When I diagnose problems clients have with their interview strategy, I often notice they answer interview questions too generally. They attempt to convey their fit for the job by describing the personal attributes they think make them relevant for the position. They explain they are team players, flexible and good communicators; they claim they are passionate about their work. But rarely do they go much deeper, failing to reveal just how they have leveraged these attributes and skills.
When candidates offer general responses to interview questions, they miss the chance to fully engage with the interviewer. Most hiring managers believe past success is a good indicator of future success. In order to convince them you are the best candidate for the job, you need to showcase stories of success that will be relevant to their work environment. It’s the details of these stories that build rapport and trust, and ultimately help hiring managers to get that “gut feeling” that you are best for the job.
Memorable stories of success explain a challenge you faced, the actions you took to address that challenge, and the corresponding results. Whenever possible, frame your results to show impact and use dollars, percentages or time values that demonstrate the difference you made in a situation.
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