Tips For The First Interview

We all know how jittery that is going for an interview. Even when you are thoroughly prepared and quite optimistic of nailing it, there will be a part of you that is likely to feel the pangs of an anxiety attack. It is natural because it is the first interview of your life. Regardless of whether or not you clear it, the level of nervousness shall subside because everything happens just once for the first time.
That being said, here we are going to give you some of the important tips to combat that nervousness and to ensure that the pangs of anxiety do not prevent you from getting your dream job. So, are you all set to give yourself a double chance of grabbing the best job?
The checklist
Even if you are the best there is, even if you know how to get a job like you know how to make a cake, you still need to be able to convert a job interview into an offer. Owing to the high levels of nervousness, a lot of people tend to forget one or more of the important documents which they need to carry. This is why it is important to make a checklist at least a week before the interview. In your checklist, mention every possible document and even some other things which may be necessary for the interview – like the dress code, formal shoes and so on. This way, you can rely on the checklist rather than your already pressurized mental frame of mind to ensure that you are all set for the big day.
The eye contact
Now, this is one of the most important things you need to be mindful of. Too many of us ignore the importance of eye contact. As hiring managers and HRs, they will be looking for signs of confident applicants. It doesn’t matter whether or not you know the answer to a question. You are not expected to be an Einstein on your first job interview, but you are expected to be confident enough to handle the different twists and turn which your job life is sure to offer.
This is why you should always maintain a good eye cant with your interviewer. Also, keep a smile on as this gives the false expression of zero nervousness. When people are anxious and/or nervous, they are least likely to smile. So, a smile can help you a lot in creating a perfect professional image.
Listen attentively
Your hiring manager definitely wants to be heard. Do not enter into any argument even when you feel that the hiring manager is the biggest fool you have ever seen. You do not need to blindly agree to all he has to say, but do not argue. Just state your point of view and then let him speak. When he feels that you are attentive and willing to listen, you score massively in their hiring checklist.
Companies are tired of employees who do things their own way and serving their own personal interests before giving even a thought to the company. This is why you need to be willing to listen to the hiring manager.
Avoid humour
No matter what anyone else has to say, stay clear of humor on your job interviews. It could nail the job but in most cases, it ends up being a complete disaster. You should try and avoid cheeky lines or jokes because everything has a right situation and your job interview is surely not the right ground for such things. Of course, you do not need to be uptight either. Be casual and yet professional and it should do the trick.
These are some of the pivotal points which you should bear in mind to ensure that you can win the interview round and hopefully get the job. If not, always remember, is waiting around the corner.

Job Interview Question; How Would Your First Day Be Like If We Hired You?

Job Interview Question; How Would Your First Day Be Like If We Hired You?

In this article we’re going to be addressing the question, “What would you do on your first day of work”, or “How would the first day of work be for you.” No matter what wording is used to ask this question, the message is the same.

firsdayBefore we start jumping into what and how to respond to this question, let’s think about why you’re being asked this question in the first place. More than likely, your hiring manager asked you this because they want to see if you can visualize a realistic work environment, how insightful you can be into their company culture, and whether you would take the right steps towards your orientation.

  • Would you immediately start solving problems without understanding the root causes?
  • Are the visible problems actually only symptoms?
  • How would you approach your analysis? Would you follow a certain methodology that involves; inputs, outputs, alternatives, criteria selection, etc?

Your approach towards your first day at work is essentially your approach towards how you’ll be a success story at work. Hence, one of the biggest reasons to hire you. So, this is one question where you should avoid blabbering at all costs.

They want to see a proper methodology behind your actions. That’s why they ask this question.


Here are some sample answers for you

If you are in a senior role hired to add significant value to the organization, then when the hiring manager asks you about what your first day be like, say something like this;

3c6c6“I guess I would spend my first day or first week even just merely understanding our priority issues or opportunities to tap into. To do this, I need to first understand our objectives, goals, and then the resources and capabilities at hand.” Once I have these inputs, then it’s an easy game creating the action plan with appropriate resources to meet those goals. If the goals don’t exist, then setting proper, attainable goals would be amongst my first priorities as well”

See, with this answer, I immediately proved that I am not giving any fluff answer. My answer proves that I know what I am talking about and I have a proper methodology to back this up. That’s exactly what the hiring managers are looking for from senior hires.

If you happen to be a junior associate, then your answer would obviously revolve around your ability to learn quickly and adapt to this new learning environment.

Sample answer for that may be like this;

“I believe my priority should be to equip myself with all the knowledge that I need in order to be successful at my job. This will involce the internal company policies, standard operating procedures, the tools and software we use. In addition, I would take the opportunity to introduce myself to the team and start learning from our senior leadership.”

I hope the sample answers above are beneficial to your case.


Let me share with you a bit more pointers;

  •  Show an insight into company culture

This will of course require a little research beforehand, but can pay off big time when done correctly. You want to do this in a subtle way, showing that you’re insightful and have an understanding of what’s socially acceptable in the company.

