July 31, 2013, 10:11 AM — Going into a job interview, we all wonder the same thing: What questions are they going to ask?
And, by extension: How will I answer?
Principal concerns are the ability to think on one’s feet, answer clearly and, generally, not sound like an unemployable idiot.
To prep, most of us piece together responses to the most trite interview questions:
Tell me about yourself.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
But Lifehacker says there is a better way. Instead of fashioning answers to imaginary questions (ones that most likely will not be asked), come prepared with three broad stories that cover:
- A time you were proud of your work.
- An instance in which you worked under pressure.
- A situation that best demonstrates your skills.
Having an anecdote for each of these three areas will cover a range of questions you might face. Rather than worry about dozens of potential questions and their answers, these three stories are highly adaptable.
Plus, telling a story instead of answering a question will give the interview a conversational, easy feel, one that experts say increases your chances of getting an offer. And rather than appearing flustered or nervous trying to remember and craft responses on the fly, you'll appear personable and relaxed.
Instead of memorizing answers, practice telling these stories in an easy, conversational manner. And make sure you actually practice out loud - not just in your head. Your anecdote may be smooth as silk in your mind, but when you try to speak, it's a jumbled mess. Telling your story out loud helps you change words or phrasing that sound off and modulate your pitch, tone and breathing.