Our previous content piece explored the IMPORTANCE of understanding the interviewer’s concerns during the interview process. In other words, we explored WHAT THE INTERVIEWER wants to hear when you answer their questions. Therefore, we recommend you read the following post before continuing here – Job Interview Tips – Understanding the Interviewer (What They Want to Hear).

Now you are ready to start formulating your answers effectively. Having a clear-cut formula on how to construct your answers will ALLOW you to approach your interview with strength and confidence. Why is this important?

First, every answer you give to the interviewer will tell them something about you. Even remaining silent to an interviewer’s question will give them a clue into your personality, knowledge, and skillset. Secondly, not all interview questions require the same preparation as others.  By formulating your answers beforehand, you can answer those questions that MAY REQUIRE you to showcase job-specific knowledge and skills more effectively. Third, some responses WILL be more effective than others which we believe will depend on the situation, timing, and personality of the interviewer— so it’s ESSENTIAL you determine the best strategy to use for the question BEFOREHAND. With that said,

Each question requires a different approach and preparation. FORMULATING a list of answers before your interview effectively increases your chances of a successful interview. Not all questions require in-depth answers, but you DO NOT want your answers to be too brief either. So, we have listed below some of the BEST tips to formulate your answers MORE effectively.

Provide MOST RELEVANT Information

It is good to keep in mind that you have a short time window to sell yourself to the interviewer. Why? This way, you will try NOT to flood your answers with irrelevant information. For example, suppose you are asked the following question – “Tell me about yourself.” In that case, we recommend talking about your PROFESSIONAL life and not about the city and/or your hobbies. Interviewers WILL typically ask you directly about your interests outside of work, at which point it’s ok to talk about your hobbies, etc. So, we recommend if you are asked to “Talk About Yourself, mention your previous work assignments and how each one prepared you for the job at hand (the one you are being interviewed for). If you are asked – “What is Your Greatest Accomplishment at Your Previous Job Role”, mention a project/assignment you SUCCESSFULLY completed and how it prepared you for “or” provided additional skills that will help you do this job more effectively. So,

Keep Every Answer Relevant!


Use the job listing provided to help you formulate your answers. Each job description will require desired skills for the job. Therefore, we recommend using them in your answer. Here are two examples –


Use the following required skills highlighted above (red arrows) in your answers. These are job requirements, so utilize them when formulating your answers.

Use the following required skills highlighted above (red arrows) in your answers. These are job requirements, so utilize them when formulating your answers.

Be CONCISE In Your Answers

By concise, we mean – giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive

The key is NOT to lose the interest of the interviewer. Keep in mind that the longer you talk, the interviewer MAY lose sight of your actual answer because you provided way too much irrelevant information. So, if asked the following question – “What are your 2 KEY strengths.” First, keep the answer relevant to the job you are applying for and be CONCISE. We recommend jumping right into the answer –

1) Ability to dissect a problem into smaller units to find a solution more effectively (talk about why this is important, i.e., saves time, prioritizes the most important to most minor tasks to effectively delegate duties when required)

2) Working in a team environment (increases speed at which tasks are completed and shows you are easy to work with )

Your answer to this question should not be more than 1-2 minutes. If something catches the interviewer’s attention in your answer, they WILL ask you to explain or elaborate a bit further.

Use the job description to formulate an answer based on your GREATEST STRENGTH. Here’s a job posting for an EXECUTIVE Assistant. The following requirement was HIGHLIGHTED

“Using a quick approach to managing tasks effectively, with the ability to align fully with the team’s speed, schedule, and pace.”

Answer –

“One of my greatest strengths is my ability to work under pressure. In the past, it allowed me to MEET client deadlines even on short notices. Since one of the requirements of this job is to manage the calendars/appointments of multiple executives, I believe this skill will be an ASSET because it will ensure no IMPORTANT appointments with clients are missed, furthermore leading to continued business growth in the long run”.