  • Show your readiness to work with your team

Almost all positions you apply for will involve working with some team or another. Having good teamwork skills is a huge plus for any candidate. By showing that you’re eager to start working with your team, it conveys the message that you are good working with others.

  • Show your readiness to jump in and get to work

No matter what position you are applying for, showing initiative is important. If you’re applying for any type of senior position, it’s likely you’ll be leading a team. Showing that you can deliver right away is something you should be able to do.

  • Talk about the high-level impact you can have on the team

Your hiring manager wants to hear about what you can do for them. You want to highlight the immediate and long term impact that you bring to this position, and the company.

  • Deliver a well-rounded understanding of the position, and the projects it entails

Showing that you have a decent knowledge of what’s going to happen is how you show that you have reasonable expectations of the day to day operations of your position.

  • Show an honest drive to learn, and grow into this new role

When crafting your response, you want to make it clear that you’re a very self motivated learner. Training new employees is not only time consuming for a company, but it’s expensive. Your hiring manager is looking for someone who is taking this seriously, and this is a great way to demonstrate that you possess that quality.

Now that you have a good idea of what to say during this question, there’s only one thing left to do. Now, if you’ve ever read any of my other articles, you already know the answer to this. Yes, that’s right, it’s practice!

Oh, one last thing; after your interview DO NOT forget to send out your thank you email. There are staggering statistics about people not getting hired because they simply forgot to send a thank you letter. Keep this in mind. Here is a good video about that;


Your thank you email should be precise, accurate and be very polite. Please be mindful of the language you use.

What you learned today applies to a lot of interviews. Most employees today have very similar job interview questions, be it about your first day, your weaknesses, or tell me about yourself. Once you master the general interview questions, then you will be able to answer 90% of all questions asked. There are however a few companies that have significantly different interview questions than the general ones. Some examples I can think of are Google, Apple, and Uber.

Alright, that’s it for today. I hope you benefited from my article. If you are struggling to perform well in the interviews and need a 1 on 1 coaching session with me, please get in touch at with your resume and I will get back to you as soon as I can.



How To Answer Job Interview Question; Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?

How To Answer Job Interview Question; Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?


This is literally the toughest interview question for any candidate.

Job Interview Question Where Do You See Yourself In 5 YearsToday we’re going to be taking a look at how to answer the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” And you may have gotten asked this question in a different way, or maybe it was ten or even 15 years.

By the end of this guide, you’ll see just how strong you can deliver on this question. Although not everyone is going to have a clear path ahead of them. That’s okay, even if you’ don’t have good idea of where you want to end up, it doesn’t mean you have to give a subpar answer. As long as you’re honest with yourself and your hiring manager, all you have to do is follow this simple guide to interview success!


Every question is an opportunity

Remember, every question you get during an interview is just another opportunity for you to show the hiring manager that you are the perfect person for the job.


What to include:

When formatting your response to this question, it’s important to make sure you include these key details.

  • Be honest, and make sure your answer is coming from the heart

Job Interview Question Where Do You See Yourself In 5 YearsToo many times nowadays people are willing to just say whatever they have to in an interview. This is not a good strategy, and could cost you your dream job. Make sure that all of the answers you give are honest.

  • This doesn’t mean be boring.

Please, DO NOT bore your hiring manager. When talking about where you see yourself in five years, make sure that you are being engaging.

  • Speak well and enunciate

Make sure that when you’re talking, your story flows well; enunciating your words. You also want to avoid stuttering. Although these aren’t unique tips for answering this question during an interview, it’s always a good idea to keep these in mind. Showing strong presentation skills goes a long way with your hiring manager.

  • Make it clear you’re not planning on leaving

It costs a company money and time to train new employees. If the company knows that you’re planning on leaving soon, why would they spend those resources on you? They want to maximize what they get out of their new hires. If on your resume, you have jumped between jobs frequently, it can be a good idea to address that red flag at this point.

  • Visual aids can really be helpful here.

It doesn’t hurt to print out a page in Powerpoint, to show what you’ve been in the past, and how you believe that will set you up to progress in the future.


So where do you see yourself in five years?


I saw this answer for where do you see yourself in 5 years from Deniz Sasal at The Career Mastery blog and thought to share with you here. I thought it was genius;

“Hmm. Let me gather my thoughts for a second… [Yes, I literally took my time to think. You should try it too…just don’t stretch it to an awkward silence.] Judging by the fact that where I saw myself in the past is never where I ended up, it’s really hard to say where I will be 5 years from now. If you asked me this question 10 years ago, when I was working at Standard & Poor’s as an analyst, I’d tell you I wanted to be an investment banker and make a million dollar bonus. Then 5 years later, I was a project management consultant, then sustainability consultant…and now here I am interviewing for a management consulting role which I can confidently do very well.

So you see, where I wanted to be almost never happened, and it’s really hard to say now where I will be in 5 years.

