When it comes to your interview, you’ve got a lot of prep work to do. While you won’t know every question you’ll get asked, the good news is that there are many common ones that most hiring managers cover. One of these is to describe yourself. If you’re not prepared to give a solid answer, this request can throw you off track. But what should you say, in five words or less? Here are a few tips from our interview prep experts to keep in mind as you’re figuring it out:
Take the question seriously.
Don’t laugh it off or act like it’s a joke or silly request. You’ll offend the hiring manager and make a bad impression in the process. Instead, make sure you’re taking the question seriously, just as you would any other question.
Be honest with your answer.
You want to position yourself in the best light. However, don’t go overboard and exaggerate your qualities or list those you know you don’t have simply because it will make you look good. Instead, think through the requirements for the job and how your unique attributes can best meet them.
Make a list.
It’s best to start writing out your thoughts when thinking about how you’d answer this question. Don’t edit yourself in any way. Continue to write until you can’t think of any other qualities you want to highlight. Then start to edit until you have the top five that best represent you for this particular job.
Avoid generic words and clichés.
Don’t include vague or boilerplate words like “good” or “superstar.” These don’t mean much and won’t impress the hiring manager. Instead, when you’re preparing your response, consider some of the following word choices:
If you’re still unsure about which words describe you, ask a family member or friend. They might be able to offer you more insight into how others view you and how you can best describe yourself.
Need more help preparing for your next interview?
Turn to the interview prep team at ResumeSpice. We know what hiring managers expect from top candidates and can help you better prepare so you ace your next interview. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.
When it comes to job interviews, only the strongest survive – and either move onto the next round or get a call with an offer. So, what can you do to ensure you beat out the competition in your next interview? Prepare. Sounds simple, but too few candidates go into an interview fully prepared. Here are four tips to help you do just that, from ResumeSpice, one of the top interview prep services.
Tip #1: Research.
A big part of preparing for a job interview is learning all you can about the hiring company. What do they do? Who are their customers? What challenges are they currently facing? And what are their main products and services? You can read through their website, Google them for the latest news, and view their employees’ backgrounds on LinkedIn. We always recommend setting up a Google alert for their company name so you don’t miss any important news. You can also seek out current information by viewing their social media sites.
Tip #2: Assess
Once you know more about the company, you should have a good understanding of where you fit in. If you don’t, thoroughly read through the job description. Check LinkedIn for employees who are currently in similar roles or who may have left the role. What are their backgrounds? What similar skills do you have? Focus on your most relevant accomplishments.
Tip #3: Develop.
Develop your responses to common interview questions. In most cases, you’ll also be asked questions specific to the information provided on your resume, as well as behavioral-based questions, such as “Tell me about a time when you (fill in the blank).” When responding, try to tie in a specific example of how you went above and beyond or made a difference at a past employer. Just make sure you don’t give these interview answers!
Beyond responses, you should also be developing a list of your own questions to ask. Not only will you make a better impression with the hiring manager, but you’ll be able to dig deeper into the role and employer to ensure they’re the right fit for you. Here are some of the best questions to ask an interviewer.
Tip #4: Get ready.
A few days before your interview, make sure you have appropriate attire to wear. You should wear a business suit that’s neutral in color, paired with professional shoes. Keep any cologne, perfume, and jewelry to a minimum. Also, make sure you have several copies of your resume, a notebook and a pen to take notes, and the correct address of the interview location.
Preparing for an interview isn’t difficult. But it certainly takes an investment of time to ensure you’re completely ready once the big day arrives. Simply follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to setting yourself apart from your competition.
Ready to get expert help preparing for your next interview?
Connect with ResumeSpice. We provide interview prep services to all levels of candidates, whether you’re highly experienced or just entering or re-entering the workforce. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more about how we can help.
Walking into an interview is a stressful experience for even the most skilled professional. But there is one step you can take to boost your confidence and your chance of getting the job. It’s through an interview prep service. With one, you can benefit in a variety of ways, including by:
Getting valuable feedback.
If there’s an area where you’re falling short during an interview, then a professional with an interview prep service will be able to pinpoint it. That way, you’ll know your exact weaknesses and can then work on improving them. As you do, you’ll be able to overcome these difficulties and even turn areas where you’re struggling into strengths.
