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Interview Prep Tips

How to answer “why do you want to work here?”

How to answer “why do you want to work here?”

If you are a cynic like me, hearing this question during an interview can be exasperating. But the truth is that you are more likely than not to be asked that question – and you better nail the answer.

A strong answer to the “why do you want to work here” question will set you apart from all other applicants.

This article will explain everything you need to know about this question and we’ll go over some of the best example answers out there so you can understand how to make your answer shine.

After you are done reading this article, make sure to practice answering this question for free at Voomer – where you’ll get AI-powered feedback on your answer so you can land that dream job!  

 

Why do interviewers ask this question?

While you might be desperate just to get an offer, employers have lots of job applicants to choose from.

So it makes perfect sense for them to find out who is the best fit for the organization and the specific role.

Their job is to find someone that will excel at their job and stick around for a long time. Weeding out people who applied just because LinkedIn or some other platform made it easy is essential, and the “why do you want to work here” question does the trick.

What your answer should communicate

Your answer’s job is to make you a more desirable candidate after your answer the question! When you prep for this question, you should communicate the below points, that you are:

  • A good fit for the organization
  • A good fit for the role
  • Want to excel at this role
  • Plan to stay at that organization for a reasonably long time

If your answer covers all – or most – of those points, your answer will be very strong.

Best example answers to “why do you want to work here?”

Since each person’s career is wildly different, don’t just copy these answers and use them yourself. Any half-decent interviewer will see through a stock answer.

Use the examples below to get inspired for when you think about how you’d answer the “why do you want to work here” question!

Ensure you answer using the STAR method. This helps keep your answer on track and makes the interviewer’s life easier!

Example 1: Admiration

“I want to work here because this organization, in my opinion, is the best at brand management. Everywhere I’ve worked before has brought up innovations developed by this organization as examples to be followed.”

Why this is a strong answer: This answer shows the interviewer that you actually know something about the organization and that working there would give you a sense of pride and belonging.

Example 2: Personal growth

“I want to work here because I believe my skills are being under utilized at my current employer. Working here will allow me to put my proven skills to work and bring a lot more value to the organization”.

Why this is a strong answer: Show the interviewer you are ambitious and welcome new responsibilities. This tells them you are going to be a force for positive change and growth at the organization, which is something very hard to develop organically and therefore is a highly sought after skill.

Example 3: Values

“I want to work here because this organization’s values really resonate with me. I’ve struggled to find a place where I feel like I am building something meaningful for society and the organization’s consumers. Your clear values (make sure you list them!) resonate with me and working here would be

Why this is a strong answer: This is an answer interviewers love to hear. Not only does it show them you took the time to research the organization, you tell them that your values are highly aligned with the organization’s. This usually means that you’ll be a happy, motivated employee.


Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

Next steps

Now that you know how to frame your answer, make sure you practice answering this question for free at Voomer.

You’ll get AI-powered feedback on your answers so you can quickly improve and land that dream job!

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Interview Prep Tips

What is your weaknesses – best answer for job interviews

What is your weakness – best answer

This staple of job interview questions invariably sends the majority of job applicants into a panic. You are being asked to deliberately shoot yourself in the foot!

Unless you’ve prepared for this question beforehand, chances are you’ll fall into this question’s trap and do just that.

This article goes into how you should think about answering “what is your weakness” and a couple of best answer examples so that you end up as a stronger candidate after answering the question!

After you’ve read this article, head over to Voomer, where you can practice for free on this question and others for 1,000’s of different companies and get AI-powered feedback on your answers to quickly improve and land your dream job!

Why is this question asked?

This question is asked thousands of times every day by recruiters and hiring managers, but the sad truth is that this is a very outdated question.

“What is your weakness” is a lazy way for the interviewer to identify your weak spots as a job applicant.

There are far more sophisticated ways to find out that information that reduce the probabilities that a job applicant will add their spin to the answer – which is exactly what I’m going to show you how to do!

What your answer should communicate

The best answers to “what are your weaknesses” should communicate two things:

  • Your weaknesses are consequences of being great at something else
  • You are aware of your weaknesses and work to address them

If you cover those two items, your application will be stronger after you answer the “what is your weakness” question!

In case you want to deliver an absolutely stellar answer, ensure you use the STAR method. That will keep your answer on track and make the interviewer’s life easier.

What is your weakness: best example answers

These example answers to “what is your weakness” are meant to inspire you and help you figure out a strong answer for you.

Everyone’s career was built differently, so use the concepts shown below rather than copying something that doesn’t apply to you.

A half-decent interviewer will quickly pick up on an answer that does not make sense.

