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  • Faith Croll

Land the Job: Know How to Easily Improve Your Qualifications

Congratulations, you got an interview! Now what? Wing it? No way! There is still work to do. In this blog series, we will prepare you for commonly asked interview questions.

Tell me about yourself and your qualifications.

Now, this isn’t technically a question, but it is a way for interviewers to get to know you. This ‘question’ is not only about the contents of your answer, but the way you answer.

First, brainstorm any possible qualifications. Think about your professional background, volunteer work, and personal life. Start a list of tasks you performed in each environment. Nothing is too small to make it onto this list. You want to have as much to work with as possible. Once you have everything, consider what skills helped you execute those tasks. Let me get the ball rolling.

Did you stock shelves in retail? When a customer interrupted you, you used task-management skills. Every longwinded story and question you listened to, you executed exemplary customer service. What about construction? To keep yourself safe, you utilized risk-assessment techniques. To get the job done, you had to work well with a team. Have you volunteered at a food bank? When you gave that mother of six an extra can of tuna, you assessed and met needs. Are you a parent? You can multitask. Have you ever applied for government assistance? You are persistent and organized. Are you punctual? Detail oriented? Stubborn? Any of these things can help you answer this ‘question.’

Let’s say you are a mother of two who used to work in retail. Your answer to this question might look like this:

I have experience working at this department store. While I worked there, I was always on time because my child-care depended on my punctuality. There were a variety of people that came to the store, and they each had different needs. It was my job to listen and help them find appropriate solutions. Besides customer service, I restocked shelves, updated prices, and performed general inventory tasks. I always put my tasks to the side when a customer needed me, but, after I helped them, I needed to resume my tasks. During my shift, I did my best to complete as much as possible. Before I left, I would take stock of what I completed so I could inform the next shift of remaining tasks. I also always made sure my aisles were blocked correctly and that there was no misplaced product.

The above response tells the story of her qualifications. It highlights her punctuality, customer-service, multitasking, teamwork, and task-management skills.

You can bolster this response with a personal story to highlight your skillset. Think about a specific interaction with a customer. Find an example of a disagreement in the workplace. Make your answer as personal as possible.

Any qualifications can add to your advantage in an interview. Don't discount unconventional skillsets. They make you a unique candidate for any position.


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