Career Coach presents comprehensive analyses about interview questions

Today our career coach will explore the most on-demand interview questions and how to answer them on point that proves you’re the candidate of choice. This topic is essentially giving you a one-to-one advice for a job winning interview preparation.

We’ll also explore interview techniques and reveal the tips and traps of top interview questions in the hot job market and also show you sample answers to interview questions.

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A detailed analyses about interview questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How to deal with difficult customers?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Your interview answers should sell you like a coconut on a hot summer day

Your resume has proven you are worthy of an interview. And now your interview must prove you’re worthy of the job. A resume only reveals so much about you, it can never reveal all of who you are. Nobody ever got a job without an interview! That’s what an interview does, it separates the 1 from the rest. The employers measure you, your manners, specially how much you really measure against the career brilliance you have demonstrated at your remarkable resume.

Your well-crafted resume has sold you well, otherwise you wouldn’t be called for an interview. Now how well you sell yourself at the interview-room will essentially set the stage for the final hiring decision. If you fail to sell well here, you simply won’t be bought, we’re afraid. This is why we’re here showing you how to sell yourself like an ice cream truck parked at a kid’s summer camp. You need to be in your best professional savvy self to set a spark in the minds of your employers with your charm and charisma. That confidence you wear will convince how well you match for the job, which is of course a measure of how much you know the three cardinal rules of a successful interview.

Three cardinal rules for interview preparation

How well you do at the interview entirely depends on how well you’re preparing for a job interview. Success in interview comes from how well you know the company, how well you know the job and finding what makes you a perfect fit and then preparing for interview mock questions. We’ve summarized them for you below.

  • Researching and knowing their company/product
  • Understanding the job description and finding why you’re a great fit
  • Practice mock interview questions and answers

A successful interview also has many other angles to it, the charisma you carry, your manners, your charming attributes. All of this plays a silent role in securing your success in an interview room. But for today’s topic, we will keep our focus specifically on how to answer common interview questions.

Career coach reveals the success filters for answering questions effectively

During every job interview questions and answers session, your response must apply these filters. This is where money is made, the value of your professional brilliance is conveyed to employers. We’re here to ensure as you convey, you cement your candidacy with convincing interview answers. 

Before we begin diving into each question, here’s a short cheat code. No company runs without people, and no managers can conduct their operations without a team. So, in your answers you should subtly apply these filters to convey and convince employers, you’re a people’s person and the value proposition of your professional finesse can be a great asset for their company. It’s important to touch on these three points as you answer along.

Nobody has ever revealed with this much intimacy, these are the closely guarded terrific interview techniques that lies at the hands of professional career coach, who charges you top dollars to get you ready like an apex predator. Because that’s what it is in laymen terms, it is an open savanna out there, you take or be taken out! So why am I giving away all of these interview tips for free? Because I’ve been paid plenty to unravel these gems for you. Apply these psychological filters to fly above their defense, in other words, incorporate these points during your answers.

  • A successful professional always believes in successful teamwork
  • Focus on the value additions you can bring, your resourcefulness, your resilience
  • Permeate your passion for the position and the company

Now that we know the foundation needed for a successful interview, let’s get to building the columns and the levels, so you can reach the summit of success, the peak valley at the top, the one you can claim as yours.

The interview questions and answers are designed to uncover your professional finesse

Interview questions and answers helps HR managers to separate the 1 from the rest. This is where bulk laden goods are delivered and if done right, your appointment letter will be served in silver platter with a champagne bottle to go with. We’ll help you prepare for questions that strike out of nowhere, with all grounds covered, you’ll see the surprise coming from yesterday! And you can instead focus on that weekend champagne that awaits your command for celebration.

Before we begin, its important to remember, there is no ‘1’ right answer to any of these questions. Every glass has different shapes and sizes, it’s the one that brings the water that wins the day! You just need a story at the back of your mind, and a few pickup lines from where you can articulate a response that can resonate with the recruiter. Never memorize an answer, it’s a death trap.

How to answer interview questions with clarity and confidence

The job interview questions and answers session is where money is made, the value of your professional brilliance is conveyed to employers. We’re here to ensure as you convey, you cement your candidacy with convincing interview answers, proving you are without equal.

Every job interview has a few questions that often goes round and round around the world. These questions are designed in a manner that will test the candidate’s caliber, the individual’s ability to stay composed in a testing situation, a candidate’s own opinion of his/her value or worth to the desired position among other things. We know these are the best interview questions to prepare for! Because they show up in one form or the other during 87% of the interviews based on our 6-month long survey.

