I came across a fascinating article on Women & Co., in which numerous female executives shared their favorite interview questions and why they thought the questions were so impressive and insightful. For anyone actively in the job market, who wants to ace an interview, read on.
How These Executives Made the Questions Work in Their Favor
Jennifer Grancio, Managing Director, Retail Business BlackRock, was asked: “What would be your ideal job?” Grancio stated that the question made her think about her strengths and weaknesses.
No hiring manager expects any candidate to be perfect. If you claim to be, you won’t fool anyone.
Grancio states, “(this question) also provided a chance to respond passionately and gave me a great platform to use specific past real-world examples to bring my skills to life for the interviewer.”
That’s definitely taking an interview question and making it work for you.
“Sell me on why you should get this job?”
For many candidates the question might prove daunting, or it might cause the individual to lose all restraint and brag. Madhok states, “A favorite ‘zinger’ to ask is: If we get a chance to talk with XXXX (regarding a former boss and ask them to spell the boss’s name as you write it down), what would he or she say about you?”
Clearly, every candidate has to be prepared for that inquiry, and to answer it as truthfully, but as favorably, as possible.
“Anything else you’d like to share?”
Now there’s a question that can prove advantageous to a candidate, and was the personal favorite of Mindy Mercaldo, Citibank Division Manager and President (Illinois).
According to Mercaldo, “I was interviewing for jobs once and was practicing with a mentor. She guided me to use this as the opportunity to ‘close the deal’. This is your opportunity to summarize why you are the best fit and how excited you are to do the job.”
“What is the last great book you’ve read?”
You don’t often hear an interview question like that. However it’s the favorite of Wendi Sturgis, Yext Executive Vice President of Sales and Services. Sturgis states that the question surely doesn’t reflect on a candidate’s ability to do the job. She does add, “I have used it in interviews I conduct and can garner surprising insights about a person including the fact that some people actually admit they don’t read books anymore… Not a bad answer if they’re able to talk about how they use the internet and other sources to stay up to date on the world and fire their imagination.”
“What would your former boss say about you?”
That can be a frightening question to many. Holly Lignelli, LinkedIn Program Manager – North America Strategic Accounts writes, “(My current boss) asked how I thought she (her former boss) would rate me compared to my peers across several key skills and attributes necessary for his role, and what she would cite as my biggest win – and area for development.”
Every candidate should be prepared for this question. It’ s not one you want to ‘wing’ during the interview.
“What has been your greatest achievement over the last two to three years at work?”
You should hope for this kind of question and dive right into it, fully prepared with the many ways you helped your last company succeed. Betsy Berkhemer Credaire, co-owner of Berkhemer Clayton, Los Angeles, says it well: “It’s about achievement and appreciation.”
She’s absolutely correct. If you haven’t achieved at your last job, there’s little reason for hiring managers and recruiters to get excited about your candidacy.
Preparation for these questions, along with standard interview questions, will go a long way to helping you achieve your dream job.
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