The interviewer would like to see the level of insight you have when it comes to the company's needs for this role. It is a safe bet to pull from any characteristics mentioned in the job posting or job description. Make sure to keep company culture in mind when you answer, and be prepared to display to the interviewer how you match these qualities. Some of the top qualities that an interviewer may be seeking include: - Accountable - Trustworthy - Loyal - Self-motivated - Resilience - Problem-solver - Analytical - Creative - Social media & tech savvy - Strong business sense - Willpower
"If I were hiring I would choose someone highly analytical but still able to see the big picture, and think in a team-first mentality. I am highly team oriented and also possess the ability to create short, and long-term plans using data analysis and market trends."
"If I were in charge of choosing the candidate for this job, I would look for someone with a naturally cheerful and positive disposition. I would also look for someone, like myself, who is well organized. There are a lot of moving parts in this position so those being a fast learner would be especially important."
"I believe that a manager should be organized but also have personal qualities that would make other people desire to be led by them. I naturally take on a leadership role in my school, organized sports, and even with my siblings. Also, a manager should be an excellent active listener so I would look for that quality as well."
"For this particular position, I would look for someone highly creative that knows how to collaborate with other people who are more experienced. I am new to my career, so it's important that I observe and learn just as often as I give ideas and suggestions. With that comes the need for confidence. I would also seek out someone highly confident."
"I would look for someone who fits in well with the team, the company brand, and the overall workplace culture. You can teach many things, but you cannot teach someone to have a character set that will compliment your company's goals."
"A sales professional should be highly engaged, energetic, and internally competitive. I work hard to possess these qualities, and I know these are important to your company as well."
"If I were in charge of hiring for this position, I would look for someone with a high GPA, a history of volunteering and community involvement. I would also seek out a person who identifies as being compassionate, caring, and patient."
The interviewer would like to understand better the thinking behind your post-secondary major. Explain what you chose, and what the leading factors were behind your decision. If you are not happy with your choice, try to remain positive and merely state that you feel there may have been better choices for you in retrospect.
"I chose my accounting major to be in corporate accounting because it made the most sense for me, at the time. I still want to be a corporate accountant, but I now see there are many forensic accounting coursework opportunities which would have been a fascinating area of focus as well. It still goes hand-in-hand with corporate accounting, so perhaps I will take some coursework like this in the future."
"I chose a degree in business administration with a major in human resources. I chose this major to compliment my desire to work in the recruitment industry. I am thankful that I made this choice because human resources will always need a human-to-human touch. I have a highly communicative approach to my work that will ensure my success in this field."
"When choosing my major, I wanted to take a unique approach that would stand out on my resume, and in my interviews. This desire to be different is why I chose a Business management degree with a major in management and a minor in economics. This combination is not as common as accounting or finance and gave me the skills that I need to jump into a management level role earlier on in my career than most recent grads."
"My marketing degree is focused on business to business marketing with a minor in international business. I have a keen interest in building experiences from other cultures which is why I am very pleased with my post-secondary choices."
"I chose a major in communications because I knew the knowledge would benefit me and my work, no matter which path I took. I am happy with the decision; however, at times, I wonder if a more niche line of study would be beneficial as well. I know that I can always take additional coursework if the need comes up."
"I chose a major in English because I feel that one can never be too well versed in their language! The skills that I learned can pertain to every aspect of my life, not just my career. I am happy with my decision to go this route."
"I chose to specialize in special education and am thrilled that I made this decision. I have a huge heart for children with extra challenges and look forward to applying my knowledge in the classroom very soon."
Just as learning your best classes will help the interviewer understand your areas of strength; learning of your areas of weakness will help the interviewer to see where they may need to offer additional support and training. Having areas of weakness is okay. Don't put yourself down; rather discuss how you are planning to improve your skills in that area.
"I struggled a lot with my Spanish classes. I am more of a numbers person and am not naturally inclined to linguistics."
"The one subject that was a challenge for me was Statistics. I am not a numbers person, and although I like data analysis, it does not come naturally to me. My strengths are more geared to communication."
"Politics have never really been my thing. I think because it is ever-changing and unpredictable; I found it to be a touch overwhelming and frustrating at times. My strength is more in math where one cannot argue the results, and everything is more cut and dry."
"Media Studies was a bit of a struggle for me because I have a deeper interest in other topics such as design and digital performance. Overall, I did fine and received a strong grade, but it was not my favorite experience."
"Math has always been a tough subject for me, including my time in high school. I love people, socializing, and communicating. Math is rigid for me. With that said, if there is a math concept that I do not understand I will watch an online tutorial to refresh my knowledge."