Employers tend to test candidates with tough interview questions, or word a simple question in a complex manner to see how they paddle their boat. They deliberately shake the boat to see if they go down sinking with the slightest shake. Your response should be like the ten commandments, unassailable answers to every question, very confident but with humility. That’s why we will explore every interview question under two lenses. Also, we will show what they are trying to assess with each question. We will provide a holistic view of the purpose of that interview question and then provide you with a model interview answer for a chosen profession.

  • How a job interview question sounds if it was asked in a complex manner
  • How an interview question were to appear if it was posed in plain language, one that is easy to understand

So, without further ado, let’s show you the successful answers to interview questions that will convince the employers you’re the deserving candidate for the job.

How to answer ‘Tell me about yourself’

Firstly, it’s a trick question! When Hannah, the HR manager is asking her candidates this question, she isn’t interested in their taste in music or books. This is a personal question which begets an answer with a professional undertone. While the interviewer has gone through your resume, maybe looked you up on LinkedIn, Facebook or other relevant social media platforms, she is looking for the real you. If you’re at an internship interview, reveal why you chose your major, what made you choose the school you went to, what has been the driving force behind your life choices, what experiences have you had and how you intend to bring your particular brand of magic to the job and set the firm alight with your brilliance! That’s the stuff she is interested in, and that’s exactly the stuff you should put forward.

Bringing a personal touch to your answer is key; your reply must be infused with honesty and reflect your true self. If your grandmother’s caring nature influenced you to choose nursing, say that. While you were in college a professor inspired you to pursue English Literature as a major be sure to mention that. As a business major in college with a strong entrepreneurial streak you sold sports merchandise at every college fair and intend to use knowledge gained from those stints at your job- your employer wants to see the real person sitting behind that animated resume. Your persona must shine with a similar brilliance by weaving a story to steal all of their interest. 

Situation: Someone applied for a Front Desk Agent at a 4-star hotel
Easy phrasing: Why don’t you introduce yourself?
Complex phrasing: Let’s start with describing yourself, shall we?
Assess: Manners, interpersonal skills

Answer template: Firstly, thank you for this opportunity today. My name’s Susan. I’ve always been passionate about hospitality, since I was young. Over the last four years I have acquired the skills of performing personalised services for a wide range of clientele, from frequent business travelers, leisure travelers, family travelers to event attendees. Providing wonderful experience to create a memorable stay for our guests is something I always found highly rewarding.

Expert feedback: See, how the template answer solely centers around the job? And, not where you live, or the number of your siblings, anything that touches on your personal affair should be kept away. And you’ve carefully placed a high-ticket item from your vast expertise, how you’re well-versed with a vast range of clients to provide highly specialized services.

How to answer ‘What are your strengths’

This question digs the best out of you. While we have always been taught not to blow our own trumpet, in this case you should, albeit with a dose of cunning sophistication! Be bold but not boastful; be modest but not meek. If you are composed under duress, say that. If problem-solving is your forte, mention it.  And back that up with actual scenarios. Maybe you’re extremely process driven, improving fundamentals, focusing on the simpler things to reflect bigger change, because you know it’s extremely rare for a car to go up inflame because of a faulty engine, mostly it goes up inflame due to a bad tyre that’s causing a crash or brake failing or slippery black ice during winter, it’s the same for a business too, failing to see the smaller cracks leading to a crisis that comes with significant consequences. So, if you care about the smaller details in a business, the boat’s bound to sail in calm waters, unless there is a tsunami, completely beyond your control, in that case, everyone’s facing the brute force of the wild beast that is the macro market conditions.

Situation: Someone applied for a bartender position at a pub
Easy phrasing: What are your greatest strengths? 
Complex phrasing: You have an enraged customer screaming at you, what do you do?
Assess: Manners, skills, confidence

Answer template: If a customer is angry, the response should reflect a sincere care for their concern and show them we understand their pain, their anguish and genuinely trying to solve the situation, that would always calm the customer in 99% of the cases. Now the other 1% where the guest is inebriated beyond reason, I guess calling security would be sufficient.

Expert feedback: See, when you work in hospitality industry, one of your strengths should be able to read a developing situation to act aptly and timely; facing an aggrieved customer and being able to deescalate before it turns into a situation, should be in your forte. So, walk them through the process of how you apply the service recovery technique. You can just call out a scenario from your work history, should they ask you to walk them through an example from your past experience.

