At United Career Institute, we believe in setting our students up for success. Our career services department assists students after graduation with seeking employment opportunities. It is essential to prepare for your interview ahead of time, and we have gathered some tips on how to answer questions appropriately and land your dream job!
Practicing common interview questions with a friend or family member can help significantly with feeling confident about your answers. If you can, I will also suggest writing quick notes on some of the most common questions so that you can understand how to answer the question. It is helpful to research the company ahead of time to know if your ideals align with theirs. It is also essential to dress professionally for a job interview. This means you should not wear jeans, ripped, holey, or stained clothes. For a medical position, if you do not have any other option, you can wear scrubs.
Let us look at some interview questions, and some suggested ways to answer them positively. Remember that you want to answer these personally using the following tips and suggestions.
1. How do you answer the question, “Tell us a little about yourself?”
This is a crucial question to answer and nail down well. Remember that the interviewer has your resume right in front of them. Therefore, they have a snapshot of you already. Many people tend to ramble or turn this answer into an autobiography. You need to be able to give a quick overview of what is on your resume. Then you need to give a quick answer with information not on your resume of skills you have acquired. What is the main thing you learned about yourself in your career? Then give 1-3 skills you have developed. Finally, tie it back to what you currently want to do with their company.
For example, I have worked as a ____ for ____ years. I also worked as a ____ for ___ years. During this time, I sharpened my abilities to be a self-starter, working independently and in a team environment.
I look forward to bringing these skills to this company and becoming part of its incredible team.
2. How do you answer the question, “Tell me your greatest strength and greatest weakness?”
For strengths, I would suggest highlighting a skill or attribute relevant to the job and providing an example of how you have demonstrated that strength in the past. You need to ensure you are not coming off as cocky but as confident. For weakness, I would suggest being honest and discussing a skill or attribute that you are working on improving. It is essential to show how you are actively working to improve in that area. You do not want to say something that is an attribute that a company would deem unfit for their company.
For example: For strengths, I would say that I adapt well to change. I learn fast and can quickly take new information and apply it to real-life situations. For weaknesses, I struggle due to offering my help to the team too often. This can occasionally burn me out. Due to this, I have been working on slowing down and pacing myself. This helps me ensure I do not take on more than I should.
3. How do you answer the question, “Tell me about a time that you failed?”
There is bound to be a time when you will fail somehow in your work life. It is how we approach those failures that are important. For this question, it is best to choose a failure that is not too personal or damaging and focus on what you learned from the experience. It is important to show how you have grown from failure and applied that knowledge to future situations. This way, the interviewer can see that you can self-reflect and use critical thinking skills to grow as a person. You can use some of the other answered questions to help reiterate some of your answers.
For example, I took on too much work trying to be helpful. I ended up overworking myself, and I got very exhausted. I ended up working extra hours to ensure the work was completed. I have since reflected and learned to slow down and not take on more than I can handle. I have learned to tell coworkers that I cannot do that right now. This was one of the more challenging skills to acquire. You can find more helpful interview tips and ways to prepare for your interview at the U.S. Department of Labor.