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The Crossroads Journal

What interviewers are really asking

By Chanel Nagaishi
Job interviews - a necessary evil for some, an enjoyable challenge for others. Regardless of which category you fall into, learning how to discern the motives behind the questions an interviewer is asking can help set you up for success. Here are some common questions you may encounter and the hidden meanings behind them.

Can you tell me a little about yourself? Here the interviewer wants to assess your ability to speak coherently. Provide one or two basic facts and avoid rambling - the interviewer is not interested in knowing your life story.

Why are you interested in working here? Answering this question correctly proves to the interviewer that you have done your research on the company - meaning, you are actually invested enough to know the position for which you are applying and that you are not just looking for a paycheck.

What are your greatest strengths? Selling the interviewer on your strengths shows them that you are not someone who needs constant micromanaging, making them more likely to want to hire you.

What is your greatest weakness? The overused answer is to reply that you "work too hard." Obviously, everybody has room to grow. The interviewer is looking to see how much self-awareness you have on what you could improve on.

Why should we hire you? More often than not, the interviewer has already spoken with several other candidates by the time they meet you. Or, if they have not yet, they shortly will. Give the interviewer a memorable reason as to why you stand out from the crowd.

What are some of your hobbies? This is to demonstrate that you have a healthy work-life balance. While some people might think that replying their work is their life is a surefire way to be hired, that is not necessarily the case. Potential employers might view that answer as indicative of someone who is going to burn out, and quickly.

Tell me about a time when you and a coworker disagreed. Here the interviewer is giving you a chance to exhibit your conflict resolution skills. In other words, he or she is wondering whether you can solve a conflict like an adult, or if you would require being parented anytime you and a coworker butt heads.

Why do you want to leave your current job? The interviewer wants to assess what might drive you to leave their company in the event they hire you, and see whether it is something that can be prevented. Turnover is expensive!

Do you have any questions for me? This is a genuine question! Take it at face value and use the opportunity to get to know more about what you might be committing to.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now confidently stride into your next job interview. Just don't forget your resume!
The community news source for Eagle Mountain Utah, Saratoga Springs Utah, Lehi Utah, American Fork Utah, Highland Utah, Alpine Utah, and The Cedar Valley, including Cedar Fort Utah and Fairfield Utah. Copyright 2018 The Crossroads Journal LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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