3 Tips to Answering Popular Interview Questions: Perfecting Your Interview
Finding an internship is much like searching for a job. You will probably go through as many interviews seeking an internship as you would looking for a real job.
If you’re anything like me, interviewing is a nightmare. Being judged is not something anyone looks forward to. Looking your best is important, but the answers you give to questions asked is just as important, if not more. Listed are some samples of questions most (not all) employers like to ask.
“Describe yourself in one word.”
This is the absolute worst question. Ultimately you are selling yourself (don’t misinterpret that). How can you describe someone so awesome, like yourself, in one word?
This, like many other questions, is to see how unique and creative you are. If you use a generic word, such as hard-working, this could count against you. It is a great word! And most people would consider themselves hard-working. However, there lies the problem. It is a generic answer.
Try using these instead: dedicated, reliable, enthusiastic. What interviewers are looking for is a word you see fit to describe you personally. Sit down and brainstorm before an interview. Guarantee you could come up with something more creative than hard-working.
“What are your strengths/weaknesses?”
Another thought provoking question. This is where you brag about yourself. Doesn’t matter. Employers want to see someone who is confident in their strengths. However, they are inevitably going to ask you what your weaknesses are as well. Play on your strengths and focus on how you can improve your weaknesses.
For example, your strength might be strong writing skills. Use a weakness that emphasizes that strength. You have strong writing skills but are self-critical and a perfectionist when it comes to editing. This weakness puts an emphasis on your strength.
“What are your career goals?”
Just be honest. You probably have high standards for your career goals. Employers like to see someone who is driven. Don’t sell yourself short just because the job or internship you are interviewing for isn’t what you want to do. Most likely it will give you experience in order to obtain your ultimate career goal.
Employers, however, want someone that is going to be dedicated to the job at hand. Make sure to include reasons why this particular job or internship will help you in the long run.
Based on the number of interviews I have had since searching for an internship these questions were all asked by the interviewer. Interviewing is a nerve racking process. However, being able to anticipate certain questions and having an answer ready will make the process smoother and make you feel more confident in your answers.