At its worst, an interview becomes a series of stilted questions and answers.  At its best, it is a conversation between people invested in the discussion and keenly interested in learning more about one another.

We don’t advocate memorizing answers to interview questions.   You should, however, spend time determining what information you want to share (and what you don’t), and the examples and stories you’ll use to convey your strengths.

Here are 5 (ok, 6) tough questions to ask yourself to get the self-reflection process started:

  1. Can you give an example of a significant accomplishment that would not have happened if you had not been there?
    This is an opportunity to highlight your professional accomplishments and skills.  Don’t waste this opportunity by talking about the deck you built this summer!
  2. Can you describe a time when you stepped into a situation, took charge and achieved results?
    It’s your turn to demonstrate how you make a unique contribution, ideally without stepping on too many toes.
  3. When was the last time you allowed someone to change your opinion on something important?  What was the outcome?
    This is a cleverly disguised “do I want to work with this person?” question.   Are you able to collaborate and engage in meaningful debate without forcing your agenda? We spend a lot of time with our coworkers and a good interviewer won’t overlook this important aspect of “fit”.
  4. Tell me about a time that you had to draw on the creativity of others to solve a problem?
    This is the time to pull out the “I’m a team player” card.  Have some great examples of when you relied on, and appreciated, input from others.
  5. When and why do you fail to deliver?
    Carefully consider what the position requires and whether it is a good fit for you.  Evaluate if the role, the culture and the leader will motivate you to do your best work.

Good luck on your interview!

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