But I guarantee you this. I will do my best in this role and have a wonderful career at PwC with your team and with your leadership. And when the time comes, I will assume more leadership roles, hopefully easing some of your intense work load.”

The above answer is very good from the standpoint that it establishes not only credibility but also honesty. All hiring manager looking for from this answer is the honesty.


How to ensure you knock this question out of the park:

You should now have a pretty good idea of how to answer this question. But what about going the extra mile, going above and beyond? You have all the tools you need, it’s just time to put them all together. When it comes to answering this question, you should show some direction.

Showing direction in your career path can go a long way to boosting your interview skills. By showing that you have a trajectory in life, you appear much more likeable as a candidate. Just avoid focusing on an idea or path that is too far off.

When delivering your answer, make sure that you only include important, and key details. During proper research and preparation will give you an idea of what the company values. You never know what can be useful, so don’t be afraid of spending some time around the company website. Now that you know what you want to include, there’s only thing left to do.


It’s time to practice!

Practice makes perfect. You should be very comfortable with your answer by now, and if not, you should be sure to include some extra practice time. When it comes to practicing, there are three main methods to employ:

  • Talking in front of a mirror
  • Recording yourself for later
  • Practicing with a family member or friend


Each practicing method has its pros and cons. Talking in front of the mirror is good for ironing out any kinks you have with your presentation. The immediate feedback of watching yourself can be very beneficial. Then next method is recording yourself, and although you don’t have the immediate feedback like when using a mirror, you do get to see yourself talk. And finally, the method I suggest the most, is practicing with a family member or friend. By doing this, you’ll get much more used to the natural flow of what you’re saying in a presentation environment. No matter which method you choose use, as long as you’re practicing, you’re moving in the right direction.

If you are interested in a coaching session with me, please get in touch at

What Sets You Apart From The Other Candidates

What Sets You Apart From The Other Candidates?

What Sets You Apart From The Other Candidates?

This is your time to shine. So you’ve gotten hit with this question, and it’s time to deliver. By following this guide, you’ll be on your way to interview success in no time. Today, we are going to be going over great ways on how to improve your answer to this question, as well as some general tips and tricks.


So where should I start?

This can be a hard one to answer if you don’t know what to talk about. But have no fear, we’ll be helping you along the way. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of how to form you answer to this question, we should talk about what you shouldn’t do. Follow these tips below to avoid falling flat on this question.


What to avoid when setting yourself apart from the other candidates

  • What Sets You Apart From The Other CandidatesDo not badmouth any of your former employers or team members.

There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea, but I’m just going to touch on a couple of them. First of all, it can be seen as you just passing off any shortcomings you may have onto your employer. On top of that, there is no one from your old employer there to defend or refute any of your claims. On top of that, it also presents a possibly divisive influence into the company. If you have a track record of not working well with your employer, it will not go well for you. And lastly, it shows that you did not successfully work out the situation with your employer, meaning your problem solving and interpersonal skills could stand to improve. These reasons, on top of others, are all clear examples of why you should not be bad mouthing your previous employers.

  • Do not give a vague or simple answer

Just like with your other interview questions, you’re going to want to avoid giving a vague, or stereotypical answer. This is your time to show, and show your uniqueness. If you give them a run of the mill answer, your hiring manager is just going to assume you’re like everyone else. Don’t let them lump you into this category. Deliver with a unique and well thought out answer. This is especially true if you are looking for a management consulting career


How to deliver a solid answer:

When it comes time to deliver, all you need to do is follow these simple steps. Answering this question is much like answering the rest of the questions you’ll be asked in an interview. It requires self-analysis, and some research before hand.

  1. What Sets You Apart From The Other CandidatesResearch

If you’ve read some of my other articles, then you will realize that research plays a vital role in your success during the interview process. I won’t touch on this topic again, as I’ve covered it in depth in previous articles.

  1. Self-analysis

Before getting to your answer for this question, you want to decide what you possess that make you unique and qualified. Make sure you focus on your academic, professional, and personal experiences. And don’t forget any important awards or accolades you’ve received.

  1. Decide what’s important

By using the research that you’ve acquired through step one, you should have a good idea of what the company values. Now take the experiences that align with that, and you have the focus of your pitch!

  1. Practice!

Practice makes perfect, and preparing for an interview is no exception. Please check out my article on how to prepare for an interview here.


Other ways to set you apart from other possible candidates

supporeThere is more than one way to show that you’re the best candidate for this job. And you can be showing them the answer to this question during the entire interview. You want to be sure to avoid simple things that could get you kicked out of an interview early. In order to set yourself apart from the other candidates, you need to keep yourself in the running. To ensure that, here are a couple of easy tips everyone should know:

  • Do NOT smell.

I can’t tell you how bad this one is. A yes, ladies, pungent perfume does count as smell. If all I can think about when I’m around you is how you smell, there’s a good chance you’re not gonna get the job.

  • Don’t show up late, or too early.