How to answer “What are your weaknesses”

For most candidates the answer to this question will be dishonest “My greatest flaw is that I get too focused on my work and at times it takes a toll on my personal life,” or a docile, self-deprecating “I can’t say no to my boss or colleagues if they ask more of me.” This is firstly, not true and secondly, it gives a bad impression of your character. Coming across as a meek, submissive person with no substance will not really play in your favor, neither will pretending to be a workaholic.

Instead, talk about a real weakness and what you are doing to overcome that. This is a great approach because it shows you’re truthful, honest nature and that you are willing to work on yourself and improve. Giving interviewers the impression that you are open to working on your weaknesses and become more equipped in the future which will ultimately lead to the company’s betterment and that will definitely charm the hats off of them!

Situation: Someone applied for a Duty Manager position at a 5-star hotel
Easy phrasing: Do you have any weakness? 
Complex phrasing: Have you ever done something at work you’re not proud of?
Assess: Manners, skills, behavioral traits

Answer template: I’d like to write really well! Most replies that I see are just for the sake of replying but few people are so gifted with words, they can write a melodic reply. I want to be the go-to person in my team, for replying emails and customer messages on OTA’s and writing compelling replies to customer reviews over the internet. So, I am currently reading a lot and taking some small copywriting lessons, so I can eventually build this skill.

If the answer was phrased in a complex manner, your answer angle changes ever so slightly! You can just tweak ever so slightly to come to your new answer.

Answer template: Well, I’ve never really been very proud of the way I write email replies. It reads very average and I would like to do much better. Few people are so gifted with words, they can write such a melodic reply. I want to be the go-to person in my team for communications for emails, chats, OTA messages, especially the replies to reviews on travel platforms.

How to answer “Tell us about a time you dealt with difficult customers”

No matter what job you’re in, the sun won’t always shine, there will be days with category 5 storms, leaving significant damage in its wake. Imagine you work as a hotel event manager, and a wedding guest creating an absolute scene for a failed air condition during hot summer days. Conflict is an inevitable part of life, whether at work or home we face it all the time. How one deals with it is what makes each individual different. When you are asked this question, a good answer will prove that you’re collected in pressure situations and possess problem-solving skills and highly resourceful. What interviewers are looking for is an individual who in times of duress will assess the situation, apply deductive reasoning and solve the problem on hand timely and accurately while staying composed throughout.

Genius visionary Elon Musk revealed at World Government Summit in 2017 that when interviewing new employees, he always asks them about some of the most difficult problems they have encountered and how they solved them. Because if an individual actually solved the problems he claims, he will be able to explain the process in the tiniest of details and not beat about the bush.

Explain a real situation you handled; making up an incident is not recommended! If it involved facts and figures mention them. Describe in detail how you solved the problem and how it affected your firm. Every conflict has an impact on business as well the people involved in said business and a good problem-solver will make a decision weighing both aspects. Be sure to mention what was the result of it.

Applying STAR method to answer behavioral interview questions

Interviewers wants to know if you know where your priorities are and what must be done if something comes and disrupts daily operations. Unlike other questions, behavioral interview questions focus on a situation where your best was put under an acid test, thus revealing real skills that relate to the position, during severe service aberration, how well you hold yourself, your ability to measure, read a situation and how you apply your abilities and skills to solve a problem for a business. As you answer it reveals a lot about your traits, your thought process, the strength of your skills to solve problems quickly without residue.

Sometimes the situation escalates so much, you go in damage control mode. The fine line between deescalate and damage control is pretty thin. If you fail to timely step in to deescalate, you’re now forced into a rapidly turbulent situation with serious commercial consequences. Having situational awareness to read signals and taking appropriate measures to promptly contain a developing situation before it turns into a full-blown crisis is the trademark of a skilled professional.

Using star interview method to prepare for behavioral questions is very potent, because it provides a direction, a blueprint on how to form your answer. Any behavior questions can be answered with laser focus accuracy by employing star interview technique. Let us show you now, how it’s done! STAR is basically an acronym for Situation-Task-Action-Result. The details are explored below with an example showing the STAR in action.

Situation: It recalls a scene which reveals the details in the story in fine details.
Task: What was your role or responsibility in that situation?
Action: Explain in details the steps taken to handle the situation.
Result: Finally share the outcome of your actions.

