Tag Archives: interview

Answering the Interview Question: What’s Your Most Impressive Accomplishment?

How Do You Choose?

This question differs from “tell me about yourself” in that the interviewer expects a specific, targeted response related to one specific project.

Interviewers ask this question for two reasons: they want a better picture of your abilities, and they want to learn about you personally by seeing what you think is your biggest accomplishment.

But it can be difficult to choose just one accomplishment, especially if you haven’t prepared a response ahead of time. Here’s how to make sure you’re ready for this question.

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Answering the Interview Question: Why Should I Hire You?

Do you have an answer ready?

This question is like the shark in Jaws. You never know when it’s going to attack. It could be at the beginning of the interview, or maybe in the middle. It’s even possible it catches you off guard at the end when you think you’re safe.

What’s so scary? It’s only five words. “Why should I hire you?”  You might also get “Why do you want to work at this company,” or something else along similar lines.

The scary thing is that answering these questions requires plenty of preparation beforehand. This is probably not an answer you can come up with right away (especially if you first consider saying “because I need money, duh.”)

Here are a few essential things to include in your answer.

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Poll Results: Answering the Hardest Interview Questions

Here’s what you had to say.

Recently we asked our Movin’ On Up readers the interview questions they need help with.

The top choice was “What are your top five strengths and weaknesses,” with more than 32% of the vote. “Why are you leaving (or want to leave) your current job/company” came in second with just under 13% of the vote, followed by “Why should I Hire You,” “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years,” and “Other” with 9% each. The rest of the responses were as follows:

  • “Tell Me About Yourself.”—8%
  • “What Are Your Most Impressive Accomplishments to Date.”—5%
  • “Describe Your Perfect Work Environment/Company Culture.”—4%
  • “What Would Your Coworkers Say About You? Both Good and Bad.”—4%
  • “Why Do You Want to Work At Our Company?”—3%
  • “Do You Like to Take Charge of Projects and Situations or Would You Rather Receive Direction?”—3%
  • “If You Could Change Something about Your Past (Or Current) Job, What Would It Be?”—1%
  • “Describe Your Perfect Boss/Manager.”—1%

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Poll: Which Interview Questions Do You Need Help With?

Interviews can be tough.

When you sit down with someone you’ve never met before, answering personal questions about your work history and experience can be awkward.

The key to acing an interview? Being prepared for those rough questions.

We want to write articles perfectly matched to your interview question concerns. So take our poll and let us know what questions you want help with! We’ll use your responses when creating content for 2019. (more…)

How to Follow Up After an Interview

You’ve got your foot in the door, but how do you make sure they let you in?

We’ve all been there. The interview is over, and you feel great. You breezed past every question, provided solid references, and you know you’re the right person for the job.

But three weeks go by and you don’t hear anything. Weeks turn into months. Did you do something wrong? Is there anything you didn’t cover in your interview?

You want to touch base with your interviewer to see if you’re still in the running, but how do you do that?

Believe it or not, it all starts mere minutes after your interview ends.

Step 1: Write a Thank You Note

As soon as you get home from an interview, start drafting a handwritten thank you note. This should be brief, but powerful. Mention something new you learned about the organization, like what a typical day is like or what you learned about their workforce. That shows you’re not only interested in the company as a place to work, but in the people and culture as well.

Companies interview many, many applicants. Sending a great thank you letter is a wonderful way to stand out and help them remember you. Making yourself memorable means they’ll be more likely to get in contact with you in the future about the interview process.

Step 2: Send an Email Inquiry

The best way to get in touch about next steps is to send an email. Wondering how to make that email stand out? As noted by CareerSidekick, reply to an existing conversation. You’ve already talked to your interviewer by email (or someone in HR), so replying to that same email chain makes it easier to remember who you are.

Change the subject line to something specific regarding your interview. This can be something like RE: Last Monday’s Interview or RE: John Smith’s Interview Status. Something that catches the eye and gets straight to the point.

Step 3: Write the Email

A great follow up email should be short and sweet, but packed with specifics. Start off by using their first name, and then mention the exact position you’re applying for. Sprinkle in a few details about why you’re the best person for this position. Then tell them you enjoyed the interview and are excited to learn more about the company.

Finish up by asking about next steps and when you might hear something about the position.

Not quite sure what to say? Here’s a basic template! Feel free to adjust it to your needs, but try to keep it short and simple.

“Hi Edward,

It was wonderful interviewing with you last week regarding the Administrative Assistant position. I enjoyed learning about your company culture and hope to get started with Company Name soon! With over ___ years of experience, I’m excited to start working with Company Name.

If it’s not too much trouble, could you provide me with information regarding next steps and when I might hear back about the position?

Thank You,

Bobby Schmidt”

Call

You should only call as a last resort. If you’ve emailed and still not heard anything after a month or more, then it’s alright to pick up the phone. Politely ask about the status of the position. If they tell you it has been filled, thank them for their time and tell them you’ll be sure to apply for another position in the future. Just because this job wasn’t right for you doesn’t mean the next one won’t be perfect!

