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Good Interview Questions

Rejoice when you are asked good interview questions like...

What are your strengths?

Trust me, you will be asked this by EVERY employer. Your interview will fall short if you can't confidently tell an employer what you do well.

And...a well-rehearsed 30 second answer will impress beyond belief.

While you are answering this question, there are at least 7 judgements being made about you by hiring authorities:

  1. Everyone knows this question will be asked. Did you prepare your answer well or are you just winging it?
  2. Can you express yourself with confidence and enthusiasm?
  3. Will you fit into our company culture?
  4. Are your strengths what we need to solve our problems?
  5. Can you look me in the eye and share with me your strengths without sounding boastful or arrogant?
  6. Will you lift my burdens and make my life easier?
  7. Are you easy to manage...or high maintenance?

Job seekers sometimes struggle with good interview questions like this for 2 fundamental reasons:

  1. They feel like they're bragging about themselves, so they tone things down.
  2. They focus too much on telling employers what they want to hear...and end up sounding like everyone else: I'm a team player, I'm a hard worker, I'm honest.

All of these things are nice, but what the employer really wants to know is: What makes you different from anyone else applying for this same job?

FACT: The secret to getting hired is to come up with 5 or 6 strengths that are quantifiable and unique to you...and...will help employers save money, save time, or make money.

Be a little creative with this so you clearly stand out. To help you shine in your job interview, use the Checklist of 109 Qualities and Positive Character Traits at the end of this article.

Be prepared to prove your strengths by sharing a true story or situation.

For example, let's say you tell your interviewer that you are a cost conscious person. A skilled interviewer will quickly follow up with: "Give me an example of a time when you were cost conscious."

Possible good interview answers:

  • Cut priority mail costs by 50% by using the US Postal Service
  • Saved 20% on car rentals by driving mid-size vehicles
  • Reduced photo-copy usage by 30% using electronic media
  • Emailed invoices vs mailing, saving 5% a year on postage
  • Recommended smart-thermostat for office reducing electricity consumption by 10%

None of these examples are earth shattering; but, it powerfully demonstrates your cost-conscious strength.

Remember: Keep your answer to good interview questions short...30 seconds is about right. Provide more information if hiring authorities probe further. Resist the temptation to talk too much.

Checklist of 109 Qualities and Positive Character Traits

Ability to work with others Global experience Productive
Accurate Global thinker Professional
Ambitious Goal oriented Proficient
Analytical Good judgement Profit oriented
Business sense Grateful Progressive
Caring nature Gratitude Quick learner
Cheerful Hard working Relationship builder
Clear thinker Helpful Resourceful
Common sense Honest Respectful
Communicate well Industrious Responsible
Concise Innovative Results oriented
Confident Insightful Risk taker
Conscientious Intuitive Self sufficient
Cost-conscious Knowledgeable Sense of adventure
Creative Leader Sense of humor
Decisive Learn quickly Sense of urgency
Dedicated Logical Service oriented
Dependable Loyal Skillful
Detail oriented Meticulous Social
Determined Motivated Stable
Diligent Negotiation skills Successful
Diplomatic Open minded Systematic
Disciplined Optimistic Tactful
Driven Organized Take initiative
Efficient Patient Teachable
Endurance Perceptive Teacher
Energetic Persistent Team builder
Enterprising Personal drive Tenacious
Enthusiastic Persuasive Thorough
Entrepreneurial Pioneering Tolerant
Fair minded Positive Trustworthy
Flexible Practical Understanding
Forgiving Pragmatic Versatile
Foresighted Prepared Vision
Friendly Proactive Willing
Generous Problem solver Written skills

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