While you might stumble upon a job description that you were absolutely born to fill, you still have to convince the hiring manager. They look at multiple applicants and use a variety of different methods to screen potential candidates. Most often, it comes through the form of an interview (in-person, over the phone, or through an online questionnaire).
It is crucial that you are honest in your answers and put thought into your responses. Here are some common questions with guidelines on how to form answers that best represent yourself, your experiences and your intentions.
Three’s the magic number. See if you can come up with three adjectives that describe you (in a way a potential employer would find valuable). You want to balance being true to yourself and your personality while also showing why you’d be a great fit for a job. There are plenty of easy words to choose, but make sure you can back them up.
Reliable, responsible, dedicated. These sound great on paper and are words every employer loves to see. But how can you back them up? Be prepared to give an example of when you proved you were a worker who was willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.
Energetic, fun, happy. These are wonderful insights into your personality, but what are the ways other people see this? Do you always greet people with a smile? Are you dedicated to customer service and guests’ happiness? Adjectives like this describe how you act, but make sure you also point out how your actions benefit others.
Flexible. Creative. Innovative. Emphasize how you can be valuable in several ways, especially if a company is considering multiple people for a job. Employers want to see someone who can adapt to their surroundings–maybe you are willing to be a leader but also can work collaboratively on a team. Maybe you can follow rules but also stay open-minded to other options.
While you may have many skills and accomplishments under your belt, try to answer this kind of question with something that covers a couple of different areas. Here are some examples:
In each of these examples, you can start out with one descriptor (people-person, hard-worker, organized) but then, when explaining it, highlight strengths that relate to the first word you chose.
This is a two-part question. A key to answering this, is to articulate something important to the success of the job, then relating it to something you are good at. For example:
Note that there is a big difference between why you are a good fit and why you want to work a position. For many people, the answer could simply be to earn a paycheck, but this isn’t what you want to tell a potential employer. Consider using these responses: