Too Bad We Can't Say What's Reallly on Our Minds

Nancy Anderson
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Honesty is important during a job interview, but you still have to put a professional spin on your answers. When you attend many interviews in a short span of time, the whirlwind of activity can seem overwhelming. Don't fall into the trap blurting out something you really want to say versus something the employer wants to hear. Here are some tips for responding to the following inquiries during a job interview.

1. Tell Us About Yourself

Freelance writer Lisa Marshall expounds on common job interview questions and what she truly feels like saying in response to some of them. Marshall hates the statement, "Tell us about yourself." She feels as if it's a horrible icebreaker.

The standard response is to mention qualifications and past experiences and then to describe how those facets indicate you're a perfect fit for the company. What would happen if you take a different approach? Why not talk about your pets, the foods you love or the extreme social anxiety you develop during a job interview? Your honesty would make you stand out, for sure. However, it's best to stick with standard responses that describe skills and talents relevant to the position.

2. What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses/Strengths?

When answering this question, it's best to leverage your weaknesses into a strength. For example, if you are ultra-organized and too detailed, you might miss deadlines on projects. During the job interview, explain how you plan to alleviate this by employing digital tools that manage your time. Show that you are eager to improve on your weaknesses.

Try not to talk about your soft spot for saving animals, inability to figure out the Uber app or aversion to public speaking. Remember, your strengths and weaknesses should have something to do with a job-related soft skill.

3. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

It's a bad idea to talk about compensation or benefits before receiving a job offer. Instead, share a personal story about why you're drawn to the company. Perhaps you liked the employer since you were a child or have a drive to succeed due to an incident in your college days. This question offers a chance to share your feelings about the organization and position.

4. What's Your Idea of a Perfect Boss?

When answering this job interview question, discuss your desire for a manager who inspires you to think independently and reach your fullest potential. Talk about your appreciation for a manager who gives you enough instruction to take care of daily tasks. You might be tempted to say, "Someone who lets me work when I want, take a long lunch and charge my meals to a company credit card." If that's true, you might want to consider being your own boss.

You want to say a lot of things during a job interview. While honesty is great, too much honesty might overwhelm your interviewers or even take you out of the running for a position.

Photo courtesy of Franky242 at


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