I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
— Albert Einstein

Sharpen Your Interview Skills with These Thought Provoking Questions

Interviews can be strange, but what if you were so prepared it didn't matter? Your future depends on your interview performance, so you'll need to manage through the strangeness with loads of preparation. At times that won't even help, but most of the time it will give you a baseline to power through those awkward interview moments.

There are two main components of preparing for any interview. The first is to research the company ad nausea. The second strategy is to research yourself in the same manner and with the same diligence. These questions will help you prepare for the second part.

Here goes the thought provoking questions...

1. Describe your ideal job.

This question will gauge your ambition so give it some thought.

2. Tell me about the best boss you've ever had. Why is this person admirable?

If you disparage all your bosses, this is a bad sign. Think about how you like to be managed. What works for you and what doesn't. Describe the style your boss was able to bring to the organization and why it worked for you.

3. If you could have anyone mentor you, who would it be?

Why did you pick them? What exactly do you think they'd help you with? What would they say to you? What would they remind you to do? What would they tell you to stop doing?

4. If your greatest talent was taken from you what would it be? Would anyone really notice?

If your greatest talent is closing big deals, and you weren't able to do that anymore, I would hope it wouldn't go unnoticed. On the other hand, if your greatest talent is getting people to get along and you're not the sales manager, it might not be enough to help you keep your quota producing sales job.

5. How resilient are you?

This is an important question. If you are unable to take feedback, get bogged down by critical clients, or deflate when you lose something you thought was a 'sure thing' you'll need to work on your reliance. You should, however, be able to provide at least one or two examples of times with your resilience paid off. What results did you achieve that you wouldn't have it you decided to give up? What circumstances have built or challenged your abilities to bounce back? What obstacles that were once insurmountable now easy for you to achieve?

6. How have you struggled to embrace change?

It's human nature to resist change until you decide that you must adapt or face the dire consequences. How has change changed you? How has it impacted your career? What are you doing today you weren't doing two years ago? How have you adapted in the last 12 months? How has your attitude played a part in your ability to adapt?

7. What five habits do you have that contribute to your success?

After all, we are our habits, both good and bad. What do you do that helps you be successful? What bad habits have you given up and replaced with more positive habits? How has this impacted your life? Do you have any habits you're working on implementing this year?

Get the Wheels in Motion

These questions are by no means exhaustive but should get you thinking about your achievements, how you work with others, and your strengths. You can use your answers to respond to a variety of questions that surface in the interview process. Keep in mind, it's important to site specific examples in interviews rather than talk about general circumstances.