I think that everyone knows showing up late to your interview is a bad thing, but make sure that you don’t show up too early either. Showing up too early to an interview can have a strong negative impact on you hiring manager. The last things you want to do is start off in the wrong foot without even knowing it. The earliest I would suggest showing up would be about 15 minutes. However, to play it safe, I would suggest getting there closer to the five or ten-minute mark.

  • Avoid nervous ticks.

This can be anything from picking at your skin, grinding your teeth, or swearing. You do not want to stand out like this. Practicing beforehand will help you iron out any kinks you have.

  • Avoid sweating a lot

A little perspiration is normal. But if it becomes really noticeable, or even worse, smelly,  then there is something wrong. If you know that you are a heavy sweater, make sure that you take the appropriate steps beforehand to make sure you’re not stuck in any awkward situations. If this has never been an issue for you in the past, then you’re most likely fine.

  • Show enthusiasm when answering.

When talking about why you’re the best candidate for the job, make sure that you’re speaking with enthusiasm, and your tone is upbeat.

All throughout your answer you want to be highlighting the idea that you will be a good fit for the company, and that company’s culture. When talking about what sets you apart from the rest of the candidates, try to include points that show you are aligned with the culture. This is where researching ahead of time will come in handy.

If you are interested in 1 on 1 coaching, please get in touch with me at

How To Answer The Job Interview Question; “Why should we hire you?

How To Answer The Job Interview Question; “Why should we hire you?

There’s a good chance that you’ve had this question thrown at your during an interview. This question is a blessing and a curse. If you’re being asked this question, there’s a good chance that it’s because you haven’t given the hiring manager a clear idea of why you are the best candidate for the job. But here’s the good news, with this handy guide, you’ll be able to hit this question out of the park every time!


What can I do to improve my chances of knocking this out of the park?

job interview question why should we hire youWell, just like many other things in life, one of the best things you can do is take the time to do some research on the company. Not only will this help you in the other stages of your interview, it’ll make you look like a super star. By going in with a good idea of how things are run, you’re setting yourself up for success. It will make you seem like a more serious candidate, which only helps your chances of landing the job.

If you don’t know where to start your research, there are a couple of go to places. The first place you should go is the company website. Do some digging on there. Pay attention to any calendar events they have, as it may make you aware of current events happening around the company. LinkedIn is also a huge research tool that you should use to your advantage! If all else fails try to do some Googling to find out more information.

While doing this research, make sure you decide what is important and what is not. Ultimately, telling your hiring manager useless facts about their company isn’t going to be very beneficial, right?

You are essentially looking for cues to make yourself look like the best candidate and common job interview questions and answers are your tools to convince the hiring manager that you are what he is looking for.


The sales pitch

Alright, so you’ve done your research, and you’re ready to start forming your answer.

Don’t worry, I’m going to break things down into a step by step guide. All you have to do is follow this, and you’ll be on your way to success in no time.

When constructing your answer, keep a few things in mind;

  1. job interview question why should we hire youWhen delivering your answer, you want to make sure that you highlight the fact that you’re a good fit for their company culture, you can deliver great results, and ultimately, hiring you will make them look good. If you keep these goals in mind, it’s hard to fall short.
  1. Decide what skills and experience is applicable. Ask yourself, what skills and experiences is this company looking for? Once you’re able to answer that, you should start by taking a survey of yourself. Think about your professional experience, your academic background, and the skills you’ve gained. Make sure to also think about applicable accomplishments or accolades you’ve received. By combing your unique and personal experiences, and matching that to what your hiring manager is looking for, you help establish a clear and concise message.
  1. It’s time to showcase you’re a problem solver. This is the time that you’re showing you hiring manager that you’re the best, and most qualified people for the job. One of the most valued characteristic in a candidate is their ability to problem solve. Have there been any notable events that you could talk about? Was there something you did that went above and beyond?
  1. Practice! Let’s be serious here, there’s only one way to consistently deliver on this question, and that’s by practicing your presentation. There are a couple of different ways to practice, including performing in front of a mirror, recording yourself for later, as well as doing a live practice with a friend or family member. Because doing a live practice is more like the real interview, I suggest you go with that one.


Congrats, you’re almost done!

Now that you have a mastered sales pitch, let’s talk about some important things to avoid doing.

  1. Being vague

You want to avoid answers like, “Because I work hard!” Yeah I’m sure you do. This is your time to showcase why you are a great candidate for this job. The best way to do that is by following the guide above to sell yourself. This is not the way you can do that.

  1. Avoiding the question, or not giving one at all

Yes, some people actually do this! And yes, don’t just avoid the question. There are a lot of reasons to not do this, so just DON’T. There’s no excuse to not give an answer. You have a fantastic guide right above you!

  1. Don’t stay too long on this topic

It can be tempting to talk for a long time when asked this question. Make sure you stay within a healthy time, and only include important points in your sales pitch. If you follow the step by step guide, you shouldn’t have any problems.