"Sales is a highly communicative career path, so my strengths have always been in subjects related to social issues, economics, and psychology. I could be stronger in subjects such as math and statistics. I have a couple of apps on my phone to help me develop that side of my brain."
"I love to write, and feel that I am a strong writer; however, I did struggle a bit in one of my fictional writing courses. It challenged my creative thinking and pulled me out of my usual thinking habits. As much of a challenge as it was, I still quite enjoyed it."
The interviewer would like a quick glimpse into the types of topics that you enjoy. Generally speaking, the classes that you do best in are likely the ones you enjoyed the most, and perhaps are your area of expertise. Allow the interviewer to get to know you, your interests, and strengths.
"My favorite subject was Geography and Environmental Sciences. What I found most interesting was learning about the bridge between the natural world and how human behavior affects the planet."
"English was by far my best subject in school. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading assignments and the fact that my writing skills improved dramatically."
"I took some coursework on East & South Asian studies in my first year of University. This course remains my favorite of all time because it gave me valuable exposure to additional languages and a fresh, international perspective."
"I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to take a couple of courses in Film Making. I loved exploring alternative cinema and gained an introduction to exciting new skills such as objective analysis and project management."
"Sociology remains my favorite topic from my post-secondary experience. I have always had an interest in how people work, and the social sciences in general. I like to understand people, how their morals work, and other important factors that go into building our modern society."
"My best subject was Mathematics. I am a numbers type of person. This trait helps me in my sales career because I enjoy breaking down what it will take to reach my numbers and exceed my goals."
"I am a big fan of multilingualism which is a skill that I hope to encourage in my future students. For that reason, I would say that Spanish and German were my favorite courses of all time. I took these all through high school, as well as University."
The interviewer would like to know if the school that you attended was your first pick. Be prepared to discuss what attracted you to your particular University. If you had another first choice, you could also explain why that school was so highly enticing to you. Keep your answer positive and brief.
"I chose to attend University ABC because it has an unmatched reputation for its finance department. I am so thankful to have been accepted into their esteemed Finance program. I knew that a highly regarded education experience would be the best way to start my accounting career."
"I chose my post-secondary school based on its reputation for helping their students find placement after completing the administrators' certificate program. 98% of their graduates found employment within two months of graduating. This statistic was essential to me."
"I initially chose University ABC but ended up being accepted to University XYZ. It was highly competitive to get into University ABC for the business program, and unfortunately, I was not accepted. University XYZ ended up being an incredible school for me with excellent support and great friends. I graduated top of the class with a 3.86 GPA."
"University ABC is known for its incredibly digital marketing coursework. I chose the school because its technology was superior and I did not have to relocate to attend. It's wonderful having the best schools right in your city!"
"I attended post-secondary at University ABC. I chose this school because both of my parents are alumni, it is close to my home, and I liked the feel of the smaller school community."
"I did not gain acceptance into my first choice University; however, the situation ended up working in my favor in the end. University XYZ gave me the opportunity to travel abroad for an exchange semester. I may not have had this opportunity otherwise. Living in Italy for three months was a life-changing experience."
"University ABC is known to have some of the most influential alumni of any school in our state. It was important to me that I gain my education degree from a school that is highly esteemed and well recognized. My experience was incredibly positive, and I would recommend the school to anyone who asks."
The interviewer would like to see that you have a natural inclination to help people. If it is too hard for you to think of an example off the top of your head, this may be a red flag to the interviewer that you are not a team player. Mention a time as recent as possible, and remain brief. Discuss the situation, what you did to help, and what the result was. Keep your example professional and related to work, volunteer, school, or athletics.
"Our basketball team made regionals this year, and we were playing our final game when my opponent tripped on the court and sprained her ankle. I was the only one to notice right away, so I helped her to get up, and to the sidelines. My coach was impressed that I was so aware, and willing to help someone from the opposite team. It felt nice to be kind and do the right thing."
"I spent this summer volunteering clean up for the city parks. I had a woman come up to me, distraught because her dog ran away. I dropped what I was doing, and helped her search for her pet. Luckily, we found him about 10 minutes into our search. She was thankful, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help a stranger."
"This year I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The young girl assigned to me was having some difficulties at home and did not know how to talk to her mom about them. We talked our way through the scenario, and I helped her brainstorm a variety of ways to bring the situation up to her mother. I love volunteering with this organization and plan to continue my involvement for years to come."
"During my internship, I was stationed with the Director of Marketing for a local digital advertising agency. I noticed one day that the receptionist was very overwhelmed, due to an influx of calls coming in from a very effective ad campaign. I jumped in and helped her by answering the other line. It was a good experience for me and showed my team that I was willing to get out of my comfort zone and be a team player."
