More often than not interviewees don’t have a clue why an interviewer is asking certain questions, how to respond, or how answering a particular question may affect being hired or not.
If headed into an interview expect the usual questions. For example:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to work here?
- What is your greatest weakness?
One of the first important statements an interviewer may make is ‘Describe your work-style’.
This is a statement many interviewees don’t always understand and have difficulty responding to. The second, and similar question which might be asked is – ‘Tell me about yourself’. In response many say ‘I’m laid back’. Others say ‘I’m easy going’. Words no interviewer wants to hear.
These questions are asked because the interviewer is interested in facts about how you actually currently perform your job in order to help determine whether you will you be capable of performing the job you are interviewing for. The answer to this question can also help an interviewer determine whether you will fit into their culture. Or are a ‘do not hire’.
This is an active job – people coming and going. There is much to be accomplished daily. It’s essential to work fast and accurately, yet optimally perform the job.
Here is a solid Response Example:
‘I’m extremely flexible; everyone I work with will agree. Working on a variety of busy projects, at my current job, has helped me adapt to a faster paced work schedule. In general, I take it one project at a time, working quickly and diligently on each task until completed. However, if another important project comes up I can skillfully move on to working on that until I can return to complete the previous project.”
This statement clearly lays out:
Your work style, how you handle projects and adopt as necessary. Although working quickly you are also working efficiently. And – without issue – willing to move to another project as necessary. These are all statements an interviewer wants to hear; especially when interviewing for a busy, active job which requires fast thinking and quick changes.
With this response it’s also important to follow up with a statement about your ability to communicate with others. For example:
“All my projects require collaboration but I’m able to work independently as necessary. Although I’m a driven worker my clear communication helps and encourages the team, or ‘my co-workers’, to perform at the highest level.”
These are all good responses an interviewer wants to hear. And it’s highly likely they will place you at, or near, the top of their hiring list.
Here is a another solid Response Example of ‘Tell me about yourself’:
“My boss says I am the most organized person she’s ever worked with. Being this well organized, I am able to stay efficient and current with my projects. Plus my organizational skills allow me to successfully juggle several projects at once.”
This is an excellent response if the job you’re interviewing for requires a high level of organization. The use of words like efficient and current with projects sets the stage with the interviewer of what can be expected from you if hired. The fact your skills are so well honed you can ‘successfully juggle several projects’ is usually music to an interviewer’s ears. All the more reason to hire you.
Here’s another good Response Example:
“Others like to collaborate with me saying they appreciate my organizational skills. I also take time to check in with my boss to update her and determine if there is anything else she requires or issues which have arisen on which I want her feedback. This open communication allows me to effectively complete projects and work collaboratively with others.”
Any of these statements will plainly explain and leave no doubt about your work style. The fact you take time to check in with your boss speaks volumes about your ability to be accountable; an excellent soft skill.
All of these statements speak volumes about your work style.
Each effectively answering the statement ‘Tell me about your work style.’ Or ‘Tell me about yourself.’
Notice the active keywords?
- Clear communication.
- Skillfully move on.
- Juggle several projects.
These words are far more engaging and descriptive than boring words like led, did, worked. And will help you rise to the top of an interviewer’s hire list.
Feel free to utilize these examples to create your own answers.
Jean L. Serio CEIC, CPC, CeMA, CSEOP