Still need a little extra help?

No problem! Here is a sample answer you can use. But keep in mind, this is rather very generic. You only want to use this as a baseline for your answer. Build off of these.

“From what I gather, it sounds like you need someone who will come in and be an assertive leader, someone who will take charge. It also sounds like you’re having a problem with your main database. Well, with over 12 years experience working with this database, and those like it, I’ve been able to save companies both time and money by effectively streamlining the user interface. I am an enthusiastic learner, and I’m ready to hit the ground running. I’m a well-rounded team player who always keeps a positive outlook. Not only do I thrive in stressful situations, as a natural leader, I try to motivate my team to get the job done. I’m confident that my past experiences have given me the skills and knowledge to excel in this position.”

The above sample is useful but it’s a bit too generic. You can also use this sample answer for why should we hire you question.  The approach is basically to use a powerpoint presentation to prove that you possess all the required skills and experiences. The Powerpoint presentation basically contains your previous experiences and how you can replicate the success in your next employer.


I hope you enjoyed today’s article. If you are looking to have a 1 on 1 coaching with me, please get in touch at 

How To Answer The Job Interview Question, What Are Your Weaknesses?

 How To Answer The Job Interview Question, What Are Your Weaknesses?

This question can come in many different flavors and colors. Maybe you’ve been asked, “What difficulties or hardships did you encounter at your last job” or even, “Are there any problem areas or developmental needs that we should be aware of?” But most likely, you’ve probably just gotten, “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.”


Today we’re going to be taking a look at this age old question, and how to answer it. If you’d like to learn more about how to analyze and deliver on your strengths, you can check out the handy guide found here. Otherwise, let’s continue with what are your weaknesses job interview question.


By following this easy guide, you’ll be on your way to interview success in no time. Not only will this guide show you what not to say, we’re going to go behind the scenes and get inside the mind of your hiring manager.


So what do you say, are you ready?

Before we start getting into things, it’s a good idea to go over what not to say as well. Some of these may seem obvious, but hey, you never know. So, there you go, make sure to avoid:


Job Interview Question What Are Your Weaknesses1. The cliche of turning a negative into a positive.

Not only has this been done countless times before, but your hiring manager will see right through it. I’m talking about answers like, “Well sometimes I just work too hard.” Or “I am such a perfectionist, that I end up staying late and working too much on projects.” Just avoid answers like these. Not only are they lacking in the creativity department, they certainly won’t score you any points with your hiring manager.

Giving cliche and overused answers is bad for many reasons, but ultimately it burns any trust that the interviewer or hiring manager has in you. If a hiring manager doesn’t feel like they can trust you, it’s going to be an upward battle to getting offered the position.

2. Avoiding the question all together.

Yes, some people do this. In fact, some people even have the audacity to say, “I don’t have weaknesses.” Of course you do, you’re a human being after all!

Your hiring manager won’t buy this answer, so make sure to come up with something else.

3. Revealing a major weakness

Although honesty is great, you don’t want to point out anything that would give them a reason not to hire you. Remember, you are competing against other people for this position, so don’t give them a reason to take you out of the running.

4. Talking about something irrelevant.

When talking about your weaknesses, make sure that they are staying on topic, and communicate in a clear and concise manner. Avoid anything that doesn’t apply to this company or position.


Let’s talk about one more thing before we get into developing your ideas for this question. We want to go behind the scenes and think like a hiring manager. Now it’s time to help you figure out what to say.

It can be hard to determine what to talk about. But the best place to start is by taking an inventory of your personal experiences. What experiences in your professional career did give you a hard time? By starting on what places you need improvement, we have a solid foundation of weaknesses to choose from.

When talking about your weakness, there is a thin line that you do not want to cross. You want to make sure you’re being open and honest with your interviewer, but at the same time, you want to have an original answer that doesn’t bring up any red flags for your employer. You DO NOT want to give them a reason not to hire you.


So what does a good answer look like?

Job Interview Question What Are Your WeaknessesHere’s an example to get you started down the right path

“I tend to engage in confrontations slightly more than my colleagues. I realized confrontations – when done right – solve problems very quickly at work and allow us to maximize opportunities. However, it has its downsides. Although this hasn’t been a problem for any company I’ve worked for in the past, it has posed a challenge in places that discourage any kind of confrontation, such as Japan.”

This is a good answer for many reasons. Not only does this show self-awareness, it’s an honest and believable answer. It shows that you’re aware of something you could improve on, and that you’re knowledgeable about the business cultures of companies on a larger scale. Not only this, but it shows critical thinking and analysis.

If you’re still having some trouble coming up with what to talk about for this question, try asking yourself the following questions. Remember, you want something that is applicable to the job that you are applying for. Your weakness also needs to be something that is unique, without giving off any red flags. Don’t think too hard about it, as it should be something apparent.