Better preparing for common questions.
On the surface, answering interview questions – like “tell me about yourself” – might not seem like a big deal. But if you’re not providing thoughtful and compelling answers, then you’re not going to get the job. However, with an interview prep service, you’ll learn how to effectively answer common interview questions and bring your relevant experience and accomplishments to light in a way that’s articulate and clear.
Gaining insight into hiring managers.
When it comes to working with an interview prep service, you’ll get experienced professionals who know what hiring managers are looking for in job candidates. They understand interview red flags on the one hand, as well as traits and skills that are most appealing to a potential employer on the other. They can, therefore, help you to better navigate the interview experience, so you stand out against other candidates.
Lowering your stress and anxiety about interviews.
No one really likes to interview for jobs. However, it’s a necessary part of the process. Working with an interview prep service will help you to get through it with less stress and more confidence. You’ll no longer have to worry and wonder about how to answer a certain difficult question, or what to say when you don’t know the answer. An interview prep service can guide you through both common and tricky scenarios, step by step.
Interested in learning more about how you can benefit from an interview prep service?
Give ResumeSpice a call at 832.930.7378. With our interview prep service, you’ll be able to walk into interviews with more confidence, all so you ultimately land the job you want.
Looking for a job? You might not think you need professional help with the process. After all, you’ve found positions in the past on your own. Plus, you have plenty of experience and an in-demand skill set.
But have you considered the fact that for every single job opening at a corporation, there are hundreds of candidates applying? What’s more is that they oftentimes have a similar background as you. Standing out can therefore be a challenge.
Here are just a few ways a professional cover letter and resume writing service can help you with the process:
When you review your resume or cover letter, it’s almost impossible to be objective. However, when you work with a professional, they’ll be able to quickly spot weaknesses and make recommendations for improving them. They’ll also be able to pinpoint any areas that are lacking, all so you include the information hiring managers are looking for.
They can help you identify strengths and value.
Do you understand your value and worth on the employment marketplace? Do you know what skills hiring managers want most? Can you effectively promote all these on your resume and in a job interview? If not, a professional resume writing and interview prep service can help. They’ll know how to hone in on the areas where you’ve contributed most in your career in the past and how to articulate your future value.
They can help you find a job faster.
While there are plenty of candidates out there, many of them make the same common mistakes, like not including accomplishments on their resumes. With help from a cover letter and resume writing service, you can avoid missteps and find a new job faster, as a result.
They can give you insider information.
As professionals in the HR industry, working with an interview prep service means you’ll get first-hand knowledge and expert assistance in getting your foot in the door at places where you want to work. You’ll be able to submit a resume and cover letter that better appeals to hiring managers, and also gain the skills to promote yourself during job interviews.
If you’re thinking about looking for a new job, or about to start a search, consider working with professionals, like those at ResumeSpice. You can get the assistance you need to create a polished resume and cover letter, as well as prep for interviews, all so you can land a terrific new job.
Interested in learning more about working with our professional team?
Call ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. Our services were developed by recruiters, so we know what HR and hiring managers are looking for when reviewing resumes and cover letters, and interviewing candidates. Let us help you get the results you want.
When preparing for an interview, you’ve got to do more than know how to respond to tough interview questions. You also have to ask some of your own – so you can find out if the job, your potential boss, and the company are the right fit for you.
Beyond that, hiring managers expect you to ask good questions. If you don’t, they’ll be less-than-impressed by your preparation.
But when you have limited time in the interview, what are the best questions to ask? Here are some questions and tips from Houston’s top resume writers, ResumeSpice:
What are the most important qualities for someone to succeed in this role?
The hiring manager likely told you about the daily tasks and responsibilities associated with the job. But it’s also important to have an understanding of what it takes to succeed in the role. The hiring manager’s answer to this question will often give you insight beyond the position itself and into the company culture.
What are the biggest challenges of the job?
Hiring managers can sometimes paint a rosy picture of a position they’re trying to hire for. But to gain a clearer sense of what the role truly entails – and to assess whether it’s right for you-you to need to know about the good, the bad and the ugly, too.
