A common interview question employers ask during job interviews is, "Why are you interested in this position?" They want to know why you want to work at their company, and the specific motivation behind why you applied for the job (not that you need a paycheck).
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One of the hardest and most important job interview questions is, "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond." Here's the perfect technique to ace the answer every time.
Step 1: Think About A Time You Exceeded Expectations<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY1ODQwMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDA3MTU5MH0.ziXq7OLx12ct47drWgsI9sGmorPf8j-3JT_CIvaC2AM/img.jpg?width=980" id="bb5c2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="02fd603756c59f6dda7129490dbe723e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Professional man thinking about a time he went above and beyond at work" /><p>The first step is for you to sit down and think about a time when you exceeded expectations on the job.</p><p>Imagine the times where you were given a lot of praise or maybe you got a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-get-promoted-at-work" target="_blank">promotion or even a raise</a>. <strong>Think about what made you earn these things and ask yourself how exactly did you go above and beyond in order to get that appreciation and that recognition.</strong></p><p>This is going to help you flesh out the stories that you're going to want to tell in order to validate your experience and your ability to go above and beyond. <br></p>
Step 2: Break The Story Down<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY1ODQwMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODE0MDIzM30.dfmp8BbwCTBa0nyUGNFO2FApVzN0vGwKreUgoRH1l9E/img.jpg?width=980" id="ae119" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1df7db449c7430acb8814cf6bcb2a59d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Job candidate tells the hiring manager about a time he went above and beyond at work" /><p>Now, step two is for you to break down that story into what we call the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model for answering this <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-answer-behavioral-interview-questions" target="_blank">behavioral question</a>.</p><p>You want to think about the experience very objectively, very factually. Explain to the hiring manager everything that happened leading up to you earning that praise or that promotion or that raise.</p><p><strong>Then, you want to talk about what you learned.</strong> As a good employee, you always want to be thinking about those experiences and what they taught you.</p><p>Lastly and most importantly, you're going to talk about how you grew as a professional—how you're going to take what you've learned and apply it going forward. This is going to demonstrate how employers like them could benefit from this added expertise that you've developed.</p>
Step 3: Practice Your Delivery<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY1ODQwMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzAzMzE0NX0.N0-Kv6E9FuMzmi373FO4oy1Ga7vUnjzJSHglslNZgyA/img.jpg?width=980" id="8ccc6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b8259d4e0278faa11bff579f612b4478" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Professional woman practices her answer to the interview question, "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond?"" /><p>The third and final step is for you to practice your delivery. You do not want to walk in and wing it. It's super important that in addition to writing out your answers, you play them back to yourself.</p><p>What do I mean by that? Well, I suggest grabbing a mirror and talking out the answers, looking at yourself straight in the eye with a smile, or asking friends or family members to do a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/mock-interview-benefits" target="_blank">mock interview</a> with you. Even recording yourself and playing it back on a video will do the trick. <br></p>
Interviews are a crucial opportunity to build your credibility to your prospective employer in minutes. It's so important that you leave your interview with a good impression, because this will set you apart from other applicants early on. The purpose of the interview is simple:
1. Tell Me About Yourself.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUwNTMxMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODA1NzQ5MH0.PWnDH1fp7mXVjqy6Jmi9Jo2zCU_tVZPsXwixQ9tmUPw/img.jpg?width=980" id="2c987" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b0c807a4eb0c76006b69ae5f5424fde9" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Job candidate answers the question, "Tell me about yourself," during an interview for a marketing position" /><p>Not your kids, your personal life, or hobbies. <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-answer-tell-me-about-yourself" target="_blank">"Tell me about yourself,"</a> is an opportunity for you to briefly state why you're relevant to this job posting, which includes:</p><ol><li>Your educational background.</li><li>Your previous work highlights specific to the role you are applying for.</li></ol>
