Interview skills to ace your interview

This interviewing skills section is a continuation from our previous story with Michelle who is preparing for a second job interview.

She needs help improving her job interview skills before her next interview.

The first part of this store begins here Michelle’s Second Interview.

Don’s continued answer to Michelle:

Everyone’s interviewing situation is unique and there is no perfect book, article or job interview advice that directly applies to everyone.

And that’s what makes different. Here you can read about stories and problems from real job hunters and how Don Georgevich has advised them on their unique interviewing situation.

Improving your Job Interview Skills means improving your salesmanship skills.

Job Interviewing is not an exact science, and relies more on salesmanship than anything. It’s up to you to impress your interviewer and convince them you are right for the job and why. Failing to do so is sure to keep you on the hunt for a job.

Michelle is trying to improve her job interview skills before going to her second interview which is with a panel of 6-21 people. Making it to a second interview put’s you one step closer to getting the job.

This analysis is not about how you should prepare for a second interview, but the exact interview questions and scenarios Michelle was faced while preparing for her second interview.

Let’s look at the rest of Michelle’s second interviewing questions.

Michelle’s Questions Part 2:

My interviewing skills are a bit weak. The question that stumps me is “What is your biggest/greatest weakness?” Being human, I have them, but I’ve been running two organizations completely alone (I love my board – but they are not active) so I do what needs to get done, if I don’t know how to do it – I learn.

I have no time to focus on weakness because I am in a terribly vulnerable situation in my organization and cannot be weak in any area. So, the interview question did come up in as “what do you think your biggest stretch will be if you are hired as the Educational Director?” and “how can the board support you.” This was tough; my current board is not active, and stretch, what stretch? Here is how I answered it…

Here’s how Michelle answered it …

“Wow, that is a great question. I am going to focus on board support first as I am having trouble answering what my biggest stretch will be. The Board can support me by being simply being available.

My current board is made up of experts in their fields – DAs, advocates, law enforcement – by being available to answer questions and provide a little guidance, if needed, in their area of expertise.

I have been able to thrive in my role as the Director of the CVAA and iCAN and advance our agencies towards meeting our missions.

As for a stretch, I have been running these agencies alone for the past 2 years – I am looking forward to working directly with staff members – I certainly work with others in my current role, but not in my “office”. I am looking forward to becoming part of a team again.”

Don’s Answer:

I’m assuming by stretch, you mean hurdle or obstacle, right? You did a perfect job of telling them how the board can support you, but you did not tell them what you think your biggest stretch or hurdle will be as Educational Directory, which tells them you don’t completely understand their organization or what you will be up against in this position.

To answer this question, go back to what the organizations’ goals are, if you don’t know, then just ask them before your next job interview. They’ll certainly tell you where their organization is heading and the problems they foresee.

Then turn their answer around and use it against them as being your biggest stretch – not so blatantly of course, but it should give you a foundation to help you craft a more logical answer to their question and more importantly, an answer they all can relate to. Though mastering job interview skills like this does take time.

This is actually an old sales technique. If you ever go to by something, a new car, appliance, etc., the sales person will first ask you a few questions about why you are looking for a new [blank], and he’ll remember everything you tell him so he understands your specific reasons.

Then he’ll tell you about the product. When its time to close the sale and you resist or hesitate to buy, he’ll bring up all the things you told him about why you need this and use them against you.

He’ll say, “You said it yourself, your old car is ready to fall apart and probably won’t make it through the end of the week.” He just related to your specific needs and hit the nail on the head and touched exactly on your main concern.

End result; you buy the car because he related to and understands your needs. Job interviews are the same way – it’s all sales and marketing.

Michelle’s Question:

I think I danced around the question but they shook their heads and smiled so…I went with it. Still, I am stumped for a weakness or a “stretch”. Do you have any suggestions on how to evaluate myself to find that weakness/stretch that will be acceptable to use if asked the question. It took me two weeks to come up with “Why do you want to work here?”

Don’s Answer:

As for a greatest weakness, you might consider something like: “My greatest weakness perhaps is that I have little patience for people who don’t value the same sense of order that I do.” Or, “As far as weaknesses go, I guess I get bored if a project drags on too long,” but the latter answer is a little more cocky and I would only use it if they pressed me further for a weakness.

You have just read a transcript of Don helping Michelle with her job interview skills. Michelle has a second job interview coming up and she needs help. Inside The Complete Interview Answer Guide, Don shows job seekers how to answer interview questions. The 201+ sample answers in the guide will quickly help you craft your own professional answers for ALL types of interview questions for any occupation.

More Interview Techniques and Skills:

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Mock Interview
Phone Interview
Second Interview

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Interview Answers
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