Interview Practice Grind – 4 Examples To Get Going

Interview Practice Grind - 4 Examples To Get Going

In the Resume Practice Grind post, we saw how we can improve some of the resume bullets that are often poorly worded. Let’s do the same with our interview responses. Here is a sample set of badly answered interview questions and let’s learn how to improve them. For the sake of simplicity, let’s consider the answers from a fresh graduate’s viewpoint.

Question 1: Tell me about yourself.

Sample Response:

I am <>. My family is <>. I graduated from <>. I like <>.

Why This is Flawed:

This is too generic, with irrelevant details! The answer does not make a great first impression, nor does it project you as a suitable candidate for the job!

An Improved Response:

I am <>. I graduated from <> in the top 10% of my class. I have taken courses/internship in <something relevant to the job>. I am excited about this interview because your company is a dream company for me.

Why This is Better:

The response has relevant details without unnecessary fluff. It is specific to the job and shows your passion for the company.

Question 2: What are your strengths?

Sample Response:

I am a team player and work hard. I have good academic performance and am a perfectionist.

Why This is Flawed:

It is too generic and does not give any context or examples. Academic performance may not always be a strength in a professional setting. Being a perfectionist is too boastful, cliche, and impractical.

An Improved Response:

I am a team player but also lead in the time of crisis. I was able to take my team to victory in the university football match. I can manage to multitask. I was able to take up 2 internships last summer. I also have good attention to detail, which is one of the skills mentioned in the job description.

Why This is Better:

The response has examples and ties them to the job at hand. The strengths mentioned give the impression that you have done due self-analysis. This is a positive signal.

Question 3: What are your weaknesses?

Sample Response:

I have no weakness/I have many weaknesses.

OR

I am not good at math. I also don’t like taking a risk.

Why This is Flawed:

Saying ‘no weakness’  means you haven’t thought about it, and saying ‘many weaknesses’ means you are not a good candidate! ‘Not good at math’ can be a serious flaw in some jobs, and ‘not taking a risk’ can be considered a hindrance to your growth.

An Improved Response:

I sometimes think too much before taking action. I think I need to learn to balance both. Also, I need more experience in dealing with situations that involve risk, because such situations will always arise.

Why This is Better:

This is an honest answer and still gives your weaknesses a positive spin. The trick is to show them as your ‘areas of improvement’ and not outright weaknesses. The response shows how you plan to overcome your limitations, which is a welcome attitude.

Question 4: Why do you want to work here?

Sample Response:

Your company/job seems interesting. I think I can do the job.

OR

Your office is close to my home. The salary is as per my expectation.

Why This is Flawed:

None of these responses show your passion. There are no specifics of the job that attract you. ‘Close to home’ or ‘salary’ are lame reasons to take up any job.

An Improved Response:

The job is aligned with my qualifications. I am looking for a company where I can learn a lot and your one-year training program is highly reputed. My friends working here have told me great things about the culture and I will enjoy working in such an environment.

Why This is Better:

The response is specific to the company and shows that you have done the research. Also, it talks about how you are a good candidate. Overall, the response showcases you as a capable and genuinely interested candidate.

There are more interview questions to cover and further posts will address more such questions. For now, prepare for these questions, and, needless to say, practice!

At Beyond Consultant, we help you bring your dreams to life, by guiding in your overseas education journey. For a free consultation, please get in touch with us here.

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