Interview Questions and Answers: Being competitive with your interview questions and answers

Interview questions are all about competition. Every interview question equates to a scoring opportunity. This is direct competition. Your interview questions are your turn to score.

This is where your interview performance matters, because you have to work on your best shots and hope they're better than anyone else's. Each interview answer can be made to work for you.

The employment market always emphasizes 'performance' in its advice, but the way that advice is given, you'd think interviewees were supposed to be cheerleaders, not answering difficult interview questions.

You're going for a job, not an Oscar. Your interview answers have to impress professionals. Your presentation of your information, and how you construct your interview answers does matter, but interviewers are looking for proven abilities. Interview questions are based on job criteria. Interview answers have to meet those criteria.

Competitive interview answers are by definition:

  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • Intelligently presented
  • Well structured
  • Clearly relevant to the position
  • Answers which show obvious higher employment values than other candidates

Choosing jobs where you can be competitive

Be realistic about your interview performances, and which jobs you apply for, because the competitive element is what gets you your job. When you can use interview questions as ammunition, rather than having them use you as target practice, you know you've applied for the right job.

This isn't easy. It's made much more difficult by going for jobs where you're stretching yourself answering interview questions. To give competitive interview answers, you need to be either well prepared, or going for a job where you're highly skilled, and can give a competitive performance.

Giving competitive interview answers

If you're an experienced person, you can always give good, interesting examples of your work, and that will mean your interview answers score well. Don't be shy about your talents, because the interviewers only get one shot at seeing what you can do. Your interview answers can be pure gold, if you let yourself be yourself.

Interview answers are definitely hit or miss for many people, and that's exactly what you have to avoid. Pick and your interview answers, and choose quality. Give an interview answer exactly the way you think you should, professionally. If you know you're right, you'll be much happier with your interview answers.

Preparation for competitive interview answers

There's only one way to prepare for any interview, and it's to work on your knowledge base. Stick to the basics. Use facts and good, straightforward examples in giving each interview answer.

  • Always speak naturally and clearly
  • Only use expressions you understand fully
  • Say exactly what you mean
  • Avoid jargon, unless you're sure it will be understood
  • Speak at your own level of competence, showing intelligence and professionalism

To a very large extent, this also means 'Be yourself,' when dealing with interview questions. Set your own standards of performance. You'll soon learn what works, and why.