Situation: Someone applied for a Duty Manager position at a 5-star hotel
Easy phrasing: Tell us about a difficult situation you managed from your past experiences?  
Complex phrasing: What do you find challenging at work?
Assess: Skills, behavioral traits, problem solving

Answer template: 99% of daily operations runs very smooth, but it’s how we rise up to recover from the rare 1% is what makes a difference. Generally, we can manage a service lapse with appropriate service recovery measures, but that’s not possible with a belligerent guest who is inebriated. At that point, the whole priority is containing the situation with force before it escalates further. So, to run to the heart of the story, sparing all the boring details, things started to take a shocking turn once the group of three unruly guests reached their room and soon after started blaring music at high volume and shouting in the middle of the night, while we were in full occupancy and waking many guests in nearby room.

Immediately, I called for security backup without a second to waste to salvage a very damaging and escalating situation and spare the nightmare for other room guests. In cases like this, showing up with a measure of force demonstrates who is in command, our 4 men strong security team and me went into the room and we took command of the situation. They shut down the sound system and the TV, and they were told to behave or they will be made to leave or worse call-in law enforcement. Our security team stayed in the room for few minutes, measuring them and showing what will happen next if they won’t follow house policy, while I was speaking with the less intoxicated guest to get his support to manage the other two friend of his, once we leave. And that was the end of drama for the night thankfully, avoided the worst-case scenario of evicting the guests or calling the police.

Expert Feedback: The example shows, his priority was ensuring the other guests can go back to sleep ASAP by taking control of the situation and eliminating noises without a second to waste and deal with any possible service recovery measures for the affected guests in the morning. He was smart to call 4 buff looking support staff to portray as security team, as he knows showing up in numbers often calms a group of belligerent guests rather quickly. Unruly bar patrons are continuously thrown out of the premise with necessary physical restraint if needed.

His problem solving shows careful diplomatic maneuver by communicating with the least intoxicated guest, making him understand were it to happen again, police will be called in and they will be asked to leave in the middle of the night. Most often people can’t think on their feet with a rapidly escalating situation, can’t shoulder responsibility, often they pass the buck to the next guy or by giving a call to their Duty Manager or their superior and not owning the situation, and it is guys like them, who are stuck in junior positions. It is how you rise up on the occasion that molds your mettle.  

How to answer ‘Why should we hire you’

Research has shown, this question shows up 73% of the time during an interview. This is the question that cuts you a prime piece of T-bone steak or tail, depending how you answer. When interviewers ask this question, they don’t want a soliloquy of your stellar academics, excellent experiences or extraordinary problem-solving skills. That stuff is important too. But what they truly want to see is what sets you apart from other candidates aiming for the same post. It’s what you say (the substance) and how you say it (the ardor), that’s what sells! They are all just as capable; which is why they have been called for the interview. Your job is to make them see your particular brand of sheer brilliance that will leave others pale in comparison and hopefully fade into oblivion!

So, when you are asked this question, firstly remind them briefly that your academics, practical experiences and skills are the perfect fit for the job. Let them see that alongside all that your personal traits are just as valuable which will be a great match for their existing team and how your addition will be a tremendous enhancement. Convince them that your presence will make a noticeable difference and will lead to growth, both on a micro and macro scale. While you are at it, enthusiasm is essential; you don’t want to bore them to death with your monologue! Show them the real, honest you who is willing to bring her 110% every day in the office.

Find out the company’s mission statement or value statement

Most people only respond what this job demands from the candidate measured through skills and qualification. But you can actually provide a more measured response that captures their value statement or mission statement and back it up with actual achievements in your career. Wouldn’t you feel good if someone shared a story about the town you grew up in?

Situation: Someone applied for a Room Division Manager position at a 4-star hotel
Easy phrasing: What makes you special?  
Complex phrasing: Do you understand what this job demands from you? 
Assess: Competence, confidence

Answer template: I am truly driven to achieve impeccable guest experience and that closely matches the motto of Sheraton, to provide a warm, connected and communal experience, a holistic approach to service excellence. My four years of experience in this industry have given me many awards and commendations, but to me what stands more important, it’s those guest smile which shows we have earned our keep. In this industry you need to be very passionate about guest reviews turning up all over the internet, and knowing how to use them to deliver richer experience. I have been able to raise the review of the current property from 8.1 to 8.4 over 18 months. I can bring value to this position by building a passionate well-trained team who can create an unmatched experience for our guests.

