Is it always a good idea to answer job interview questions by the book?
February 6, 2014 5:45 AM Subscribe
Okay, so you print out your resume, business card, and your portfolio. You try to look impeccable for the interview. You try to get into the right mood and you even practice some tongue twisters to avoid stuttering. But what about the interview itself? How do you approach age-old questions without sounding rehearsed?
posted by omar.a to Work & Money (14 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not saying that your answers should be brutally honest as to endanger the professional image you are trying to project, but how can you get ahead of the crowd if you sound exactly like them? I mean how many answers can you give to “What are your weaknesses?” before you and the other applicants' answers go into a discernible pattern? Is it actually safer to give the interviewers the cookie-cut answers they want to hear because it shows them that you can fit in? For example, if you're a creative person applying for a corporate (say, advertising) job, is it better to tell them that you are built for fast-paced environments or would you rather tell them how meticulous and thorough you are in your research (I know these are not exactly mutually exclusive, but they do leave different impressions in the interviewer's mind). On the other hand, wouldn't it be better to tell it as it is, but describe it in a way that would make it seem advantageous for the job? Don't you think that being honest (without sounding pretentious or cynical) while having an overall positive attitude is more original than going for the “my biggest weakness is: that I work too hard/I'm a perfectionist/my biggest strength/my sensitivity/..” type of answers?