  1. What do you employee assessments say about you?
  2. What do you admire most about your colleges?
  3. Have you ever been disciplined at work?
  4. Do you have applicable person experience in this field?
  5. How long have you been working in this field?
  6. Are there any reasons you don’t feel prepared for this job?
  7. Has there been anything getting in the way of your professional ambitions?

I hope you benefited from this article on the job interview question what are your weaknesses. If you are looking for a mock interview or 1 on 1 coaching with me, please get in touch at


How To Knock The, “What Are Your Strengths” Interview Question Out of The Park

How To Knock The Job Interview Question “What Are Your Strengths” Out of The Park

We’ve all had this question in an interview before, “So, what are your strengths and weaknesses?” Today we’re going to take an in depth look at not only how to analyze your strengths, but articulate them in a confident, and effective way. If you’d like to learn more about how to analyze and deliver on your weaknesses, you can check out my handy guide found here. “What are your Weaknesses.”

Today’s topic is what are your strengths job interview question.

Alright, let’s get started, shall we?

Even though we all have a diverse set of skills and experiences, there are ideas we can all benefit from. But before we go searching for the perfect thing to say, we need to first figure out how to think like a hiring manager.

If you were the hiring manager, sitting on the other side of the table, what would you want to get out of that question?

You’d ideally want to feel that this candidate has achieved this before, and that he can do it again for us.

That’s your cue.

With your answers, you need to convince the hiring manager that your strengths completely align with what is expected. For example, if you are interviewing for a management accounting role, then some of your strengths should be around IFRS, ratio analysis, acid test, etc… And, you need to give examples from your past while talking about your strengths. Example is a proof that you have done before and you can easily replicate it in future for that employer.

Alright, now let’s put this in more actionable steps. So, when you are going through your preparation, follow the below steps I outlined for you;

what are your strengths job interview questionStep 1: Take a look at the job description first.

Always start with the job description and try to really understand what is required for this role. What kind of skills and experiences they require so you can use those to show your strengths. Once you understand it, then create that “persona” in your mind.

Who would be the ideal candidate for this role? It’s important you kind of visualize this process. Once you know the perfect candidate by making an emphathy, you’ll be able to create that “persona” from your previous experiences. The following steps will be quite easy.

what are your strengths job interview questionStep 2: Take a look at your own CV

Once you know what skills and experiences required, then look at your own CV and try to take out those elements that you can show as a strength to the hiring manager. This is really important. Your strengths should be matching with what they are looking for. Otherwise, there would be no reason for them to ask this question in the first place.

First, you need to take a good look at yourself, and understand where your strengths come from. No one is going to have all the same strengths, so this is something that you will have to decide on for yourself. However, these are simple questions you can ask yourself to get going down the right path.

  • What past job experience do I have?
  • Do I have any personal hobbies that align with this company or field?
  • Have I done a similar job to this before?
  • Have a worked in this industry before?
  • What sets me apart from the other candidates?
  • What special life experiences do I have that would showcase my skills for this job?

You need to ask yourself, what experiences and skills does this company value for the position I’m applying for. Try to check out what skills and strengths people who already hold that position possess. A good place to start for both of these are the company website, and LinkedIn. By doing some research ahead of time, you’ll have a clearer idea of what attributes to highlight, and which ones you shouldn’t mention at all.

Are you with me so far?


what are your strengths job interview questionStep 3: How about the unwritten requirements?

Do you remember that we have previously discussed the unwritten requirements in previous posts? They apply here as well. Speak with experts or make a proper internet research and come up with a few items that you think highly relevant to the job. Hiring managers are very busy individuals, they don’t always have time to go through the job description development very seriously. So, they throw in a couple of bullet points and then they are done. But this doesn’t mean there are no more requirements than what is written in that small piece of paper. So, do you research and come up with other requirements that are not written in the JD.


what are your strengths job interview questionStep 4: Practice in front of mirror

Now, you know what skills from your past apply to this role properly. The remaining task is the easy one. You need to put in a few hours of practice to perfect your speech. This is the easiest and fun bit. Just go to a mirror and start delivering your speech. My strengths are… Once you are confident of your delivery, then find a friend or family and pitch it to them. Make sure they take this as seriously as possible though. You want them to really be strict with you.

The final thing you can do is to work on your presentation skills. It will help you deliver that speech significantly better. There are a few things you can consider;


  1. You’re not a scarecrow, don’t act like one!

The amount of times I’ve seen presenters stand in same exact stop, never lifting their feet, has to be too many to count. Do not let this be you! Although you probably won’t have much room, this doesn’t mean you should sit still. (If you’re using the gold approach, then this tip will be that much easier to implement!

  1. Make sure you’re standing up straight with good posture.

If you remain seated, then make sure you are sitting up straight with good posture. Having good posture is a key element to any successful presentation. It shows strength, and attentiveness. It shows that you are interested in the job, and care about the position. If you are sitting down, it is a good idea to lean slightly forward as well. This will continue to highlight your interest in the job.

