Author

A self-proclaimed foodie and wine snob, Michael is part of our Operations and Customer Service Resume Writing and Career Coaching team. Michael prides himself on helping our clients improve their job search results and develop robust career plans. His creative mind allows him to step outside of traditional resume writing boundaries to create compelling resumes and professional correspondence for Mentor Happy  clients. Follow Michael and the rest of our team to simplify your career by connecting with us on Twitter and LinkedIn!