As John was wrapping up his interview, he was asked one last question, “What’s your biggest weaknesses”.

John looked at the interviewer with confidence and said, “Well, I’ve been told my biggest weakness is not knowing when to quit. When I have a project in hand, I tend to lose track of time because I’m so focused on completing it, it tends to consume me until it’s finished. For example, last year I was in charge of a 3-month project to install 4000 machines at the X building downtown. We were able to complete the project in 2 and a half months with 100% customer satisfaction”.

It was that answer that sealed the deal for John getting the job over 1,000 other applicants.

Here’s the truth, most people struggle with interviews. So, what’s Johns secret? The answer comes down to one thing, preparation.

In this article, we’ll explore the 7 practical tips John used to ace his interview.

1. Tell Me About Yourself?

Use stories. Interviewers already have your resume in their hands, so they already know your work history. Your job is to paint a clear picture of yourself. How did you transition to college? How did you transition into the workforce? How did you achieve something unique in your life? You have to sell yourself so always remember, facts tell story sell.

2. What’s Your Greatest Strength?

Always tailor your answers to the job you’re interviewing for. Determine what skills and characteristics you have a good fit for the position. Some good strengths to discuss are leadership skills, good communication skills, ability to work with others, ability to create good working relationships, ability to take responsibility and solve problems with creative solutions. Second, what technical skills do you have that fit this position? Again, utilize stories to get your points across.

3. Why Should We Hire You?

In this question, you should tell at least 2 things that separate you from all the other candidates. For John, it was Martial Arts and Sports. He’s a fit candidate that can supervise construction sites all day with no problem. He doesn’t get startled easily and is confident with customers. Use stories to convey these points.

4. What are your weaknesses?

We answered this in the intro. The key take away, as mentioned for the 4th time, tell a story make a point. I know I’m telling you again and again, but stories are very powerful in an interview setting.

5. Listen Carefully.

Never let your mind wander. Focus on what’s being said so you can formulate an answer that clearly conveys you’re the right candidate.

6. Inspect the Interview Location.

One or two days before the interview, visit the location so you know the layout and more comfortable when you arrive.  It never hurts to approach someone at the site and ask questions.

If the interview is in another city go there 2 days before and check out the company. Once you do this, you’ll be more confident on the day of the interview.

Pro Tip: You can mention you checked out the site yesterday in the interview. This makes a good first impression and interviewers will know that you are serious about the job.

7. Have Fun.

Once the preparation is over, it’s showtime in the interview. Always have fun and keep your mood light.


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