2. What Skills Are You Looking To Develop In Your Next Job? And Why?<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUwNTMyMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NzczNjIzNn0.xghITVnmYPuVvN7H9XpQkUrXUXfCrEz2cbUkbIWBEjU/img.jpg?width=980" id="279ae" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="be8a64f54fdfc34bdfaa003a98e046ff" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Qualified candidate talks about her skills during a marketing job interview" /><p>Hone in on the marketing skills that would help you become successful in the role that you're applying for. For example, if graphic design is not required in the role, pick another <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/skills-to-include-on-resume" target="_blank">applicable skill</a> instead.</p><p><strong>Essentially, the interviewer wants to understand your work ethic and how you will continue to grow professionally.</strong></p>
3. What Is One Of Your Professional Weaknesses?<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUwNTMxNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTI3MzIxOH0.tobBCgaicDRRC4YyO0q607VtoZY1A3MFkEYlqEUv8LM/img.jpg?width=980" id="15ca7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="59ae1c81704a447475987d4ae9d018b3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Professional woman interviews for a marketing position" /><p>This question is always tricky to answer because when you're interviewing, you're typically more focused on highlighting the good things about yourself. But, here's why <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/smart-tips-answering-interview-questions" target="_blank">answering this question</a> correctly can work in your favor:</p><ul><li>You'll show your humility and honesty, both personal character traits that employers value!</li><li>It's a chance for you to present a problem you faced that threatened your work projects and how you overcame this with a solution. Tell them a method you're using to improve this weakness and how you've grown from it.</li></ul><p><strong>Example:</strong> "I was asked to present a marketing proposal to a group of 50 people and struggled with public speaking. I could not balance between reading my PowerPoint slides and making effective eye contact with the audience. I learned that I needed to improve my public speaking skills to effectively engage potential new clients, so I took a public speaking class and now feel more comfortable presenting to large groups of people."<br></p>
4. What Specific Experiences Have You Had That Would Make You A Good Fit?<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUwNTMzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzIxNzk3NH0.YIajF7fM5ic38aHWPyWUbSW6lin1oS2Fd5RD7TIJ8Bs/img.jpg?width=980" id="5d721" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c1616a27f86346b9eee72e1797f1a56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Professional man aces his interview for a marketing job" /><p>It's all about value here. How have you and how will you continue to <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/building-connections-on-linkedin" target="_blank">add value as a business-of-one</a> to whoever you partner with? In other words, when someone hires you, how do you profit their mission or service? Be sure to use a quantitative experience here.</p><p><strong>Example:</strong> "I worked directly with leadership, clients, and sales to execute our yearly marketing event with a strict budget. I reduced and controlled expenses by partnering with local vendors to lower costs of events by 25%. Now, I can manage large-scale events and reduce company's expenses."<br></p>
5. How Would You Tackle Specific Problems At This Company?<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUwNTMxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjgxNjc0OH0.uyVyMMQC5kUohNL587RD8iZCurMLa5ox9Fo574I0WVE/img.jpg?width=980" id="0e5a2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="222fc1e9344c0ff3a0f08faa46d443e6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Job candidate discusses her qualifications for a marketing position" /><p>Employers are fully aware that problems will arise in any workplace environment whether it's with budgets, clients, or project management. What they're more concerned about is whether or not you possess a solution-based mindset.</p><p>So, do you constantly come to your employer with complaints and problems OR do you <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/top-soft-skills-for-employees" target="_blank">present a problem with mitigation</a>? </p>
Today I want to talk about four words that, when strung together, they form a question—one of the most stressful questions we answer as professionals.
