Interview Tip #12

Tips for Answering Open-Ended Interview Questions

Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

Most job interviews will contain at least a few open-ended interview questions. Basically, open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

An employer might ask an open-ended question for a variety of reasons.

Generally, they will ask an open-ended question to get a sense of your personality and to see if you will fit into the company culture.

They might also ask this kind of question to see if you have the qualities and experience needed for the job.

Open-ended questions can feel intimidating because there are so many different ways you can answer them. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers.

However, a strong answer will focus on why you are an ideal candidate for the specific job they’re trying to fill. The answer will be in-depth, and it might include an example from past work experience.

Here are a few general tips for dealing with open-ended questions:

👏👏👏 Focus on the job description. No matter what your answer, be sure it focuses on the skills, requirements, and/or experiences related to the job. For example, if an employer asks you to talk about a time you achieved success at work, try to provide an example that relates to the kind of work you would be doing at this job.

👏👏👏 Provide an example. When appropriate, provide an example from your past work experience in your answer. For example, in a situational interview question about how you would handle a future problem, you can give your answer by explaining a time you solved a work problem in the past.

👏👏👏 Use the STAR technique. When answering a question by using an example, try using the STAR interview technique. This involves describing an example of a past work experience in detail. Explain the situation, the task or problem you dealt with, the action you took to solve it, and the results.

👏👏👏 Go in-depth, but keep it concise. You want to provide in-depth responses to open-ended questions. However, be sure you don’t just talk and talk for too long. Stay focused on clearly answering the question. Keep your answer to-the-point and concise.

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Brian Fink

Executive Recruiter. ✈ #ATL ↔ #SF ✈ Building companies is my favorite. Opinions are my own. Responsibility is freedom. 🖖