Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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How to speak to your strengths

Posted by Stephanie on December 19, 2011

Along with providing my clients with interview coaching, I also write their resumes. In preparing to compose a truly effective resume, I conduct an in-depth interview of each client. (One client asked if I’d ever worked for the police; she found my interviewing so deep! I dig until I get the rich material that I need!)

The interview questions may remind people of job interview questions (but I ask many, many more). Unlike an interviewer, I am not willing to go on to another question when the client finishes his or her “answer”; I keep asking until I really understand what he or she actually did. It is tiring work as so often people are stumped and try to brush off my question with a “but I do that all day, every day.” That’s not enough, nor would it be enough for a job interview.

Here’s an idea for responding to the so-often posed “Tell us about a few of your strengths.”

In order to develop rich and satisfying content to this question read a book like Tom Rath’s “StrengthsFinder 2.0.” This neat little book will arm you with great insights into you and what makes you a valuable employee (it’s always exciting to read about one’s own greatness!), along with verbage that will build really interesting answers to that interview question.

For example, I am a Learner. This is perfect for my role as a resume writer. Each time I’m faced with writing a resume for an unknown role, I conduct self-study to familiarize myself with the basics of that role. It’s essential if I’m to ask the best questions … and if I’m to write the best resume too.

This, folks, is what it takes to captivate your audience – real self-knowledge with words that ring true, examples that align you with the position applied to, and information that is interesting and makes you interesting!

Let me know if you’ve come up against troubling interview questions and I would be glad to address them in an upcoming blog. Working to your career success, Stephanie


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