Top 3 Interview Questions You Always Answer Wrong... Until Now
Interviewing is challenging. Especially if it's for the “perfect” job that only comes around every so often. Interview preparation usually starts by searching for good answers to typical interview questions. This is where many of you make your initial mistake. You try to memorize someone else’s response instead of dissecting the interview question and providing an authentic answer that is a real, powerful statement.
The more natural you are in an interview, the more likable, believable, and intelligent you become. I suggest to anyone when prepping for an interview to feel like you’re having a conversation with a great friend. Remember, you got the interview because the company has an interest in your job skills. Since that box is checked, the employer is praying you walk in and are that normal, fun-loving human that will add tremendous value to their team. You can't do that memorizing answers to interview questions.
These are my top three interview questions that I believe most of you get wrong. I want to share with you how you should answer these in an interview, so you have a great conversation and ultimately get hired.
Tell me about your greatest weakness?
When an interviewer asks this question, I wonder if they really want to know the answer or if they are just checking a box. If you are interviewing for your dream job, what weakness do you have that you would divulge anyway? Doesn’t everyone have defects, even the person interviewing you?
In most serious interviews, you will have to answer this question. Here is the key. Embrace your answer and make it real. Career experts will tell you to find a weakness that has nothing to do with the job, expose it, and let them know what you are doing to overcome this deficiency. Frequently used suggestions to demonstrate this are things like fear of public speaking, overly detailed-oriented, workaholic, and you are a perfectionist. Most interviewers will see right through this, and it demonstrates why this is such a horrible interview question.
By the time the interviewer gets to this question, you should have already built a good rapport with a lot of common ground. When they spring this question on you, my best advice is to be straightforward. Think about all your previous positions. Your answer to this question lies with your former managers. What would they say is your weakness? In other words, answer this question by saying, “My current manager told me I needed to work on my XYZ skills. They enrolled me to take an online course, and I have become much more proficient at this skill”. This is money, and it is true. If your weakness is a huge part of the job you are applying to, you shouldn’t even interview for the job.
Tell me about a conflict you had at work and how you handled it?
This question makes many people queasy. The conflict question can go two ways. First, they may ask you about conflict with customers. The best way to answer this is to tell a story about one of your customers who had significant issues and what you did to help overcome them. This question allows you to become a storyteller where you are in total control of what comes out of your mouth and show how good you are in your career. When you tell your story, give them some history on how things like how you got the account, the personality of the customer, the success of the account, and why you cared about this account. The conflict could be anything. The key is to let the interviewer know precisely how you overcame the issue, which gives you another opportunity to showcase your skills.
Secondly, they may ask you about conflict with co-workers. If you don’t have any dispute with co-workers, that is a great answer. Never go down this road (unless you don’t like people) since you will open up a can of worms that don’t need to be opened! Funny things happen on interviews, and if you had a conflict at some point, a good interviewer would get you somehow to tell the whole story. You don’t want to do this.
Do you have any questions for me?
This is the best interview question of them all. It gives you a chance to shine, and sadly, many of you interviewing (for ANY type of job) fail to take advantage of this. The best answer to this question is, “Yes, can you tell me about your top employees who have had this role and what characteristics they had to help them excel?” If I am interviewing you and you ask me this question, whatever I tell you is the “key” to whether or not you are not only a fit for the job but if you can excel at it as well. I like to follow this up with, “what else made this employee stand out.”