Do you have any more questions about following up after an interview? Let us know in the comments section below!

Asking Relevant Questions After an Interview

Does your interviewer keep answering your questions before you can ask them? We’ve got you covered.

Last month we asked what parts of the job interview process you need help with. You all agreed that asking relevant questions was your top pick, so that’s what we’re covering today!

During your interview preparation journey, you’ve no doubt come across the tip that you absolutely must ask questions at the end of an interview. This is true. Asking great questions shows your interest in the position and helps you stand out against the competition. However, what do you do if your interviewer already answered the questions you had prepared?

The key lies in your question preparation. You need to come up with multiple insightful questions so you have backups at the end of the interview. However, avoid asking questions just to ask them—everything you prepare should be relevant to the position.

We realize it’s hard to come up with these questions on your own, so we’ve prepared a few of our favorites. Feel free to customize them to suit your unique interview situation.

1. A question asking for more information about the job.

For example: If I were hired for this position, how would my performance be measured?

This question shows that you’re interested in the intricacies of the position beyond the job description. It also shows that you’re goal-oriented and are already thinking about how you can be the best employee possible.

2. Something specific about the company’s culture that wasn’t covered online.

For example: What factors were considered when designing your logo? How did you settle on your current mission statement?

Although this question will change depending on the company, showing an interest in the company’s culture is always a great idea. Such a question displays your passion and interest in the company as something more than a place where your job is.

3. A question specifically tailored for your interviewer.

For example: I saw on LinkedIn that you oversaw [project name]. What was that experience like?

Or: Have you ever had an experience at [company] that really made you think ‘this is what it means to work at [company]? What was that like?

These questions show that you’re curious not only about the company, but about your interviewer as well. A slightly more personal question can get an interviewer to lower their defenses and see you as an individual, not just a job applicant. You can also get great answers from these questions that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the company. Just make sure not to ask about any failed projects or hard financial times.

4. A question regarding the recent history of the company.

For example: I saw that the company recently overcame [problem]. Would it be alright if we discussed how that was achieved?

Be careful with this one. Although showing that you’re interested in how your skills can solve a past company problem, you don’t always know how an interviewer is going to react. Some companies keep these problems close to their vest, while others love to see brave interviewees take on problems before they even get an offer. Research online, get a feel for the culture, and only then decide if you want to take the plunge. Avoid any emotional issues like layoffs or company reorganization.

5. And if it wasn’t covered, always ask:

What will the next steps look like?

This one is more for your benefit than the interviewer’s, but it does show that that you care about what happens next. And you’d be surprised how many interviewers fail to cover it during the interview!

Have any question you’ve had success with in interviews? Let us know in the comments section below.

Make an Impression with Potential Employers

Starting your career in today’s hiring environment can be challenging, including making a positive, memorable impression with people who could be your employer. There are several ways you can be proactive to ensure a potential boss will have a great first and ongoing impression of who you are.

Social Media

Today, your first opportunity to present yourself after applying for a job is not in person; it’s online. Most businesses you contact for potential employment will do a simple Internet search of your name to look at what you or someone else has posted about you online if they are interested in finding out more about you. According to online image company Reppler, 91 percent of recruiters screened prospective employees through social media, and 69 percent said they rejected a candidate based on what they saw on a candidate’s social media profiles. Take the first step and do the same thing; search your name and see what sites pop up that include information about you, then check each social media site you have a profile on and make sure you don’t have any embarrassing or unprofessional postings. You should also make sure your information is up dated and correlates to information you included on your résumé and cover letter.

The Interview

Most likely, the next time you will be in front of an employer is for an interview. There are two important tips to remember when preparing for an interview to make sure you leave knowing it went well. First, remember that the business is obviously interested in you if they are willing to take the time to talk with you for a little while. So be confident in your abilities and what you have to offer. Next, do the proper research on the company you’re interviewing with and be ready to offer a few practical solutions you believe helps improve the company. “Don’t just recite your job description in a generic way that makes you interchangeable with any person in the same position before and, or after you,” said career coach Wendy Doulton. “Know and show what you bring to the table. Own your interview!”

Give Thanks

Finally, follow up your interview with a personalized, handwritten thank you note to the interviewer. With the instant access of email, handwritten letters are less and less common, so sending a simple and grateful thank you note will help you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Make sure to also follow up through an email or phone call in the days after the interview if you don’t hear anything to find out where they are in the process.

If after being fully prepared and leaving an interview excited, you don’t get the job, don’t be discouraged. Consider asking the interviewer for some feedback on what you can do to improve your chances of getting a job. A rejection is not the end of your job search, it’s just another learning opportunity for you to grow as you continue moving forward in pursuit of a great job. A positive reaction to being turned down for a job helps display great character and maturity to other employers, so make sure you react positively when you get the news and if you decide to post the news on your social media sites.