How to answer ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’

In a pre-pandemic world this question held a lot of water. Back then businesses ran differently. The world as we knew it may never return to its old ways, with firms going out of business at the speed of light and jobs disappearing with them. Life, with its great fortitude however, keeps going on. We are recalibrating to a new normal and what the future holds is but a great mystery. When interviewers ask this question, they are basically assessing if you intend to be dedicated enough to spend half a decade at their service and if your professional goals align with the company’s vision to keep you hanging around. While you don’t own a crystal ball (most of us don’t!) the best thing you can do is be truthful about your intentions. Explain that if you get the job you intend to give it your best and learn as much as possible. Growth is your focus, and implementing your know-how for company’s betterment is your goal. If all goes well and progress happens at appropriate situations you are willing to embrace it.

Do not, for the love of lamb, boast about becoming the CEO in the next three years! Also, casual remarks such as being on the other side of the table, plots about bagging promotions, appearing confused and ambiguous response are big no-noes. In short, be honest, keep your answer genuine yet diplomatically open. You certainly don’t want to sign a contractual obligation to be with the firm for the next three years, if you aren’t sure that’s what you want. Because we don’t know what the future holds, there is no definite way to answer this question but keeping these pointers in mind will keep your answers sharp and sorted!  

Situation: Someone applied for a Front Desk Manager position at a 5-star hotel
Easy phrasing: Where do you see yourself in 3 three years?
Complex phrasing: What are your future aspirations?
Assess: Ambition, motivation, commitment

Answer template: I look forward to using my knowledge to deliver exceptional experience to guests and acquire new learning curve at Sheraton to further grow as a service professional in this highly rewarding industry. An unmatched reputation precedes Sheraton property’s worldwide and I ideally would work diligently to prove myself to manage a more challenging role that comes with increasing responsibility.

Expert Feedback: This response doesn’t give them the impression that you’re only here to get a job, to get a paycheck to cover your bills. That means you will bolt at the first sight of a better paycheck. Or imply that this job is only to help you to find a better job in the future. You’re merely using it as a stepping stone to something better. What they are assessing is how focused you are to your career, whether you are likely to veer 6 months down the line. A lot of effort goes into hiring and assimilating a new employee to a company’s culture.

Also, see how this response carefully puts in a pitch for promotion without asking for it. It shows you’re willing to work diligently to prove yourself for a promotion, so you can shoulder additional responsibility and deliver the challenges of this role.  

How to answer ‘What are your salary expectations’

This question generally comes somewhere at the end of the interview. Any salary or pay related questions must be answered with open-ended response and you should never raise the salary question first, instead, let that gradually come to you. You must never give an exact salary value; a salary range is a much better measure because it offers the employer some room to walk as oppose to, its either at your asking salary or adieu!

Also, you should keep in mind if you tell them a range, you’re stuck with it, you cannot renegotiate or change it. So how do you answer this seemingly simple straightforward question without ruining your chances for a higher pay or your chances to secure the job? Because if you give too high a price, they might not be able to afford you, and the job is at risk to going someone else. So, this is how you go about it, by keep in mind the following points:

  • Generally, most companies advertise their salary range or an exact figure. So, you already know what their pay range is! You just need a better picture of what this job will demand from you! Will it require you to take work at home, will you be answering top paying client’s day and night, having to keep your phones open and accessible round the clock? Generally high authority position entails higher workload and naturally a higher pay with 6-digit salary or more. And no, even if you do 10 hours a day for an entire week, there is no extra pay for these arduous efforts, they are already factored into the pay and is expected of you due to the nature of the position you hold.
  • If they have listed salary as ‘negotiable’, it means they are willing to pay fair for the right candidate. But you should research your role and find out how much for a similar position command in the market. Just a simple search in any job listing site will do, so you can get a better measure of how much the employer is likely to pay for a position with such job responsibilities.
  • Is it an entry level job from an easily available pool of talent or is it a very specialized role with very specific skills and expertise required to perform the job, because the negotiation fulcrum will move to and away from you depending on which talent pool you belong to! Only you know how much you’re worth and during the interview ensure the employer knows the full scale of value your experience and expertise will bring to the business. Because then you’ll be in a position of power during the negotiation round.
  • Sometimes salary discussion doesn’t even take off the ground. Employers make it clear early on; they have specific budget allotted for the position. In such case, if you’ve built your candidacy well, you can create a better pay opportunity that comes through added perks. Perhaps you can negotiate for work from home arrangements, professional development fees, travel allowance etc.

