You have sent dozens of resumes and have finally landed that interview. Now, it is time to start thinking about those potential interview questions and how you will answer them. This practice and thought process is an important part of the job seeking process. And, it is just as important to think about how your answers may sound to a potential employer.
By practicing your responses to commonly asked questions, it will be easier to see if you come across as a negative or positive potential employee. For example, if the prospective employer asks, “Tell me about yourself,” they are trying to get to know you—as a professional—better. If someone responds with something similar to the following: “Well, I’ve been stuck on unemployment for the past year-and-a-half and haven’t been able to find any sort of job,”—it obviously starts the interview on a negative note. Indeed, you may have been on unemployment for the past year-and-a-half; however, there is a better way to phrase the response. Try this: “My last job ended after the company closed its local facility. Since then, I have been honing my soft skills and searching for a job that fits my skills, abilities, and career goals.” Doesn’t that sound much more positive?
Another example is the following question that employers may ask: “Why did you leave your last position?” There are many potential answers to this question. Some employees may state something similar to the following: “My boss was really unethical and I just couldn’t get along with him; his personality was terrible.” Again, the boss may have been difficult to work with, but you do not want the prospective employer to think that YOU are the difficult one. Instead, try, “There were some practices going on within the company that I didn’t agree with; it made it a difficult environment. So, I have decided to try to find a positive atmosphere that meshes well with my abilities and qualifications.” This is a much more positive approach.
Remember that negative answers lead to the perception of a negative person. Be sure to think ahead to interview questions and frame your responses in a positive manner. Let the “positive you” shine through and showcase your skills, educational history, experience, and abilities to your prospective new employer.