"I worked for my parents' business this past month because they were short staffed. I did not ask for any compensation - I simply wanted to help them out for a bit because that is what family does. I believe it's essential to help people without any expectations in return."
"In school this year I noticed one of my classmates sincerely struggling with one of our modules on e-commerce. I asked her if she was interested in some additional tutoring because this is an area of strength for me. She agreed, and for four weeks we met every Tuesday and Thursday, going over concepts and case studies. She passed the class and was very thankful for my assistance. It felt great to coach someone and, at the same time, my knowledge strengthened."
"I recently signed up to be a young adult mentor in my church. This initiative is a new mentorship program my church community is putting together. I am still waiting for my mentorship match, but it will be a teenage girl who has asked for a reliable mentor. I am thrilled to get started with this effort. I want to mold people's lives positively, as both a teacher and a stand-up member of the community."
There are many benefits to having a mentor, and many interviewers will look highly on a candidate who has the foresight to realize that there is a massive benefit to having a mentor. Some benefits to having a mentor include: - Gaining someone else's years of knowledge in a short amount of time - Advice on your weaknesses from someone that you trust - The opportunity to learn new ways of thinking - A positive experience to mention on your resume or cover letter - Broadening your network
"I recently asked one of my professors to be a mentor to me as I begin my career. She agreed, and we have been meeting every Tuesday evening for one hour. She has already taught me a great deal about communication and professionalism. I look forward to learning more."
"I have not had a mentor yet; however, I fully understand the importance of having one. I look forward to meeting more professionals as my career grows and carefully choosing someone to help me grow as a professional."
"Mentorship is something that I would love to have in my professional life. I would also like to learn how to be a mentor, down the road in my career. The most important thing about mentorship is that it's a valuable exchange of knowledge that often takes years to achieve."
"I had a mentor while completing my digital marketing degree. A fourth-year student took me under his wing and showed me some great ways to excel in my first year, and beyond. I now look forward to gaining a professional mentor."
"Collaborating with a mentor is a positive experience that I would enjoy having. I do not know anyone at this point in my life who I could ask, but if you have any recommendations for me, I am open to hearing them."
"I look up to my former professor from business school and recently asked him to recommendations. I am actively seeking out an individual to mentor me in business, sales, and to shape me professionally, overall."
"My mentor is my best friends' mother who is also an educator. She has been a teacher for 25 years and helped me a great deal while I was completing my education degree. Having a mentor is a game-changer."
If you have a post-secondary degree, the interviewer would like to know what your biggest takeaway was from that experience. Often, when you are newer to your career, interviewers will lean on your post-secondary career when digging for answers on your character and work ethic. If you do not have any formal post-secondary education, you can rely on any volunteer experience, work abroad experience, internship, or even high school or organized sports.
"The most important skill that I learned during my University education was self-motivation. It's not like high school! Nobody pushes you to get your work in on time. Either you deliver on your own, or you do not pass. I will carry this skill into my career as well."
"I have one year of post-secondary experience but was unable to complete my degree. What I did learn from this experience was how to apply myself to topics and assignments that are no"
"When I was taking my Bachelor of Administration, I learned a great deal about how to manage a team of people with varying personalities. This skill is an essential one for my future career in management."
"One of the most important skills that I learned during my University career was related to project management. I am now very comfortable keeping a project moving along from start to finish."
"What I learned most through my time in high school was the importance of active listening. I witnessed many of my fellow students tuning out the teacher, for instance, and it tanked their grades. I like to pay close attention to what my instructor is teaching me."
"I do not have any formal post-secondary experience; however, I feel that I learned a great deal during my time playing team sports in high school. I learned how to be competitive with myself while still working cohesively as a team. This skill is a vital one for sales."
"I learned how to properly communicate with students who have issues related to communication and expression. I feel that this skill will be the best tool for me, working as a special education teacher."
Since you are new to your career, the interviewer would like to know why the timing is now right for you to start looking for a job. Perhaps you just finished your post-secondary education or were traveling after graduation. Whatever your situation, give the interviewer a good idea of why you are now ready to get to work!
"I have been traveling for the past three months, after graduating with my Commerce degree. I am happy to have taken a small break to refresh myself, and now I am ready to start a lucrative career in the finance industry."
"I appreciate you calling me in for today's interview. Although my formal experience is light, my knowledge in the administration field is solid. I have not been formally employed but have worked the front desk for my dad's company for the past few months. I am ready to join a company on a more official basis which is why I applied to your job posting."
"I am ready to enter the workforce now that I have finished my business administration degree and my 3-month internship at Company ABC. Unfortunately, they do not have the bandwidth to hire me on a full-time basis which is why I am now applying to positions."
"For the past six months, I have been traveling and gaining many valuable cultural experiences. I wanted to give myself the exposure to other parts of the world before committing myself entirely to my career. I am now ready to move forward into a rewarding marketing career."