Salary negotiation entirely underpins how much your professional finesse is worth to the company. So, you have to be very mindful about it. You also don’t want to throw an absurd salary figure and see what sticks; this is futile and leads to that inevitable email landing in your inbox about thanking for your time to come at the interview but the opportunity has now closed! Because Sherry who sat next to you on the interview waiting room was able to provide more lucrative offer than you.

Situation: Someone applied for a National Sales Manager at a construction equipment company
Easy phrasing: Do you have a salary expectation?
Complex phrasing: Do you know what we are offering for this job?
Assess: Self-evaluation, expectation

If you’re not comfortable disclosing a figure and want them to tell you instead. Your salary expectation answer could be given like this.

Answer template: I hope I have clearly conveyed how this position can utilize my expertise to yield measurable results. I’m very open to hear what someone with similar experience is likely to be paid for this position.

When you have a figure in mind, salary expectation answer should be open ended, because you want to give the employer’s some leeway to be flexible.

Answer template: With my 5+ years of experience with proven results at ABC, I hope I can earn $90000 with NYD. However, I am happy to be flexible as I am interested in delivering the demands of this challenge role at NYD.

Questions to ask at the end of an interview

Generally, the interview question and answer session end with employer giving you an opportunity to ask them a question. So, you should use this opportunity to ask them a question that reveals interest for the job to the interviewer and not come off as too concerned about your own wants.

Questions like how many leaves you can avail annually or the salary the job will bring might not bode very well in their humble abode. Being too forthright in an interview room is often seen as tacky, as it demonstrates lack of diplomacy or discerning manner, asking those questions about holiday, sick leaves or if evening snacks are provided will appear more self-serving. Before you even got the job, you are more interested in the number of days you can take off from work. That’s a bell you don’t want to ring! Don’t ask what you can ask google, they are not your personal Siri or Alexa, so ask them something only they know.

Visit Glassdoor for any self-serving questions

Glassdoor is a professional peer network where current and former employees anonymously review their collected experience while working for a firm. If you want to gain inside information about any company, that is your go to place. You can also find advanced answers to various benefits that comes included in the remuneration package, or if the everyday things come for free, such as lunch or mid-day snacks; the travel perks if you are made to take a business trip, how generous their holiday, sick or maternity leaves are, or if those unclaimed leaves can be converted as a cash bonus. If their work culture is very rigid and top-down in nature or is it very inclusive and flat organization structure with ideas moving freely. 

These are some of the best questions to ask at the end of an interview, one that is intelligent, interesting and sums up an all-out interview success.

  • Does the company appraise employees to review their annual performance?
  • Would there be any opportunity for professional development while performing this role?
  • How does a new employee gets evaluated? Is it quarterly, semiannually?
  • As a HR Manager you have the best view of all the staff, so what’s work culture like in this beautiful office?
  • Is there any beautiful office tradition? In all honesty I am just trying to get a measure of the work culture!

Make sure to send a thank you email after interview

Remember the warm, happy feeling those little thank you cards gave you following a birthday party albeit they are now overtaken by Facebook’s pixel party. It made you feel appreciated, and the person going the extra mile was forever etched in your memory as a gracious, pleasing individual. Being thankful is a quality much appreciated the world over, especially in the professional world where your edge lies in your individuality. Even the Bible teaches us to be thankful, so sending a thank you email following an interview is something you should religiously do!

In a competitive, post-pandemic world where you are as good as the next candidate according to hiring managers, you need an extra gear to outperform others. A simple yet brilliantly worded thank you email will be that gear; it will put you on a path to super sonic success! Now how to write that all-important email? It must be short, smartly worded. Open with a personal greeting; using the interviewer’s name is essential. Mention the key aspects that was your takeaway from the interview. Write what made you excited about the future post and stress on your enthusiasm. Keep it short though, avoid flowery words like the plague. Include action words that will show the dedication and commitment you intend to bring to the job and then proceed to express your gratitude for their time and effort. Reiterate your interest in the job in the closing paragraph. Sending it within 24 hours of the interview is mandatory, sending it later completely loses the element. Imagine someone served you a burger, only the patty will come 5 minutes later, so basically, you’re left with some saucy bun and some shredded cabbage. Yes, exactly! You wouldn’t like that, neither would the HR manager if you send the email 3 days later.

