Understanding the real meaning behind an interview question is the key to providing a strong response. These questions are often intimidating, but it is possible to use the hidden meaning to your advantage.
The question, "What three positive things would your last boss say about you can be slightly misleading, but it is actually pretty straightforward. Do not be tripped up by the mention of your previous boss. They are both trying to learn what your strong points are and how you prioritize your important qualities. You should respond knowing that your answer will give insight into both of these aspects.
Points to Emphasize
While the qualities you say are the most important part of this question, you should not neglect the tone and attitude you have while answering. These tips should help you form your answer.
- Be unique. Try to find something that you bring to the table that no other candidate can. You want to stand out.
- Be honest. Do not concern yourself with what you think the interviewer wants to hear. Genuineness goes a long way.
- Be specific. More in-depth characteristics are better than works hard" or "successful".
- It is okay to show off slightly. This is an excellent opportunity to sell yourself. Being a little bold is acceptable.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Avoid the common pitfalls that many people fall into. Choose your words carefully and you will be free from these mistakes.
- Do not exaggerate. Stretching the truth is rarely subtle enough to get past a hiring manager that hears answers to these questions often.
- Avoid being unprepared. You should go in to the interview knowing what your best qualities are. Even if this question is not asked, it will be beneficial to have them at the front of your mind.
- Do not read from your resume. Your answers should be more personal than the qualities you put on your resume.
- Do not brag. You are selling yourself, so it is okay to be bold. That does not mean you should be prideful, however.
You should have answers specific to your work history and industry. As an example, a strong answer would look similar to this:
At my last job, I had a strong reputation as the knowledgeable employee. I had the book memorized and people would almost use me as an encyclopedia. I also never had any trouble meeting time restraints. I was never late or missed a deadline. Of course, I think my boss would also bring up that I was great with the customers as well.