Strategies for Effective Answers

Some skills are easier than others for an interviewer to gauge.  For instance, your facility with certain technology or familiarity with research methods. But “soft skills” like leadership and teamwork are more difficult to assess.

The interviewer is basically looking look for two elements: your level of self-awareness (ie, someone who can forge a connection between his actions and a successful result) and your instinct (your innate ability towards dedication, team work, empathy, etc.).

What to Focus on When You Respond

The key to responding is to focus on your abilities as they relate to the qualifications required for the job. Here are some typical strengths and abilities that employers look for:

  • Communication – relating to a wide range of people with different backgrounds, skills and experience
  • Working with a team – contributing to the overall effort of a team and being able to acknowledge others’ ideas and contributions
  • Positive attitude – demonstrating that you’re dedicated, honest, and willing to work hard
  • Problem solving – brainstorming and identifying solutions rather than just pointing out problems with a focus on achieving goals
  • Enthusiasm – everyone likes someone who’s excited to come to work
  • Quick to learn – the ability to take on and synthesize new tasks and prioritize work
  • Flexibility – the ability to take on a range of tasks, chip in where needed, and focus on a common goal