How to Answer Any Job Interview Question

interview-1371360_640Practice these five things to win your next job interview! 

That’s right, it says, “to win your next job interview.” That’s because your job interview is a competition. You need to understand that. At the end of the day someone wins the job and lots of people don’t. And those lots of people do not want you to get the job. They want to be the winner. And, just like in sports, one thing that every winner has in common with every other winner is this,

They practice! 

If you want to win your next job interview, you have to practice. In this article by Live Career they explain how to study different interview styles, which is important. But what about you? What should you practice? 

I am glad you asked.

Every good job interview question has five different parts. Now before you get all overwhelmed on me, keep reading. You are going to find that two of the parts are simple. Practice these five things when you answer any question from now on, and not only will you win your next interview, but you will get better at conversations and feel more confident, regardless of the answer!

Let me explain. 

Every good, detailed answer to every job interview question has five parts.question-mark-213692_640

  • The beginning, 
  • The answer, 
  • The situation, 
  • The outcome 
  • The end 

Here is how it works. If I asked you a question like,

“Do you like cheese?”

you would pause, awkwardly and assess if we are really even friends at all. Then, if you felt like speaking to me, and wanted to give a really clear answer it would go like this.

1. The beginning, a breath.

2. The answer, “No.”

3. The situation, “I’m lactose intolerant.”

4. The outcome, “So I don’t eat it.”

5. The end, silence.

So this process doesn’t mean you have to be long-winded, know lots of facts, have friends so boring they talk about cheese or even be well-spoken. If you will practice these five things you will crush your next interview.

Want to know the top 30 most common interview questions?



1. The beginning. 

The beginning should always be a breath. This does a few things. A breath gives you a few seconds to politely think of your answer. It also calms your nerves and the influx of oxygen to your brain causes it to work better, which is always good! It is also super relaxing. Try it out now. Take a deep breath. There, don’t you feel better?

The only other technique we’ve found to feel better is to share this article on social media. Since you can’t do that in an interview try it now.

See, it works!

2. The answer.

The next part is the answer. This should be as short as possible. “Yes,” or, “no,” or, “macaroni and cheese,” is exactly what they want to hear. This also helps to keep your mind clear. In an interview, we have a tendency to overthink things and give confusing answers. This short, direct answer locks us into a decision. Everything else can be framed around that decision. A typical question I get is, “What about questions like, why do you want to work here?” This works for these types of questions as well. Here are examples. “The culture,” or, “the product,” or, “the opportunity,” are all great answers to this question, as long as it’s true. Let’s say your answer is, “the opportunity.” Here is where you go next.

3. The situation

The situation is the support of your answer. If you want the job because of the opportunity, the situation might be that the schedule is perfect and the job will help you grow as a person. These are all things that you need to know before the interview and that we flesh out in our job interview course.

4. The outcome 

The outcome to our fictional question would be the thing that concludes what you said. “That is why this job is such a good fit,” or, “that is why I was excited to learn this job was available.” Your outcome needs to be direct, well-spoken and clear. It is so important that your answer doesn’t leave any questions, but that it doesn’t take much time. Interviewers don’t like answers that ramble on or drift off in the wind. They may have 15 job interviews lined up that day! They are so busy, they don’t have time to waste, which is why the next step is so important.

5. The end 

the-end-1544913_640This is where so many answers go wrong. People continue talking, qualifying or justifying what they said. Or they feel uncomfortable, because they haven’t practiced and they say things like, “and so,” or, “but anyway.” You need to practice stopping. If you have gone through every step of the answer it is time to stop talking.

Smile and wait.

Many interviewers will sit for an uncomfortable amount of time, waiting to see how you react. It is so important that you can sit quietly and comfortably, knowing you have given a quality answer. That is why, in our job interview course we give you the opportunity to practice repeatedly at home, your answers to the 30 most common questions, before you are sitting in an uncomfortable chair staring into the face of a stranger.

So here is what a good answer might look like during and interview.

What is the most challenging thing you have accomplished?

1. The beginning, a breath.

2. The answer, “My degree.”

3. The situation, “I worked a full-time job wrestling greased pigs as a full-time student.” (Wow, you are impressive!)

4. The outcome, “it took a lot of my energy and time, but I finished my degree in 3 1/2 years and I know exactly where to grab a pig so that it won’t kick you.”

5. The end, silence.

You really should prepare your answers to the most common questions ahead of time. How many times have you thought back on a conversation and wished you had said something different? Imagine letting this little greased pig gem slip away un-spoken! When you write out your answers to the most common interview questions, you have the opportunity to decide what your answers will be before the pressure is on.

Practice this style of answering as much as you possibly can before your interview. You will be amazed at how much better you feel and how many more job offers you get. Remember, good resumes get interviews, good interviews get jobs. If it all seems a little overwhelming, try to relax. Remember, take a deep breath.

If that doesn’t work, just hit share!

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