Career · Inspiration · Underemployment

Job Interview Tip: Think Inside the Box

I was once asked at a job interview to provide a couple examples of my greatest strength, attention to detail. Now let’s be clear, I had prepared some reasonable examples, from stories about proof-reading at a previous job, to my technique for writing a carefully planned and well-focused thesis.

Unfortunately, since I was nervous, my brain kind of panicked. And I was left with nothing more than the thought of my boyfriend commenting on how throughly I packed for a day at the lake.

Hoping for one of these days via ellefeeney

So I blurted out “Well, I think you can see attention to detail in all aspects of my life; from working in a lab setting to packing for a picnic. I’m not the type of person who forgets the serving spoon“.

Oh dear.

Let’s just say I didn’t land that job. For someone who prides myself on my attentiveness to details, I really dropped the ball. And, although my failure to land the job was probably not likely defined by my one strange answer, it was a very poor response since it was unrelated to the position that I was interviewing for. This likely made it difficult for the hiring manager to see how I would fit into their organization.

When it comes too job interviews, thinking inside the box may be a better strategy than coming at the interviewer from left field. The job interview is supposed to provide you with an opportunity to explain how you would fit into a particular role – which means that you should try to focus a little more on the way you can fit into a company. Make sure that your examples match up with something relevant and save the humor for later.

So, keeping this post a little short, before you go into an interview, think about ways that you can best describe your skill-set as it relates to the job you’re interviewing for. And don’t beat yourself up if you have a little stumble (as I did). These slip-ups are great learning opportunities!

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6 thoughts on “Job Interview Tip: Think Inside the Box

  1. Pingback: Moments of Truth

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