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How to Respond in an Interview

By:  Kevin Manalo


A lot of people have gone through this dilemma, and some have gone through it over and over again in search of the perfect job. Many times, people have failed job interviews without having a deeper understanding as to the reason why they failed. Let’s take not of some of the common reasons why:

1.        - You’re too nervous and you can’t control your nerves. Most cases you lost control of what you have to say during the interview

2.       - You have a lot of thoughts running in your head that you end up either saying everything and be all over the place; or you can't articulate and say why you're the perfect fit for the job.

3.       - You're unprepared so you can't give the right answers to tough behavioral questions.

There could be more reasons than this. But basically, you end up being rejected and start looking for another job opening hoping that you won’t make the same mistakes. Let’s face it, you don’t want to be stuck in that rut forever.

Here are some suggested steps in preparing for a job interview so that you would know how to respond to one:



1.       Ask a friend – Seek a friend’s assistance to help you by having them interview you. Have a friend ask you random questions (ie: “what’s your favorite band?”, “What do you do during weekends?”, “Which one went first, the chicken or the egg?”, etc) to help you exercise your train of thought. After that, have your friend ask you common interview questions so you can prepare and practice your responses when these questions are asked.



2.       Be Authentic – When you research for common interview questions, there are common interview responses found online. I do not recommend you using these responses online as these are “generalized” or “scripted’ statements. I suggest that you use responses based on your actual experience. These responses show your authenticity and make the interviewer be impressed with your honesty



       Strength + Weakness + Correction – People always have a problem responding to this question “what is your greatest weakness?”. As a norm, what we think is that by simply stating our weakness, the interviewer will be impressed with the response. That’s wrong. By following this formula “Strength + Weakness + Correction”, it would give the interviewer the opportunity to identify your strength, your weakness and what you did to overcome that weakness. Here’s an example: “(Strength) I always take the initiative in taking on a new project that we would always meet our productivity metric. (Weakness) However, because of the number of tasks I take on I tend to overlook deadlines and communications from peers. (Correction) To overcome this, I created a system where in I get to see what current projects I have and identify if I can take on an additional task. This helps me organize my tasks and meet deadlines accordingly.”



4.       Understand that “You are not the perfect candidate” - Assess yourself and identify what your strengths and weaknesses are. List down steps on what you are actually doing to overcome the weaknesses. Once you've identified these, you can use these answers so that your responses are natural and authentic to you.



5.       Research – Do your research on the position and the company that you’re applying for.  Make sure that you know the nature of the industry, a brief background of the company, the duties, responsibilities and the tasks for the position and how you can contribute to the company using your past experience.


There are a lot of suggestions online that can help you respond to a job interview. The proposed steps above are just few of many. The end-all of all this is for you to prepare before your interview so that you will know what to say, when to say it, and how to say what you have to say. Good luck with your Job Hunt and may you live long and prosper.