"I just graduated from high school and am very interested in working part-time while I attend University for the next four years. It's important to me that I find a flexible role that aligns with my goals so, for that reason, I am now applying to jobs that are very appealing to me."
"A job in sales has been on my radar for a couple of months, since graduating University. I would love to learn the ins and outs of being an effective salesperson from your highly esteemed organization. So, when I saw your job posting, I had to apply!"
"This June, I graduated with my Masters' in Education. I am very excited to get started in my career as a teacher. I recently moved to this city and am thrilled to be considered for a role in your school district."
The types of extra-curricular activities that you choose to give your time to will tell the interviewer a great deal about you and your personality. Make sure to keep your answer appropriate. Holding the title of 'Beer Pong Champion' isn't what the interviewer is after. Perhaps you volunteer on the side, spend a lot of time with your little brother, take pottery classes, or are taking sommelier courses. This question is one that you can ask in return if you want to build further rapport with your interviewer!
"I am currently training to run a marathon which takes up a lot of my extra time. I run nearly every day, between 15-25 miles per day, with two alternate rest days. Have you ever competed in a race? I am nervous and will take any advice I can get!"
"I have a creative edge, in addition to my penchant for organization and communication. I take watercolor painting classes at the community arts college. I have met some great new friends with similar interests, and my painting skills have greatly improved. I would love to show you my work sometime! Have you ever painted?"
"I have a strong interest in reading, and try to read one book per week. It sounds like a lot, I know, but I am so dedicated to my personal and professional development that I make sure to take the time for this. So far, I have read 36 books on leadership. Could you share with me your favorite book?"
"In my spare time, I like to manage my blog. It's called 'The Everyday Sommelier' where I discuss wine and food pairings, but for the layman. I am by no means an expert on wine, but I am learning a lot through the research I conduct and the comments left on my blog by readers. Also, I have learned a great deal about blogging! Do you consider yourself quite familiar with wine? There is so much to learn!"
"Fashion design is a solid interest of mine, and I spend a lot of time looking at the new designer collections from the mainstay designers such as Gucci, Chanel, Tom Ford, and the like. I want to be a personal shopper with an esteemed store like yours, and so I find that this hobby also benefits me, career-wise. Who would you say is your favorite designer to watch?"
"I like to spend my extra time volunteering at the Children's Hospital. My little brother was very sick a few years ago and the efforts the staff put in to save his life were unforgettable. I vowed that I would help whenever I could. I have met some great people this way, and it's been an excellent method for building my network in the city as well."
"I spend much of my extra time as the assistant coach for our school's co-ed soccer team. I also help the drama club with their set design every year. Each semester I choose to dedicate my time to one extra-curricular directly involved with the school."
Did you know that, according to LinkedIn research, 1 in 5 hiring managers prefers to hire candidates with volunteer experience? This question is an excellent opportunity to discuss how you are involved in your community and that you commit time to help others. If you have volunteer experience, you have a leg-up on other candidates. Many non-profit organizations have a long onboarding process with background checks and references required so if you need to gain volunteer experience pronto, here are some options for a quick turnaround: - Raise money for a cause, like the Red Cross - Donate blood on a regular rotation or organize a blood drive - Have a craft or bake sale to raise funds for a charity close to your heart - Run in a charity race where financial pledges are required - Advise high-school and University students on a crowd-sourced advice platform like CareerVillage - Write articles for non-profit organizations, for free - Sponsor a business owner in a third world country using a platform like Kiva.org - Volunteer at your church camp - Clean up a local park - Volunteer to tutor a student - Foster animals for a rescue society
"I currently volunteer every Saturday at the local animal shelter. I help to organize adoption applications and also screen the applicants. It feels great to help out, and it melts my heart when we make a perfect pet-parent match."
"In my extra time, I put a lot of work into my home. I am quite handy with power tools, believe it or not. Currently, I am finishing the basement of my home into a basement suite, to make it an income suite. Have you ever completed a home reno project? It's quite satisfying work!"
"Martial arts is a passion of mine, and I am currently a brown belt. If you are not familiar with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it's an incredible workout both physically and mentally speaking. I train approximately four hours per week."
"I was a cheerleader all through high school and have continued my passion for dance now that I have graduated. I take Zumba, Tap, Jazz, and Hip-Hop classes most weekends. It's a great way to stay active. Have you ever been to XYZ Dance Studio? They offer a free introductory class on Sunday mornings."
"I have a range of interests that include going to the museum, the theatre, and seeing a variety of art shows. Many of my friends are performers, so I get out a few times a month to support them and their craft. Have you been to a theatrical performance lately?"
