January 16, 2009, Newsletter Issue #17: Practice Answering Questions

Tip of the Week

Whether you are a copywriter fresh out of college or an experienced graphic designer, you are going to need to answer questions at a job interview. Knowing what some of these questions are, and practicing your answers is a great way to prepare yourself. It can also help cut down on any anxiety the day of your appointment with the interviewer.

So what are these questions? Here are some of the most common, along with a quick suggestion for how you might respond:

"Tell me about yourself." This dreaded inquiry can strike fear into the heart of someone who is not prepared. Don't tell the interviewer about where you grew up and what your hobbies are. Do keep this short--highlight your relevant work experience and why you are looking to work somewhere like their company. "What are your strengths?" Again, don't go on too long, but do highlight some strengths you have that would be a particularly good fit for the company and position you are applying for. "What are your weaknesses?" Another tough question. If you can, try to select a "weakness" that can double as a strength. For example, you can point out how you may strive too hard to get things right, or that you tend to work long hours on projects to make sure they turn out well. Hypothetical situation questions. These questions ask you to respond to a hypothetical situation that you might find yourself in at work. Since there are a variety of ways you can answer, pause for a moment and think about how to phrase it in the best light before answering. Off the cuff replies may come across poorly.One great way to answer these questions smoothly is to practice your reply. You can either try answering them out loud by yourself or work on them with someone else, depending on your preference.

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