So, what are those four words? They are…
"What Do You Do?"<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwNTk3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MDUwMDk4MH0.0xaSJ55UlYtniT3f-SSTHucbX36pPfiC75o5M6Afcj4/img.jpg?width=980" id="ab850" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ab8288de513e0e92e6aca4efe49099ca" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Proud woman thinking about her career story" /><p>If you think about it, all of us feel a bit startled when someone asks us this question. It's because we know that we're being judged on our answer.</p><p>The response we give is going to be evaluated up in their head. They're going to think about what we're saying, and based on what they know or don't know about us, and about whatever it is we say that we do, they're going to form an opinion. So, answering this question in a way that we feel is impressive becomes a big priority.</p>
We Feel A Need To Impress Our Peers<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwMzA4My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzM0MDE2M30.v6o39pWlyAPinM19MKu85KHLA4svy_dA4Jph1A70-cA/img.jpg?width=980" id="6aeeb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b0267d09e540e975deb3f8bd17cee19e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Friends discussing their career paths" /><p>This is exactly why so many people are struggling to have the career growth that they want. We get so wrapped up in this professional identity, this need to answer this question, "What do you do?" in a way that impresses others. We subconsciously make choices to reinforce that without first stepping back and asking ourselves:</p><ul><li>"Is this right for me?"</li><li><span></span>"Is this what I need right now?"</li><li>"Is this going to serve my career"</li><li>"Is this going to impress me?"</li></ul><p>I know this from firsthand experience. I graduated from college in a recession and I was told to go out there and just get a good job. And I fell prey to the first job that came along. I could say to everybody, "I have a job," right? And over the course of a decade I built my career, constantly strived to get promotions and get a better job. Something that would really impress other people.</p>
My Breaking Point<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwNTg4My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDY1MzEyN30.vuE6Ia1Mzr6HXOnXB9RshZiHPQbfPeG_QFgkGjF61mc/img.jpg?width=980" id="9abd7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="70535de1d038adfe6043a402edf108f9" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman stressed about her job" /><p>I was always being told, "Just keep doing it J.T. because you know, once you get up there and you make it, you'll be happy." So at 33 years old, I had a very high, six-figure income. I was running a huge department of a company. I was a woman, breaking the glass ceiling. I had a company car. I had all sorts of perks and benefits.</p><p><strong>But you know what?</strong></p><p>I also had a new husband that I never saw. I had a house that I was never in. I was completely out of touch with my friends and my family. I still remember the time there was a note on my desk that I found that said, "Call your mom, it's urgent." <strong>It was dated a week old from my assistant.</strong></p>
How I Stopped Trying To Impress Other People With My Career<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwMzA3Mi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTUyNzMyOH0.C0-7mA9b1QMWXFq6m_hjEiMlw_6-ieRzDYtrG07A-Qc/img.png?width=980" id="c1bcf" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4813f4e0507fe0bb441f094f05ce4190" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="career quote from JT O'Donnell" /><p>I was completely out of touch, but still on this treadmill of, "<em>But everyone's really impressed with me."</em> And so when I left corporate America and decided to become a career coach, I said, "I'm going to figure this out."</p><p>I didn't want to spend the next <strong>20, 30, 40, 50</strong> <strong>years of my life</strong> trying to impress other people and be miserable. And that was the catapult for me. To become a career coach. That, and the fact that I realized nobody was teaching this stuff in school.</p><p>Nobody was talking about how to define career satisfaction and build a career that played to my strengths, my values, and my needs so that I could feel happy and fulfilled. You're just left to figure that out. And we shouldn't have to be. We should be taught these things, but we weren't. </p><p>That's what actually drove me to do this. And that's why I'm here today, many years later.</p>
Are YOU Trying Too Hard To Impress Others?<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwMzA2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMTg5ODk2M30.kpgIlvpLsoflxpifSkb9Ktk32O-zVLG1Wqf0LdVJ2Rg/img.jpg?width=980" id="e0a6d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3b29ae4d3eb896cee76e3594b97259e8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman thinking about her career story" /><p>So, my challenge for you is to ask yourself, when you answer that question, "What do you do?" what's your response? I want you to think about that answer.</p><p>And, I also want you to ask yourself, "How good do I feel when I give that answer?" Do you love to tell people what you do? Or do you dread being asked that question? Chances are, you'll be surprised by your answer.</p>
I want to challenge you to learn the right way to answer the question, "What do you do?" Most people answer with their job title. "I'm an accountant," or "I'm a digital marketer," etc. The problem with that is that's not what they asked you.