"At the moment, I am continuing my education. I take online coursework towards my Masters' degree in Education. For that reason, most of my spare time is spent studying. The rest, I spend dining out with friends. I am a foodie, for sure. Have you been to any great restaurants lately?"
Share an achievement that makes you proud! Try to think of one that demonstrates some of the skills and strengths that would make you an excellent candidate for the job. Your accomplishment could be graduating from high school with honors or getting a scholarship to the college of your choice. Maybe you made a difference in someone's life by volunteering. Think of a way you made a significant impact or share a goal you worked hard to achieve.
"I am the first University graduate in my family. When I completed my degree, my family threw a huge block party to celebrate! It felt amazing and is still one of my biggest drivers. My dad worked two jobs to put me through school, and I plan to be the best I can be in my career, to make him proud."
"I am very proud of being self-taught in QuickBooks and Sage. It took me some time and dedication, but I watched every possible online tutorial and YouTube video until I knew I would test at an Intermediate level."
"My greatest accomplishment was being the youngest employee to be promoted to a manager position in the history of my current company. I worked hard for this and am proud that my dedication to leadership coursework paid off."
"I am most proud of my GPA! I graduated with a 3.7 GPA while working part-time. This accomplishment required a great deal of dedication and long nights from me, but they were 100% worth it."
"I was awarded employee of the month in my first month at my very first job out of high school! I always knew that my work ethic was stronger than most, but the affirmation of this was very motivating."
"My greatest accomplishment is building my sales book to over 300 accounts. When I started my first sales gig, I was at zero. I worked very hard to build and sustain those relationships."
"I am most proud of the fact that I am interviewing for a teaching job at the same high school from which I graduated! Talk about full circle! One other achievement that I am proud of is my volunteer work as an assistant coach for our district's soccer team. The kids were a lot of fun to work with and, although we didn't keep score, it was a great opportunity for me to be a mentor while promoting health and physical activity."
Modern interviews are more conversational in approach, so always be prepared for a question like this. When the interviewer opens the discussion, this is the perfect opportunity to clarify any issue that you feel you did not answer as clearly as you could have. You should always have at least one inquiry in mind for the interviewer as well. Be prepared to talk about an accomplishment or strength you haven't already shared to prove your value.
"I would like to say that I have sincerely appreciated your interview style, and the opportunity to be here today. I would like to ask you if there is any reason why you would not hire me for this position, or any skills you feel I could strengthen?"
"I feel that this interview has gone well; however, I would like to readdress your question regarding my availability. Although I need to give my current employer two weeks' notice, I can begin on any online or manual based training immediately."
"I have enjoyed this interview, and I feel that I am leaving with an even greater desire to work here. Could you share with me your timeline for the next round of interviews?"
"Thank you for asking! I was wondering if I could ask you what your favorite part is, of working with this agency?"
"I would like to add that I am available to start immediately. I am very keen on this role and hope to hear from you very soon."
"I would like to add that I have a friend who referred me to your company. His name is John Doe, and he has seen a great amount of success as an account manager in your Denver branch. We went to University together, and he is prepared to act as a positive reference on my behalf, should you need it."
"Thank you for being so wonderful in this interview today! Interviews can be a bit nerve-wracking, but you honestly made this the most comfortable experience for me, which I greatly appreciate. I believe that I will find a fully satisfying, long-term fit with your school. Is there anything about my background that I can clarify for you today?"
This question is an opportunity for you to discuss a little more in depth about how you might handle some of the challenging aspects of the role. All jobs can have frustrating moments. To show you have some knowledge of the difficulties you may encounter, share one hesitation you may have, related to the job posting or job description. If this is your first time in the workforce, you might not know all of the different problems to anticipate in the job or industry. If you're not sure, ask.
"I believe that working on satisfying unhappy customers will be the most challenging aspect of this role. My experience in customer service has helped me understand how to listen, empathize and deal with conflict. I feel confident I can do the same in this role."
"Every job has duties that are not the most enjoyable. I try not to focus on that. But, if I had to guess, I would say the paperwork and organization of the file room may be the most tedious."
"You mentioned terminations and exit interviews in your job posting. I have never let an employee go but am sure that your HR department has strict policies surrounding tasks like that. I will be sure to follow those procedures exactly."
"Being new to my career, it is hard to say which aspects I will dislike. I do suspect that I will be most nervous about being performing client intakes; however, I am confident that your agency will fully train me before putting me into a client-facing situation."
"I would never want to enter into a job thinking that there are things I would dislike. However, as a realist - I understand that there may be situations that I don't particularly enjoy. If I had to choose a particular part of the role that I may dislike it would probably be the customer dispute resolution. I am confident in my abilities with dispute resolution, but I don't particularly love it."
