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Stand Out Answers to Everyday Interview Questions

By Jessica Bartow, Talent Solutions Specialist, AgCareers.com

 

You made it to the interview – congratulations! Have you ever wondered how to make yourself stand out among other interviewers? We asked some of our employers for their advice on common interview questions. Check out their recommendations below to gain some inside tips from an employer’s perspective.

 

 
Jennifer Struck, Talent Acquisition Programs & Operations Lead, Corteva  

 

Q:  Can you tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it?

  • Many companies today use behavioral based interviewing. This question is an example of a behavioral-based question and when responding, if the candidate can, in brevity, answer this “in-full” that sets a candidate apart from the rest. When answering this question, use the STAR method where you will provide a situation, task, action and result. To start, you would provide the interviewers a glimpse of what the situation was and what tasks you feel need to be taking to overcome the situation. From there, you detail the action you specifically took followed by the end result. Most candidates are good at detailing out the situation, task and action, but forget to relay the results. If, as a candidate, you briefly detail all four of these areas, you will set yourself apart from the rest.

 

Q:  Tell me a little about yourself.

  • Many interviewers will ask a question similar to this one at the very beginning of the interview. This is done on purpose to help the candidate relax and become more comfortable with the situation. This is a great way for the candidate to set the tone of the overall process. The key to answering this question effectively is brevity. Before an interview, take the time to think about what you may want to say. Ensure that the information is work related and your answer does not ramble. Be succinct and thoughtful in your response. A candidate who states they are a hard-working, organized, detail-oriented, team player will stand out more so than one that rambles on about a variety of non-work/position related information.

 

 

 

 

Debra DeFreece, Director, Enterprise Recruitment -Talent Acquisition,   

Wilbur-Ellis

 

 

Q:  Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Interviewers often ask this question to evaluate how your career goals fit into the role today and longer term. The key is always to hire employees that will leave a role better than when the individual came into it regardless of how long that is but it’s always nice to find employees who will remain motivated and enthusiastic for more than a few months. I recommend that you are honest and sincere yet fairly general. Especially if you’re not sure about a five-year goal. Stress your interest in a long-term career. The interviewer wants to know that you want to settle in and grow so they see you as a good investment. Also, show enthusiasm in the job and the company. The interviewer wants to know that it’s an opportunity that is exciting to you and you’ll be as invested in the company as the company is in you!

 

 

Q:  Do you have any questions for me?

  • I typically say there is no right or wrong answer during an interview. My exception is this question. The wrong answer is no. Whether you have interviewed with one person in the organization or eight, always say yes and be prepared to ask a question. It shows that you are interested and engaged. If you don’t ask a question you are missing out on an opportunity to find out more information about the company. You might ask what the greatest challenges are in the role; you might ask what the average day looks like. The best answers to this question come from listening to what the interviewer is asking you and then exploring that further with the interviewer. Such as, “From what you’ve asked I get the sense that inventory control accuracy is a focus right now. Can you tell me what the challenges are in this area?” Be prepared for this question and be thoughtful. I am looking to see how curious you are and if you’ve paid attention during the interview.