The way NOT to answer this question is very simple. Some people live with “the cloud of doom” over their heads and start going into the negatives. They talk about their limitations. They talk about their failings. That’s an awful way to answer the question because all you’re doing is setting up a warning light of your head that makes the hiring manager think, “Danger. Danger. Don’t hire this person! They could be a walking problem.” Never answer the question like that.
Instead, there are 3 ways that you can answer it that are all positive.
First of all, think in terms of a personal attribute that you have that will make you effective in the role. You can think about your passion, your enthusiasm, your determination, your dedication, your creativity. Things along those lines that employers love to hear about.
Secondly, you can use the story format– Why this job or this type of work means so much to you. For example, you’re applying for jobs as a social worker and talk about how, when you were young, you saw someone who was being harmed by someone or saw real poverty or mistreatment of an elderly person… You get the idea. Silently, you said to yourself, “I do whatever I can to see this never happens again.” That became the impetus for you to go into the field. You know, it’s not so simple as doing good deeds but you’ve learned how to professionally work in this field. I want to focus on this attribute of the agency involved.
Lastly, talk about your career goals and how this job can be a great avenue for you to use that passion and enthusiasm. You have to help yourself and so many others are successful in their lives and careers.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.
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