"That is a tough question! I suppose memorizing your sales scripts is going to be the biggest challenge that I will face. Would you agree?"
"When I was a teachers' assistant, my least favorite part of the role was when I needed to act as a disciplinarian to misbehaving students. I know that every child is innately good and likely are having outbursts because of personal issues. I will be as empathetic as possible in situations where a student may need to be removed from the class or sent to the Principal's office, for instance."
You may be carefree and fun-loving with your friends on the weekends, but at work, you are focused and professional. The interviewer is interested in your personality and how you will fit with the team. As you prepare for this question, picture a few scenarios that have occurred in your current or previous position. Maybe you are encouraging and motivating to your coworkers when they are having a bad day. If you have proven yourself reliable and someone that people can depend on, be sure to mention that! Think about some of the qualities you enjoy in a coworker and share how you think you embody some of those qualities. Here is a list of descriptive words for you to lean on: - Ambitious - Capable - Eager - Generous - Intelligent - Keen - Mature - Outgoing - Quick-learner - Self-assured - Willing
"I believe my coworkers would describe me as dedicated, trustworthy and kind. When you call my references, I strongly believe that they will say the same things about me. I am a proud employee and promise to be a great first impression for your company."
"I am mature beyond my years, which is a trait of which my coworkers and current supervisor often comment. I can see all sides of a story, and the wisdom to avoid jumping into a situation without gathering all of the required information first."
"I have made some solid friendships through my time in University, and I believe that my fellow marketing students and friends would describe me as inventive, productive, and inspired. I also take risks in my projects, but I make sure that they are well-researched and calculated risks."
"My best friend laughs at me often, because I am 'old-fashioned polite,' as she calls it. She thinks I came from an entirely different generation. I was raised to refer to my elders as Mr. and Mrs, and to always make eye contact, say thank you, and hold the door for strangers. I would also describe myself as thoughtful, and eager to help. I see all of these qualities as excellent characteristics to have when working in a customer-service oriented job."
"My current coworkers often comment on my level of confidence, and willingness to jump into a learning situation. I believe they would say that I am keen, a quick learner, and confident. I believe these to be excellent qualities for a sales professional to have."
"My friends know that I am outgoing, and always willing to speak to a crowd of people. While earning my degree, most students would dread oral presentations, but I would thrive on those types of assignments. I am also a creative problem-solver and willing to put in the extra effort needed to help someone succeed."
Think about your goals for your new career. Consider where you would like to end up in the next three to five years. This position may be an entry-level role, but it could help you obtain the skills you need to get to where you want to go. Talk about what you are excited to learn in this job. Before your interview, review the job description and make a mental note of the skills you already have and the ones you would like to cultivate!"
" For example: "
"Business administration is an interest of mine, and I wish to work my way into an executive assistant role over time. Your organization has many departments and areas of interest where I could grow my administration career while also utilizing my education in business."
"Your management training program is world-renowned, and I have a couple of friends who have taken your MIT (management in training) route, to end up running branches of their own over time. I am ready and excited to be fully trained and molded into an effective manager."
"I am currently a full-time student, in the process of obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Communications. This part-time junior marketing assistant position will give me the exposure to the marketing industry that I need to start my career off right. I look forward to learning from experts like yourself."
"I have always had a penchant for fashion design, and I know that being around the notable labels that you carry in your store will be excellent exposure for me. I hope to grow from a sales associate into a management role, eventually becoming involved as a buyer for your store."
"Professional sales is a career path that I have had an interest in, ever since my very first sales job in elementary school, pushing Girl Guide cookies! Your sales training program is second-to-none, and I desire to learn more about building client rapport, negotiations, and closing a sale."
"As a recent graduate with my degree in Education, I have some know-how, but now I require the real-life, hands-on experience that successful teachers must have. Your school is well known for taking new teachers and developing them which is why I have such a keen interest in joining your faculty."
If the interviewer asks you any general questions about goals, try to focus your answer on something career-oriented. You can incorporate a personal twist but always bring it back to your career goals. Achieving your goal could teach you a new skill and give you valuable experience. Demonstrate that you are proactive and willing to take action to reach your goals.
"My goal is to become a licensed social worker. I'm excited about this social work assistant job because it will give me more experience in the field while allowing me to earn my professional certification at the same time."
"One of my goals has been to secure employment with a company that offers tuition reimbursement and encourages continued education for their employees. I would like to complete my administration degree through evening and weekend courses while working full time. I am currently saving up for my first semester. I believe that this position will help me to get there and I will be a more skilled employee in the long term, because of it!"
"I have a goal of being a department manager with your organization in 5 years. I am working toward that goal by taking leadership workshops and shadowing the actions of leaders in my industry."