  1. Verbalize and annunciate all your words.

Yes, that means trying to avoid stuttering and mumbling at all costs. This presentation is when you’re delivering on your strengths, and by being clean and straightforward, you’re sure to convey the right message. Make sure you avoid these in you presentation.

  1. Try to have a single central or key idea.

This is a good tip for any presentation. Whether you’re giving an oral presentation, or going with the tried and true gold method, you want to decide on the key or central idea you want to convey to your hiring manager. You should support this idea at least three times throughout your presentation. By doing this, you’re leaving a clear and direct message to your hiring manager.

  1. Try to include very light humor.

This is a tricky one, and something that should be done with care. Some very light humor in the beginning or opening of your presentation is encouraged, although you want to avoid relying on this too heavily. If in doubt, go more conservative. Remember, you’re likely in a corporate setting.

  1. Avoid fillers.

Fillers can be pretty hard to phase out of your vocabulary. When you’re presenting, you want to avoid them at all costs. Although they may seem unnoticeable, they can be painfully obvious to the audience. The best way to help reduce and eliminate them is with the next helpful tip.

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how to prepare for an interview

How To Get Ready For A Job Interview

How To Get Ready For A Job Interview

Interviewing with a hiring manager can end up becoming a huge step forward in any career. You never know how great opportunities may quickly arise and change your life.

Whether you’re a business tycoon who’s snagged many positions, or a greenhorn who’s excited to start their career, an interview is a big deal.  Not only is it your first opportunity to show your potential employer that you’re the best candidate for the job, It’s also quality face time with someone who is likely a manager for that company.

The ultimate goal of every interview is to leave a long lasting positive impression, and help them realize you’re the best fit for their company, and this position. Thankfully you’re not alone. With this helpful guide, you’ll be prepared for anything that’s thrown at you.

Buckle up!

Let’s get down to the basics.

How can you expect to ace your interview without putting in the proper work ahead of time? When it comes to researching for your interview, there are two basic parts you want to focus on.


  1. You want to learn about the company as a whole, and
  2. You want to learn about the position you’ve applied for.


The main thing that’s going to set you apart from everyone else is how much time you put into preparing for your interview. But don’t start to get stressed out! I’ve got some great places for you to start.

At this point you may be asking, “Well, what should I be looking for then?”

The answer is simple, and to get you started down the right path, I have a list of questions you need to ask yourself while doing your research.


  1. What sets this company apart from the rest?
  2. What type of social media presence does this company have?
  3. What types of skills and experiences are valued for your position?
  4. What news or current events are happening in the company?
  5. What’s the company culture like?
  6. What stands out as a good pick for this job?


These questions are a great starting place for your research. One of the best tools you can use is the company’s website. Make sure you don’t forget about social media either, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are your friends! It’s important to tune into key details about a company. Then obviously you need to study the most common job interview questions and answers (here is a free mobile app) and craft your own responses that are tailor made.

Don’t relax just yet though! You’re not done with your research. You should try to find out as much as you can about the position you’re interviewing for, and the company as a whole.

You have one major issue here though. You can only find out about the role from what they share. But is that really it? Is really a 200 word job description all there is to know?

Definitely not!

There are also unwritten requirements. These are basically the kind of requirements that exist in the minds of the hiring managers but not necessarily well known by the recruitment team. As a result of this misalignment, HR and hiring managers end up looking for different things in a candidate. That’s why it’s crucial that you understand what the recruitment team wants and what the hiring manager wants. Once you know what they want, you can then easily give it to them.

how to prepare for an interviewTo prepare for any interview, you need 4 things in priority order;

  1. What is the ideal candidate for the role? (with written and unwritten requirements)
  2. How can you be that ideal candidate based on your previous experiences and skills?
  3. How can you create the perfect answers using anecdotes and examples from your past?
  4. How can you deliver your answers genuinely?

The last one is the easiest. It’s just a matter of practice. You can practice yourself in front of mirror or with your family and friends. Make sure you pick a friend who is going to treat the mock interview seriously though. It’s not a laughing matter. It’s your career.

While preparing your answers, you are going to have to take a good look at yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

If you have a weakness going into an interview, you should have a good idea of what you want to say when it comes up. If there is anything on your resume that would warrant a follow-up question, be prepared to have a good answer. Do you have any criminal history? Do you large gaps in your employment history, or have you made major switches in careers? Have you been bouncing around from company to company a lot? Theses are all things that can, and usually will be talked about, so you need to make sure that you’re prepared for that. Make sure you’re being honest, you might not be aware of what the interviewer knows. Feel free to take a look at some career guidance from Cass Business School.

This is also a good one again from Cass on the infamous tell me about yourself question.