What are your goals and expectations for the first month on the job? What about the first six months?
You want to ensure you’re able to meet expectations within the designated time period. Beyond that, asking this question ensures that you’re not blindsided by unrealistic goals once on the job.
How many people work in the department? What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in it?
Even if the company is a big one, you’re likely mostly going to be working alongside those in your department, day in and out. That’s why it’s important to get a sense of the team – how big it is and important projects, areas of focus, or trends coming up that impact it.
What’s the culture like at the company?
Many job seekers make the mistake of asking questions only about the job and the responsibilities, without also delving into the company’s culture. But if the culture is a poor fit for you and your personality, you’re not going to be happy there, even if you can do the work.
What do you like most about working at this company?
Asking this question can offer you further insight into the company’s culture and what it’s really like to work there.
What’s the next step in your decision-making process?
Don’t forget to ask this question before you leave the interview. If the hiring manager isn’t going to be making a decision for three weeks, it’s important for you to know that. Otherwise, you might sit around, wondering, waiting and worrying. Asking this question will also give you a timeframe that’s appropriate in which to follow up.
Need more help getting the interview – and getting the job?
At ResumeSpice, as Houston’s trusted resume writers, we do more than offer tips, but also interview preparation help along with resume and cover letter writing, career coaching, and LinkedIn assistance. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.
Four of the Worst Interview Answers – And What to Say Instead
Have you ever browsed the web and come across an ad targeted to you, but the message doesn’t fully resonate because you’re distracted by the stock photos? The overused photos take away from the credibility of the product being advertised because they’re not unique. That’s akin to what an interviewer experiences when you give a “stock” response to interview questions. They’ve heard them all before and the interviewer believes your answer isn’t authentic.
If you’re new to interviewing and/or haven’t been on the candidate side of the interview process in a while, we put together some cliché interview responses to avoid.
“I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist” or “I’m too hard on myself”
These responses, and similar variations, are often answers to the classic (and dreaded) question, “What are your weaknesses?” Employers ask you to talk about your weaknesses because they’re testing for self-awareness and what actions you’ve taken to improve your shortcomings.
A more authentic-sounding answer might sound something like, “I become deeply invested in projects I work on and in many ways I feel the work that I produce is me, so if a project gets scrapped halfway through I can sometimes be deeply disappointed. However, I’ve learned to prepare myself for any outcome when taking on new projects. As I’ve reached positions of more authority, I’m more aware of the global business rationale for which projects the company pursues and do my best to convey that to my team. I remember being in their shoes not long ago – so I believe in consistent communication. That way when a project is put on the backburner, they stay understand the rationale and stay engaged.
“I always meet my goals.”
If you’re trying to set yourself apart from other interviewees, it can be tempting to claim that you never make mistakes, that you never miss your goals, and that all your projects are completed on time and on budget. Most experienced interviewers will believe that either you’re not being truthful or that you don’t have enough experience to have endured and overcome failure.
If you want to set yourself apart, talk more about how you never stop striving for your goals – even in the face of failure and setbacks – and that you keep pushing forward and putting in the work to succeed. Give specific examples of a challenge you faced, how you overcame it, and what the result was. Most candidates won’t go through that process – and you’ll have the edge.
“In five years, I see myself in your position.”
Employers want to know that you’re ambitious and that you can visualize being with the company in the foreseeable future, but you don’t want that to be interpreted (correctly or incorrectly) that you’re gunning for the interviewer’s job. If you really want to earn a managerial role in the future, it’s okay to communicate that, but we recommend expressing it in a more diplomatic way. You don’t want to give an answer that will put the interviewer on the defensive.
“I’m a team player / people person”
You may very well be a team player and/or a people person, but unfortunately those terms are so overused, they’re virtually meaningless. A better way to convey that you’re a team player is to give specific examples of successful projects you’ve worked on with other team members and how you were able to achieve a successful outcome working together. And if you’re a people person – that will come across by the way you greet the receptionist, smile warmly, conduct yourself throughout the interview process, and follow-up after the process.
Are you getting ready to interview for a new job and you don’t know quite how to prepare? Give ResumeSpice a call today at 832.930.7378! Our interview prep services will have you polished and ready to impress!