Just Saying…You Have to Be Able to Answer These Two Interview Questions

Yes.  The simple things in life are sometimes not so simple. Interviewing for a great job is not simple.  However, if you can master the things in an interview that you control, you will make a great impression.  That is why these two interview questions are critical to your interview success. 

The assumptions that I am making (except in the case of entry level) is that you are qualified for the job you are applying for and have the desired education level.  In other words, you think you are a good fit for the job and the company has an interest in you.

Question #1: Tell me about yourself?

In over fifty percent of interviews, this will be the first question asked.  If this is the case, you better have a good answer.  Follow these steps:

  1. Begin your sixty second elevator speech with, “First of all, thank you for having me in today to meet you and learn more about the food and beverage management position.”
  2. Next, move into the meat and potatoes of your work life by going over a brief history and statement of who you are and why you are there.  This is not the time to talk about your personal life, hobbies, traffic congestion or anything that is not relevant. This is a time to show you have great career experience that will fit into the culture and design of the job which you are interviewing for in the first place.

EXAMPLE: I have been working in the hospitality industry for the last 9 years and my responsibilities have grown during this time.  I have also increased my level of responsibility while working in the food and beverage management field.  With my current employer, I retooled the entire food and beverage department with a bottom line savings of over $850,000 annually. I actually became interested in your opportunity because many of my strengths seem to be a good match to what you are looking for in your open job.  I have a total of 15 years of experience in hospitality and love the industry.

You have to be genuine and try your hardest to link your previous experience to the position that you are interviewing for so you make a clear connection that you are a good fit for the job.  Also, make sure you back up all career statements that showcase your skills with actual examples. 

Question#2: How will you add value to our company?

The first thing you must know about the company you are interviewing with is how they make money.  Do the research and don’t fail on this point. Secondly, know how the job you are interviewing for “touches” that money.  If you are applying for an operations manager position, know exactly how this job will add profitably to the company.

 You have to bring this out in the interview and you do that with real examples. Give them examples of how your management of all departments saved money as well as increased productivity.  Use specific example of your best practices.  Give the interviewer a clear picture of your ability not only to manage the operations of a company but how their investment in you will pay off.  Your real life examples of your work are your value that you bring to the interview and the reason you will be a strong candidate.

You control these questions.  If answered correctly and with enthusiasm (remember to smile) early in the interview, you can build tremendous rapport with the interviewer.  Once you have that, you can get down to the real deal…finding out if the job is for you!

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