This topic is explored in more details over here with some brilliant 'Thank you email' examples, intended to be sent post interview.

Download free interview prep kit

No time to read too much materials? We’ve got just the pill for you, by pill we mean pdf! So, let’s get you ready on the go with our free interview prep guide for a successful job interview. It starts straight with the money material, the one that really matters and will come in super handy in any interview! Within 30 – 45 minutes you will uncover how the hiring manager thinks! And bring the game to their level to get you flying high as a kite and come out on top from the interview room with the job to your name.

FAQ about common interview questions and answers

We understand you might have a few questions, so we’ve prepared a list of most commonly asked questions about interviews. In case, if we end up missing any, you can just use the comment section and we’ll be in touch right away! For the purpose of today’s topic, all the answers will be truncated to essentials only.

How long is a job interview?

Interview generally lasts for 15 – 30 minutes for most candidates. But if it’s for a high-level executive, it is quite normal for an interview to run between 40 – 60 minutes. Some interviews require you to attend a small written exams which typically tests your technical aptitude and takes around 30 minutes to 45 minutes and then if you pass, you will be called in for the second stage of interview, which is where your manner, behaviors or Emotional Quotient (EQ) are assessed.

How many types of interviews are there?

There are two broad categories of interviews in the job market: on-premise interview and virtual interview. On-premise interview has three types: in-person interview, group interviews and open interview also known as walk-in interviews. Virtual interview has three types: live video interview, recorded interview and phone interview.

How to know if an interview was successful?

Hiring managers are very busy people. They don’t have a minute to waste! If your interview has ended under 5 minutes. We’re sad to break the bad news, but something they saw during the first impression which raised all sorts of red flags. Imagine a person who applied for a restaurant server or waiter position but didn’t disclose they have tics or Tourette syndrome, or they came in very unpresentable, of course they cannot just ask you to leave after 30 second, that would be very rude. Hence, they take the minimum amount of time to get to know you and after which they politely call it time on this interview.

Generally, more time spent during interview, the better. A typical standard of measure is 20/30 rule. If you have spent 20 to 30 minutes, you can consider yourself somewhat successful, anything above 30 minutes means, they were really interested and that’s why wanted to know more about you! But no matter how your interview went, you should always follow with an after-interview email discussed on this section.

What is star method?

STAR technique is an interview answering method designed to produce a well-directed answer to any behavioral or situational interview questions. STAR stands for Situation-Task-Action-Result, thus in short for STAR. We have used this STAR method in vivid details above showing how to employ it to craft a compelling answer.

What are behavioral interview questions?

Behavioral interview questions give candidates an opportunity to share examples of situations where they had to use certain skills to navigate out of a slippery scenario. These types of inquiries are designed to give interviewer an insight into your personality by seeing what type behaviors are present in you, do you take a leadership role during a rapidly escalating situation or do you tend to wait for instruction. Are you a passive decision maker or active decision maker, answers to questions like these are needed for making better hiring decisions!

Because let’s face it, we all do a great job under a sunny weather with a bottle of wine! Its how you deal with a broken bottle of wine under a stormy weather is the measure of a fine professional.

How to answer the question what makes you unique?

What makes you unique is just another way of rephrasing one of the most common interview questions “Why should we hire you?”. If you have read our detailed analysis on this question which is aforementioned, answering this question should be a walk in the park.

How to answer what motivates you?

Employers need to know if you are in it for the pay-cheque or if you’ve got drive and direction in this profession. They want an insight into what drives you as a professional. What keeps those neurons firing in your brain endlessly? Because if you’re in it for the love of what you do, it’s a great win for the employer! You just have to craft a compelling story that ignites passion burning like wildfire here.

Answer Template (Nurse): From when I was little, I saw how my father took care of grandma, always visiting her every week, bringing her favorite gnocchi pasta. The seed planted deep in my formative years eventually flourished into this profession of providing care to those in need. I could not have chosen something more meaningful to do with my life.

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Career Coach presents comprehensive analyses about interview questions
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Sabrina is a career coach with extensive experience shaping careers. She has her way to translate your skills into stories: strong story paves way to better job opportunity and she knows which buttons to press to get to that story with a unified brand presence across platforms. She has been coaching C-Suite professionals, building better presence with cutting-edge job-market skills to deliver unrivaled edge.