Saturday, November 26, 2022

Peter DeCaprio: The Three Most Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them


The number one mistake people make when applying for a job is spending too much time trying to “sell” them. If you’re tempted to use the interview as a chance to boast about your achievements and downplay your mistakes, don’t! Remember that an interviewer’s top priority is getting the right person for the job. They want to know what you can do for them, not vice versa.

If you’d like to avoid causing any unintentional offense, here are some of the most common questions asked by interviewers and how to answer them:

The question: “What is your greatest weakness?”

The key is to turn this into a positive thing by making it about your future performance. For example, you might say that you’re extremely detail-oriented but sometimes get so caught up with deadlines that you forget the bigger picture. Then suggest ways in which your perfectionism has helped you become an asset in previous jobs–such as never missing a single deadline or always going beyond expectations when finishing a project. You could also say that you’re an extremely organized person–which, as most people will acknowledge, is a good thing!

An example of something not to say: “I’m lazy.”

The question: “Do you have personal and professional goals and how do they relate to our position?”

To answer this one, it’s important to demonstrate your understanding of the job and what skills and qualities are needed. You might mention that although you haven’t worked with XYZ technology before, you’ve studied similar subjects at college or completed hands-on training recently. This shows that you’re willing to put in extra effort (and can be seen as a good sign regarding future performance). Make sure your goals are realistic; don’t mention anything too ambitious for the time-span of the job says Peter DeCaprio.

An example of something not to say: “I’ve applied for this job because it’s in the same field as my old one” or “My goal is to become CEO.”

The question: “What can you bring to our company?”

This is an opportunity to showcase your enthusiasm and show that you really want the role. Avoid mentioning wage, vacation time, working hours, etc. Talk instead about what you would do if there were no restrictions–how much value can you create? Mention specific examples from previous jobs that demonstrate how much effort and dedication you put into things–and remember that passion always comes through!

An example of something not to say: “As I love sports, I’d really give a hundred percent to this job” or “I’ve been told I’m a hard worker.”

If you can prepare answers to these three questions in advance, you’ll have a strong foundation for your interview. For more information on how to turn negative situations into positive ones so that they don’t come up in the first place, check out my books: “How to Be the Next Big Thing in Job Hunting” and “Confidence Hacks.” Learning how to avoid mistakes before they happen is just as important as being able to answer difficult questions when asked!

Have any other common interview question that you’d like me to answer? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best!


Q: What is the difference between “selling” and “telling?”

A: Selling is telling someone why they should hire you (i.e. using past experience to justify your current abilities). Telling doesn’t do anything for an employer; it’s just factual information that will probably be written on paper anyway. For example, if I told you that my biggest weakness was that I procrastinate, what would you think of me? Exactly–I wouldn’t get hired! During the

process, tell people what you can do for them instead of bragging about yourself. That’s what will make employers want to work with you.

Q: What’s the best way to answer questions about previous bosses/employers?

A: The question will probably be something along the lines of “What was your relationship with your previous manager/employer? How did you get on with them?” This is almost always a trick question because, as most people have been fired from some job or another at some point in their career, it’s difficult to answer without looking bad.

Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:

It’s important to keep in mind that the interviewer is not trying to be difficult. They might sound like they’re fishing for information, but this isn’t always their intention. The best way to answer tricky questions like this one is with a brief explanation and a list of positive qualities (e.g. “I disagreed with my manager on several issues, but we had a great working relationship”).


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