Answering those tricky interview questions - Career counselor

Updated: 2012-05-15 11:24

(China Daily)

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Editor's note: In today's human resources market, are you up against some fierce competition? Saying the right thing can mean winning or losing your dream job.

Here are some examples on how to answer those nerve-wracking interview questions.

Answering those tricky interview questions - Career counselor

Why do you want this job?

Be honest with yourself: Why do you want this role? Are you really interested in what the position entails? Are you impressed by the company's view on social and corporate responsibility? Or is it just a really impressive increase in salary?

Avoid being on the defensive with answers that begin with "because" such as: "Because I think I'd be good at it", "because it seems like a good opportunity for me" or "because it pays well".

A recommended answer to this is: "Having read the job description and having looked at your company website, the role attracted me because I feel that I have the suitable skills but I am also very interested in what additional responsibility I will gain."

Adapt your answer to suit the role. Will you have increased responsibility? Will you now be supporting one senior director instead of a team of 50? Will you have a more varied work scope with the opportunity to be involved in company projects and events?

Why should I hire you?

This question is all about selling yourself. Why should someone hire you? Are you brilliant at organization? Are you proficient at Microsoft Office with excellent use of Powerpoint and Excel? Are you creative and do you really think you could add value to the company?

By looking at the job description that was given to you, try to point out your strengths by using examples of work you've done in relation to the requirements for this role.

One way of answering this question is: "I believe that I meet the requirements listed in your job description and I feel that I will really excel in this role because I particularly enjoy working for you."

Again, adapt this question to suit the role you are applying for. Be enthusiastic in your answer. Be positive and confident. If you cannot convince yourself that you'd be perfect for the role, you will never be able to convince the person who is considering whether to hire you.

What is your biggest weakness?

This is known as a negative question, one that interviewers love asking to test your ability to stay cool. We all have weaknesses. Let's face it, we're not all perfect. But that doesn't mean that yours should get in the way of your dream job. Think about how you can spin your weaknesses into something positive.

Look at the job description to hand and choose one required responsibility you feel you could improve on. Are you shy about making public presentations? Does your time management need a little work? Do you feel you would benefit from Microsoft Office training?

An example of the answer can be (depending on your weakness): "I am aware that my skills with Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint are not up to advanced level but this is something that I'm working on by teaching myself in my spare time."

Avoid being a perfectionist or simply saying, "I have no weaknesses I know of." This only makes you look arrogant and overconfident.

(Contact for questions and career advice.)

Advice given by Vincent Wang, manager of supply chain and quality and operations and manufacturing division at Robert Walters China.