Approaching Tough Interview Questions from a Balanced Mind

April 29, 2020 at 4:00 AM
2020.04.27 - balanced interviewing.jpg

During the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, millions lost their jobs. Were you one of them? Or were you one of those who had to let some long-standing employees go? Either way, when things settle down and businesses start opening up there are going to be a lot of interviews taking place.

As an employer, you are going to want to ask the right questions to narrow down to the best candidates. Let your potential candidates know you mean business by asking thought provoking questions.

If your seeking employment, you are going to want to know how to answer the questions completely, honestly and holistically from a balanced perspective. Let your potential employer know why you are an outstanding candidate by finessing some tough, but typical, interview questions.

Describing Setbacks or Weaknesses

Employers seek candidates who have proven they can handle setbacks and who know their strengths as well as their weaknesses. While many candidates try to impress an interviewer with strengths, the balanced minded interviewee will naturally and confidently present their known weaknesses as well. Balanced minded candidates know how to sound capable while talking about their weaker areas.

Balanced minded candidates have responses that:

  1. Are well thought through. They steer clear of discussing anything that it could sink their chances of getting a job offer. They choose to discuss a weakness that’s significant, but not a deal breaker. The weakness is one that has been identified and accepted. It’s not viewed as a positive or negative, just for what it is. It’s discussed with confidence and appreciation for all aspects of why it is perceived as a weakness.
  2. Focus on learning. They prove that they’ve learned from their past missteps. For example, maybe you once made an embarrassing typo in a business proposal and are now a meticulous proofreader.
  3. Practice accountability. They take responsibility for their performance. An employer is eager to know that you’ll stand behind your work and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
  4. Refer to tasks that will play a small role in their work responsibilities. For example, an accountant who struggles with public speaking raises less concern than one who has trouble with decimals.

Discussing Your Greatest Achievements and Strengths

Know that listing assets in an interview can be a delicate situation. They know how to present themselves as extraordinary, without sounding arrogant.

Balanced minded candidates have responses that:

  1. Remain relevant. They select qualities to point out that are mission critical. If your new boss is looking for someone to reduce the company’s travel costs, describe how you cut the travel budget in half at your last job.
  2. Tell vivid stories. They create a personal connection by letting their enthusiasm shine through without seeming desperate. They know how to provide details that show exactly how to tackle a project.
  3. Distinguish themselves. They are more desirable for the position they’re seeking if they can offer a unique benefit. Maybe you’re the only candidate who speaks three different languages or possesses all the desired professional certifications.

Negotiating Salary

Money matters can be tricky. A wise strategy will keep you under consideration without reducing your future earnings.

Balanced minded candidates:

  1. Postpone negotiations. They let the interviewer know if their requirements are flexible up front. Salary may be just one factor in decision making. Consider the other benefits that matter.
  2. Research their market. They find out what the going rate is for the opening they’re targeting. Knowledge will strengthen your bargaining position.
  3. Speak in ranges. They politely ask if they can provide their salary range first. If you mention your own figures, consider if you’ll really be happy with the low end but also know your value and what you are worth.

Posing Your Own Questions

Many interviews conclude with an invitation for the candidate to ask their own questions. Posing thoughtful questions will make you more memorable and strengthen your case for being the best fit for the job.

Balanced minded candidates:

  1. Repeat their strengths. They use their questions to summarize and recap their qualifications. For example, asking about the company’s social
  2. Are courteous. They watch for signs that the interviewer is looking to complete the session. Similarly, they are tactful in approaching subjects that could be helpful, but controversial, to talk about. The interviewer may be open to commenting on negative news stories about the company or may want to avoid the topic altogether.
  3. Assess their prospects. While it’s flattering to get any job offer, it’s a better use of everyone’s time to ascertain if this is an advantageous career move. Is this really the best fit? Does it align with your values and authentic self? Balanced minded candidates ask about the organizational culture, training opportunities, and plans for growth.

Balanced minded candidates respond to difficult interview questions with ease by rehearsing their answers in advance. They impress potential new employers with confidence, accomplishments and poise.

Love & Light,
Dawn-Marie

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