The most common interview question that I got was, “Tell me about yourself.” Every interviewer asks this question, and it’s the first question that you generally get and the most important question in my opinion because if you cannot grab the interviewer’s attention with your response to this question, there is a high possibility that you will not get a job offer.
You should answer this question not only in a concise manner but also in a way that will impress the interviewer and show your personal brand so he or she would like to learn more about you. You should list your previous work experience and your education, but by highlighting your success stories along the way. For example, I would answer this question like this: I graduated with my bachelor of science degree with honors from the dual-diploma program of SUNY Binghamton and Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. I fulfilled both schools’ requirements in four years in order to get a bachelor of science degree from each school. After graduating, I started working at KPMG LLP’s New York City office. While working at KPMG LLP, one of my coworkers decided to leave the company and I took over her responsibilities in addition to my responsibilities to meet project deadlines. After working in this position for a year, I decided to go for my MBA at Bentley University with a scholarship. After graduating from Bentley University’s MBA program with distinction, I started working…
As you can see from the underlined text, I am not only listing my education and work experience, but I am also highlighting my success stories to impress the interviewer. You don’t need to finish school with a cum laude degree, but I am sure everyone has at least one educational or professional success story that he or she is proud of and would like to share with other people. The key is finding that success story and sharing it with employers.
The second most frequently asked question by employers is, “What values are you going to bring to us?.” I noticed that most people answer this question by stating what they want to do in their careers and how they would like to proceed and what they want to learn, but no one answers the real question of what they are actually bringing to the company. Don’t make this mistake.
In order to answer this question, you should thoroughly know the company you are interviewing with in addition to the job role you are interviewing for. You should match your education, your skills, and your previous work experience with the job description and mention that you already have some experience in that field so you can learn and help them faster. Also, you should match your personal brand and skills with the company’s culture and show that you will fit into the culture well.
These are the two most popular questions asked during the interviews. For other questions, you can search the Internet and try to find out what the most common interview questions are. You can use any search engine or you can go to the career websites of companies and they usually have questions that they ask their candidates.
Ceren Cubukcu is a top 5 bestselling author of Make Your American Dream A Reality: How to Find a Job as an International Student in the United States. She recently founded her consulting business to help more international students find jobs in the US in addition to her self-service digital event ticketing platform, Etkinlik Fabrikam (My Event Factory), to be able to offer her webinars in her home country. You can follow her via Facebook or contact her via www.cerencubukcu.com/contact.