"My most significant career goal is to be a marketing director one day. I know this requires a great deal of education and experience. To help prepare me, I follow many marketing influencers, read their blogs on a regular basis, and read every marketing focused book I can get my hands on."
"One of my goals is to publish a fashion related look-book that I have been sketching. It's a quirky hobby of mine; however, the research involved has also helped with my creativity when planning outfits for my regular customer base. I have been sending in submissions to small publishers and utilizing their feedback to make my future book even better."
"My biggest goal is to win President's Club in my first year of employment at your company, and win that coveted trip to Mexico! I have never been on an all-inclusive vacation, and considering my student loans, likely won't be for a while! This way, I can earn my way into a vacation while benefitting my employer at the same time. I have already started to take some sales based training through Udemy on topics such as cold calling, and closing the sale."
"I am currently writing a children's play that I would love to put on one day when I gain successful full-time employment as an elementary school teacher. I have a solid musical background and have already composed a few songs to go along with the storyline!"
If you have work experience, focus on how your coursework and training has made you successful so far. If you are interviewing for your first position, you can talk about how your education will help you to be successful in meeting specific job requirements outlined in the company's job posting. Assure the interviewer that you have the skills and the training to fulfill these duties, and exceed expectations. Some of the skills we learn throughout our education are helpful for any situation. People skills and team-work will help you to interact with your new coworkers. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will help you to analyze information, notice details and deal with severe problems on the job.
"Formal education is an important step in any young professional's career. I learned a great deal about discipline and other transferable skills. In specific relation to a career in accounting, the case studies I encountered, along with my job training placement, gave me a major boost of confidence in my accounting knowledge."
"While attending my administration coursework I learned a great deal on a variety of important software programs. You can see on my resume that I am proficient in a great variety of programs listed in your job ad. I am proud to have formal training in these vs. being self-taught with potential bad habits being present."
"My B.A in Business Management is the best gift I could have given myself. I had a few friends who did not attend University and jumped into a start-up with little business knowledge. I see them struggle in particular aspects, especially when it comes to networking and understanding stakeholder relationships."
"I have always been strong when it comes to graphic design and creative thinking. What I did learn while obtaining my degree in Marketing and Communication was more about business strategy, buyer patterns, and the psychology behind advertising. That evergreen knowledge is irreplaceable because, as trends change, human nature will remain the same."
"I have not completed a formal degree; however, I have taken multiple certificates related to customer service and sales. I believe the most helpful aspect of this education has been the coursework I took in customer disputes and negotiations. I no longer shy away from upset customers because I have the confidence in myself to handle their issues swiftly and professionally."
"I recently graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in International Business and planned to earn my MBA online, while working full-time. Because I am focused on being a sales professional who travels internationally, I believe my education has significantly elevated my understanding of organizational structure and the presence of various business issues in a variety of cultures."
"My Masters' degree in Education has boosted my confidence a great deal. I always wanted to be a teacher, and a well educated one. This degree will help me to show my students that higher education is essential. I want to be a great example to them."
Think about the aspects of the organization that stood out to you when you noticed the job posting or heard about it from a friend. If you're like most job seekers, you might be applying for five to ten jobs a day! Before your interview, refresh yourself on some of the perks of working for this company. Compliment the organization by talking about something that impressed you, like their values or their involvement in the community. You can find a lot of the information you need online, so do your research and be honest about what you like about the organization.
"Your organization is known for hiring new accounting graduates and molding them into future leaders for your company. The first step in my career is the most important, and I would like nothing more than to be with your company at the start of my career, and for the long-term."
"I chose to apply to your organization because I have a few friends who work for you and they have amazing things to say. Reputation is everything, and your industry reputation is impressive."
"I have many friends who are also recent graduates, taking temporary jobs or 'good-for-now' roles. That does not interest me in the least. Tenure is essential to me, and I need to start my carer off right - with a company that will keep me on for the long term."
"We used a few of your agency's campaigns as successful case studies while I was taking Marketing and Communications at University ABC. I immediately knew that your overall vibe was a company would be a fit for me. The excitement that surged through me when I saw your opening for a junior marketing assistant is indescribable."
"I want to start my career with your store because I believe that exposure to a corporate environment, versus a mom and pop shop, is going to be the key factor that pushes my career in retail forward. You have a strong process in place, including strict customer service training. This level of professionalism and process will benefit me immensely."
"I have conducted a great deal of research on your sales trainee program. I see that you have a mentorship program in place and also that you do regular shadowing between your junior sales reps and the department managers. It is important to me that I develop solid habits at the beginning of my sales career which is why I am very choosy with my applications."