Always State Hard FACTS

During your prep work and before your interview, it’s always a good idea to list out your most significant accomplishments with some cold HARD FACTS. It’s common for the interviewer to ask about your MOST VALUABLE skills or characteristics. We recommend not answering by simply stating that you are – competent, motivated, reliable, an excellent problem-solver, etc. Interviewers have heard all of this before while interviewing other candidates for this job, so we suggest providing concrete evidence that backs up these statements. For example,

“I’m passionate about sales and negotiating the BEST prices for my customers. Last year, I signed two major contracts with clients generating $100,000 worth of revenue for our company”.

The example above has a concreate achievement and illustrates to the interviewer other skills like competence, reliability, etc. With that said, when formulating/preparing answers for your upcoming interview, we recommend always adding CONCRETE FACTS to help illustrate and qualify how you CAN be an asset if hired.

Always Be HONEST

Never LIE during your interview because it’s easy to RUN a background check and find out the truth about your professional career. The MOST common lies told during an interview process involve – your education, skills, and experience. Keep in mind that all of these CAN easily be checked through references. If you are hired on a lie, it will come and bite you later when you CANNOT perform the job at hand effectively. It’s also important to note that many interviewers SAY the information that a candidate has LIED about isn’t an ESSENTIAL factor in their decision to hire them (CANDIDATE). With that said, here are some tips to help you deal with difficult questions:

If the question is about your experience, then-

BE honest about your experience or LACK of experience; however, mention your ability to LEARN quickly and your motivation to do what it takes to adapt to the SKILL required.

If asked about your previous BOSS –

Please don’t be too negative, and never bad-mouth anyone because it shows your OVERALL character. Work environments DON’T appreciate a culture where people talk negatively about other colleagues. Instead, answer by briefly acknowledging that you did not always see eye-to-eye and then state what you learned from the experience.

Ask GREAT Questions

Have a list of GREAT questions ready for the interviewer! Towards the end of the interview, you WILL have your chance to ask questions regarding the company and job. We recommend doing some research beforehand, so you have 2-3 SOLID questions ready when the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask away. Many interviewers have mentioned that the questions asked by CANDIDATES WILL influence their decision in hiring them or NOT. Why? It’s because candidates that take the time to come up with good, penetrating questions demonstrate their interest in the job. However, it’s IMPORTANT not to ask questions on issues that the interviewer has already covered because this MAY show a lack of attention on your part. It’s equally important not to ask questions regarding the benefits or salary because you haven’t been offered the job yet. Also, information on benefits is usually covered in the job listing/posting. With that said, here are two (2) POPULAR questions you CAN ask the interviewer if you don’t have any you CAN think of –

1) Ask the interviewer about future progression throughout the company. For example, will the current job provide you with the experience/skills to progress into other relevant positions within the company?

The above question illustrates your interest in remaining within the company long-term. This question also shows that you are motivated and looking to progress in your career/life.

2) Ask the interviewer about the team structure and who you will be working with or reporting to. For example, in this position, will I be working with other people a majority of the time to complete projects, etc.? How often do I report to senior management?

Final Thoughts

Before any interview, it’s IMPORTANT to formulate the BEST possible answers to provide to the interviewer. By preparing beforehand, you will not be caught off guard when asked specific questions about your experience and skills. Also, preparation will ensure that you provide the CORRECT MOST RELEVANT information during the interview process, which adds value to you as a candidate.

With that said, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below. Also, if you have any strategies that you have utilized in the PAST to help you formulate answers before your interview date, leave them in the comment box below. Good Luck!

Additional Resources

Job Interview Tips – Understanding the Interviewer (What They Want to Hear)
30 Common Nursing Interview Questions And Answers
Optimize Your Linkedin Profile (Tip #1) – Profile Picture Do’s And Don’ts
12 Common Truck Driver Interview Questions And Answers
Nurse Resume Guide – Writing A Nursing Resume That Gets Noticed
Secrets Of Success To Help You Excel In Your Career #1 – Set Your Goals And Objectives




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