Getting Ready For Your Interview

Prepping for your interview is vital for getting a job. Get some great tips to help you today.

Be warned, it is easy to give an answer that sounds canned. Truly over-the-top enthusiasm is likely to be viewed with a degree of suspicion (especially if it’s not backed up with evidence on your résumé), as is a too-perfect alignment between their website copy and your professed passions. This is one answer you don’t want to oversell.

What was the last thing you taught?

The Real Question: Will you be a good coach to your direct reports and teammates?

Top-line Tactic: Show the interviewer that hiring you means getting not only your skills, but enhanced performance out of your colleagues as well.

Everyone likes a two-for-one sale, and that goes for companies too. It’s great to convince your interviewer that, should you be hired, you’ll bring important skills to the organization, but it’s even better if you can put across that you will upgrade your colleagues’ skills as well.

This question is most likely to be asked of candidates for managerial positions, but the ability to teach laterally as well as down is highly valued as well, so you could face this question no matter what role you are applying for. As with all competency questions, good answers are truthful, detailed when it comes to your actions, and focused on positive outcomes. Here’s one example:

My job title is customer service representative, but it’s really half handling customer requests over the phone and half admin work, processing and tracking orders. The company recently hired someone with a strong administrative background, but less experience interacting with customers. She mastered the admin in no time, but I noticed that she was often struggling to handle customers, especially when they were unhappy or agitated. She sometimes got quite upset, which wasn’t helping anyone.

I could sympathize, because it took me a while to learn the customer service side of things as well, so I offered to let her sit in on a few of my calls so she could see how I handled tricky situations. She took note of what I did and then tried it out while I monitored her, giving her some pointers and a few more suggestions. She seemed really grateful for the opportunity and improved straight away. Now she’s one of our most successful reps, so I’m very happy I took the time to show her the ropes.

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