"I chose to apply to your school as my first teaching job because the location is perfect and I have a strong interest in your extra-curricular programs. Your schools' passion for soccer, drama, and the arts is crucial to me. Our interests are very well aligned."
Aside from your current career goals, the interviewer would like to know what you would do if driven by passion only. If nothing mattered: money, career stability, location, education- what would you want to do for a living? This question gives you the opportunity to talk about your other interests and passions. The only way you can answer this incorrectly is by not answering it at all! Sometimes interviewers ask questions like this to get to know you aside from the data on your resume. If you secretly always wanted to be an acrobat but knew it wasn't the best option to run away with the circus, this is a great time to share!
"I do have an off-the-wall dream! I have always wanted to see my photography published in National Geographic, as a world-renowned nature photographer. Now, being an accountant, I do not see this as a dream that aligns with my career choice in any way. With that said, I do spend the weekends hiking and taking photos. You never know - maybe I will retire in 40 years and chase this dream then."
"If I could choose something completely different, without concern for responsibilities, I would have pursued being a dancer. I was heavily involved in ballet from the age of three, up until a couple of years ago. It's a cutthroat industry, and when I needed to work to support my big family, I did choose to give up dance. With that said, I do not regret anything."
"If I had to pivot my career, without concern for anything, I would pursue becoming a motivational speaker. I thoroughly enjoy the coaching aspect, which also relates to a career in management. I love the idea of spending time helping others learn to tap into their talents."
"When I was a kid I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Okay - so I have no idea what that would entail, likely a Ph.D. in Marine Biology but I would dream about swimming with dolphins and teaching them tricks. For now, I will stick with booking a dolphin tour on my next vacation."
"My crazy dream would be to be a major fashion designer like Alexander McQueen! I want people to line up to pay copious amounts of money for my scarves and footwear. How amazing would that be? I have a sketchbook that I doodle ideas in, in my off time. It's a fun hobby for me."
"My biggest dream is to earn a great amount of commission over the next ten years, save a major portion of it, and go to Zimbabwe to fund the building of a new school in a rural area. My father, a construction worker, would spend his summers building homes and schools in the third world, with a charitable organization. I want to work hard to that I can continue his legacy."
"I often think about creating a new curriculum specifically for students with Rett Syndrome and other disorders that affect children verbally. My niece has the disorder, and she benefits greatly from the use of technology and sign language; however, my sister found it impossible to find a public school to support this way of learning. My niece is currently home-schooled by a private teacher trained in these methods. I want her to have the experience of public school one day."
Share a challenge you experienced in one of your classes or training courses. Maybe the class was challenging because the subject was not related to any of your strengths. Math and science courses might be tricky for you, or perhaps the professor was a real challenge. Focus on what you did to overcome the situation, rather than placing your attention on the issue.
"During my clinical rotations, I had a complicated patient. Her condition was stable, but she was very demanding and needed a lot of attention. I had not yet learned how to correctly divide my time between patients, giving each one the attention and care they needed, while drawing a professional line with my time. Unfortunately, the charge nurse seemed to enjoy watching me struggle versus helping me. This situation was eye-opening and toughened me up a bit when it comes to being firm with patients who are unreasonable with their needs."
"While earning my Administration Professionals Certificate, I struggled the most with the module on accounting software. I have never taken any finance courses which meant that learning accounting jargon was the first hurdle for me. I did well in the end; however, that section took the most brain power!"
"I have worked in smaller organizations but did not have a lot of knowledge of large corporations and their structure. I found my organizational development course to be challenging, and mind-opening as well. Lessons and projects surrounding retention approaches such as stress reduction programs, and wellness initiatives were much more in-depth than I expected. I learned a great deal!"
"To be completely honest, I always thought marketing was fun and creative. I pictured a bunch of creative types working in the Facebook office, wearing plaid and laughing over expensive lattes. I was in for a rude awakening in my first semester! Learning the foundations of advertising, social media algorithms, and buyer behavior was a lot more technical than I expected. With that said, I loved it and graduated top of my program."
"The most difficult thing for me was the level of homework and study time required while also balancing my job at Best Buy. I had always worked while going to high school, but College was a different beast to tackle. I had to reduce my hours to make time for my studies."
"The most difficult part of my education was my Statistics course. I am a numbers person when it comes to certain things, but my strength is not in formulas, for example. I overcame this challenge by hiring a tutor. I ended up with an A, but it was the result of a lot of work and studying."
"The biggest challenge I faced while completing my Bachelor's in Education was finding an appropriate placement for my internship. I lived in a small town at the time and had to relocate to a nearby city temporarily due to lack of opportunity in my community. I am thankful that I leaped to move for an opportunity because I met some amazing teachers who are more than willing to give me a reference for my first full-time teaching job."