Understanding Underlying Meaning of Job Interview Questions
by Quintessential Careers
How to Decode/Understand/Translate Key Job-Interviewing Questions: What Do Employers Really Want to Know?
While there are no real right or wrong answers to job interview questions — well unless you lie or voluntarily disclose negative information — it is important to understand what employers are really asking with certain interview questions.
The better you understand what the employer is really asking you the better you’ll perform in the job interview — and the closer you’ll get to showing that you are the best candidate for the job.
Job Interviewing Question: Tell Me About Yourself
What the employer really is asking is about is a short introduction into who you are what you offer and why you are the best fit for the job. The employer does NOT want a rambling discussion of your personal life and hobbies.
Job Interviewing Question: Why Should We Hire You?
What the employer really is asking is about is why the employer should hire you above the other candidates. You have to know your competitive advantage stressing your accomplishments qualifications and fit.
Job Interviewing Question: Are You A Team Player?
What the employer really is asking is about is whether you get along with others — and can succeed in a team setting. The key here is to discuss a specific example of a good team experience providing details of the team’s accomplishments and your role within the team.
Job Interviewing Question: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
What the employer really is asking about is whether you set goals for yourself. You want to show ambition but not so much that the employer worries that you will not be satisfied in the job.
Obviously if you plan to not be working at the organization in five years you do NOT want to say that.
Job Interviewing Question: What’s Your Biggest Weakness?
What the employer really is asking about is whether you are constantly trying to improve yourself. Do not respond with a canned response such as "I’m too much of a perfectionist."
It’s much better to discuss a real past flaw/weakness and the steps you took to turn it around.
Job Interviewing Question: Tell Me About a Time You Went Above and Beyond What Was Required in Your Job
What the employer really is asking about is the degree to which you are an average worker versus someone who will be a top performer within the organization.
Provide specific details about such a time; if you don’t have one from a previous job — especially for younger job-seekers — you can choose one from a volunteering/community service project.
More True Meanings of Job Interview Questions
For additional job interview questions — and what they mean — see Part 2: Understanding Meanings of More Job Interview Questions.
Key Job-Interviewing Resource for Job-Seekers
Find the answers to ALL your job-interviewing questions in this Interviewing FAQ. The link will open a new browser window: Quintessential Careers: Comprehensive Job Interviewing FAQ.
This article was written exclusively for MyCareerBlast.com by Dr. Randall S. Hansen. Dr. Hansen is founder and publisher of Quintessential Careers one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web. He is also CEO of EmpoweringSites.com a collection of empowering Website designed to help empower people to live better lives… and includes sites such as MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com