On the other side of the coin, you should know your strengths as well. Being able to naturally direct the conversation to your strengths is a great way to perform well in an interview. But be careful not to get too off topic, if you start to go off on a tangent, that can negatively impact your interview. When you’re answering a question, it’s essential that you’re answering in a way that’s informative, and substantial. Keep in mind that this is not the time to be giving superficial, stereotypical, or sarcastic answers. Answer from the heart!

how to prepare for an interviewNow let’s talk about how you look. The first impression you’re going to make on your interviewer is based on how you look, so make it a good one! You should always be clean cut, with clean and pressed clothing. You should try to match to attire of your interviewer if possible. Your interviewer isn’t a part of the fashion police, but you want to dress for success.

Now that you have your practice questions and you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, there’s one thing left to do. It’s time to practice. Remember, the interview is important. It’s your chance to make a long lasting positive impression. And with these simple to follow tips, you’ll be on your way to interview success in no time.

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tell me about yourself

Job Interview Series: Tell Me About Yourself Job Interview Question

Tell Me About Yourself Job Interview Question

I think we all know someone who’s done this…

They come unprepared to the interview, and only have themselves to blame when they fall flat. But don’t worry, you’re already on your way to interview success. Just by taking the time to read this article, you’re setting yourself up to be one step ahead of the competition.

This guide contains helpful tips and tricks, as well as a complete look at how to answer that vague interview question of tell me about yourself. I have done my best to create an eye opening guide that will improve your chances of landing that dream job of yours.

So are you ready?

If you haven’t interviewed for a position in a long time, it can be a daunting task. But with this guide in hand, you have nothing to worry about. Before we get into what you should do, let me tell you what you SHOULDN’T DO first.

  • To start with, do not just regurgitate what’s on your resume. Your hiring manager has already seen it, and likely has a copy of it in front of them.tell me about yourself job interview question
  • Make sure you stay on task, and don’t share your life story. The interviewer doesn’t care what happened to you years ago. Make sure you are staying on topic.
  • Body language goes a long way. Make sure you are not slumping back in your chair. Sit straight up, and have good posture.

When you’re well prepared for this question, it can be one of the easiest to knock out of the park. And since this is usually one of the first questions you will be asked, it only goes to help you start out with making a killer first impression.

Now let’s try to get inside the mind of a hiring manager. Do you know the real reasons behind hiring managers asking this question? There are usually two reasons for this. They want to see  how well you can answer a question you might not be prepared for (this is where you already have a step above the competition!), and they want to see what you consider important in your background. However, these  aren’t the only reasons you’ll get asked this question. Ultimately, this gives them a first hand glimpse at your presentation skills.

Think about it. At this stage in the process, they’ve already seen your cover letter, resume, and know a good amount about you, why would they want to go over your background again? It’s because the perfect candidate not only has the skills and experience to succeed, but is also highly presentable.

Here’s a list of key attributes to focus on:tell me about yourself job interview question

  • Can you speak impressively, without stuttering?
  • Are you getting nervous, or fidgeting a lot?
  • Are you able to impress the other person when you speak?
  • Do you have a solid command of the English language?

These are all things that will be looked for and taken into account. And yes, even accountants have to present sometimes!

Let’s now get to the good bits. Here is a very detailed and rather too long article on tell me about yourself job interview question.

And here is my brief that is to the point;

There are 3 stages to a perfect tell me about yourself answer

Stage 1: What is your current experience?

During this time, you should be talking about what types of projects you worked on, what your responsibilities were, and anything else that is relevant to the new job you are applying for. Be careful about over sharing, you don’t want to spend a long time here.

Stage 2: What was your previous experiences?

This is another area where it’s very easy to start going down the wrong path. Keep this area short and brief. Make sure you only highlight past experience if it’s truly something notable. Remember, your hiring manager has already seen your resume, and likely has it in front of them.

Stage 3: What do you want from your future?

This should be the most straightforward part. Keep it short and sweet. And whatever you do, do not say that you see yourselves in their shoes in X amount of time. An interview is not the time to be cheeky.


So, this can be considered a good answer;

tell me about yourself job interview questionI have been working with P&G for the past 5 years as a business intelligence analyst. During this time, I was incredibly fortunate to have grown in my position and received multiple promotions. This allowed me to have a more cohesive understanding of our business model and how to create an edge for our team and P&G’s position in the market. Prior to this role, I had the opportunity to work for Nike where I served as a marketing analyst in their bottling department in Chicago. This is where I learned the fundamentals of marketing and how segmentation plays a key role in marketing strategy development. I graduated from University of Chicago with a degree in Marketing and hold multiple professional certifications related to business analysis and marketing. Moving forward, I am absolutely looking forward to bringing my analytical skills to the table and add value to XXX company. 


As you see, this is fairly straight forward and a very neat answer. I suggest you do the same. Create a speech like this in written form. Then, practice that speech in front of family and friends until you get it perfect.

If you don’t get it perfect in your practice sessions, you will not be able to pull it off in the interview. This is very important.

If you fancy SlideShare, here is what I found;



That’s it for now. If you found value from this article, please share it with your friends.

And finally, if you are interested in a career coaching session with me, please send me a quick introduction e-mail at with your requirements and I will be sure to get back to you within a day.