STUDENT BLOG: Answering Three of the Toughest Interview Questions

There is no better feeling as an undergraduate than walking out of an interview and saying to yourself, “Wow, I crushed that!” It is something that at Isenberg we can strive for and most certainly achieve with a few tips and tricks.

However, there are definitely some common interview questions that we hear about but aren’t quite sure how to answer; one of these questions has come up in almost every interview I’ve had so far. Once when I was interviewing for a summer internship they asked, “Why should we hire you?” and I froze. It was a great question – why should they? I fumbled the question miserably and did not get the internship. But it was an incredible learning experience, and that’s okay – not every interview will go exactly the way you hoped.

If there was one piece of advice I’d offer about interviewing, it’s be confident! I know it’s easier said than done, but remind yourself that you are at that interview for a reason. The recruiter saw something in you that they did not see in other candidates and there is a lot to be said for that, so own it! However, I understand how nerve-racking interviews can be, so here are three common interview questions and some advice on how to best answer them.

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF.

This is a question simply for the interviewer to get to know more about you. Your response will help bring your resume to life in a way that the recruiter would not understand simply by looking at the document. You are encouraged to use your elevator pitch to answer this question! That is about a 45-second summary of who you are, your career goals and interests, and your relevant skills/experiences. Click here for guidance on developing a strong elevator pitch.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS?

There is one piece of advice for this question that I’ve kept with me through every interview: name a weakness that can also be interpreted as a strength. A potential answer to this question could be “I tend to never say no to colleagues when they ask me for help.” This gives insight to the recruiter that you are a giving and generous person, while still giving you something to work on! This article from Indeed will provide you with several other possible examples. Another piece of advice is to be sure the weakness you put forward is not one of the critical skills required for the job/internship; double check the job description requirements to avoid saying the wrong thing.

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?

This is a question that asks you to distinguish yourself from the other applicants. What qualities do you possess that set you apart from other candidates? This is where you can really make an impression on the interviewer and stand out from the crowd. It is designed to get to know more about what makes you special and the specific skills you possess that can help the company.  I have had this question before in an interview. My response (which the recruiter complimented me on) was “My personality and ability to speak with people.” This is a trait that I wear with pride, and everyone has a characteristic that makes them a great candidate! Access this article by Big Interview for guidance on how to craft the perfect response for you.

Gabriel Slamowitz is a Chase Career Peer – click HERE to access his bio.

By Gabriel Slamowitz
Gabriel Slamowitz Chase Career Peer Gabriel Slamowitz