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Question 1  Tell me about yourself.  

TRAPS:  Beware; about 80% of all interviews begin with this “innocent” question. Many 
candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping 
their life story, delving into ancient work history or personal matters. 

BEST ANSWER:  Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the 
position. Remember that the key to all successful interviewing is to match your 
qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. In other words you must sell what the 
buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.  

So, before you answer this or any question it's imperative that you try to uncover your 
interviewer's greatest need, want, problem or goal.  

To do so, make you take these two steps: 

1.  Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this person's wants 
and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company) 
2.  As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what 
the position entails.  You might say: “I have a number of accomplishments I'd like 
to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk 
directly to your needs. To help me do, that, could you tell me more about the 
most important priorities of this position?  All I know is what I (heard from the 
recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)” 

 Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his 
needs even more. Surprisingly, it's usually this second or third question that unearths 
what the interviewer is most looking for.  

You might ask simply, "And in addition to that?..." or, "Is there anything else you see as 
essential to success in this position?:  

This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer 
questions, but only if you uncover the employer's wants and needs will your answers 
make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers, 
the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job 
candidates you're competing with.  

After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job 
bear striking parallels to tasks you've succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with 
specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which 
are geared to present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just described.  
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3 comments:

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