Example 1: Not asking for help

“When I am given a task at work, my attitude is that is has to be done no matter what – and with the resources initially allocated. This means that sometimes if the task was harder or more complex that anticipated, I have a tough time asking for help and more resources. I’m working on this issue by giving myself a deadline to accomplish a task. If the task hasn’t been completed by that deadline, then I’ll ask a manager for help”.

Why is this a strong answer: Despite the fact that the candidate reveals a weakness, that weakness also reveals very desirable attitudes – initiative, determination and grit. The candidate also makes it clear that this is an issue that they are working on and have already put systems in place to solve the issue.

Example 2: Impatience

“On occasion I don’t like the way a project is going and I get very impatient with our execution. This results in some tense meetings where I want to see results sooner rather than later. I’ve been working on this by recognizing that some strategies take time to bear fruit”.

Why is this a strong answer: The candidate recognizes that impatience is a problem for them – but frames it in a way that demonstrates that they are extremely goal-orientated. That is a fantastic quality that any organization would love to have in all its employees.

Example 3: I bite off more than I can chew

“I love taking on complex tasks that test the limits of my capabilities. Unfortunately that usually leaves me scrambling for more information or help from others so that we can deliver on time. I’ve been working on developing my capabilities BEFORE taking on challenging tasks!”

Why is this a strong answer: The candidate revels a weakness but frames it in a way that demonstrates a massive amount of initiative – a highly sought after skill that is very hard to develop in people.


Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

Next steps

Now that you know the general idea of how to answer these questions, head over to Voomer to practice for free.

You can practice on questions for thousands of companies and get AI-powered feedback to quickly improve and land that dream job!

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Interview Prep Tips

How to Answer Behavioral Questions: The STAR Method

How to Answer Behavioral Questions: The STAR Method

If you have an interview coming up that you want to prepare for, you’ve come to the right place! Have you ever been asked a question that started like “tell me about a time when…?” If so, you’ve probably encountered a question that would best be answered with the STAR Method for behavioral interview questions. These questions are typically easy to recognize and are questions where you must detail a situation or experience that you have been through.

Side Note: Voomer is a great product to help you practice interview questions for one-way video interviews, such as Hirevue (see our blog on Hirevue interviews), or interviews in general. Get feedback on your delivery, speech speed, and more by trying out Voomer today!

What is the Star Method?

The Star Method is a structured way of responding to interview questions that will give interviewers the information they are looking for in a structured and concise manner. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. When answering an interview question, you want to touch on each of these categories for the situation you are describing.

Situation: This is where you describe the context surrounding your answer. Often detailing where and why something happened and giving the interviewer the proper background.

Task: Describe what you had to do because of the situation. What task was laid out before you?

Action: Detail what action you took towards the task or to solve what situation you were in. You have the opportunity to emphasize any important or impactful actions that you took.

Result: This is where you detail the results of the actions that you took and the resolution, if there is one, to the situation. Make sure to highlight any accomplishments or impact that the interviewer might want to know.

Let’s Use an Example!

An example of a question that can be answered with the STAR Method is “Tell me about a time when you were behind on your work. Why were you behind? Did you catch up?”

Example Answer:

Situation: One example of a time that I fell behind on work was in my prior job as an Analyst at Somewhere Bank. I was relatively new to my job and still trying to get my bearings on the responsibilities. My main assignment was a project that I was assigned a few weeks after starting. While working on this project, a colleague asked me for help on their project. Simultaneously, the project I was working on got expanded and I had new deadlines that I had to meet.

Task: Because of this, I fell behind on some of my deadlines and I had to catch up while adjusting to the new requirements. I wanted to help my colleague and stay ahead of my work so I came up with a plan.

Action: I met with my manager to readjust some of my original deadlines and prioritize those which seemed more important, I blocked off specific times on my calendar for when I was available to help my colleague and to give myself time to work on my own project.

Result: Using these tactics, I was able to catch up on my work. I met all of the renegotiated deadlines and helped my colleague with their assignment as well. Not only was my project completed successfully, I was commended by manager for my adaptability.

Does it Always Work?

While the STAR Method is great, there are some situations where you are better not using it. The STAR Method is really tailored to behavioral interview questions. These are questions that gauge how you reacted in a certain situation and are used by interviewers to measure your skills and how you might conduct yourself in a professional environment. Here are some examples of popular behavioral questions to give you an idea of what they look like:

  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.
  • Give an example of when you had a disagreement in a team setting. Was the issue resolved?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to lead a team.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to improve at anything, including interviews is to practice. The STAR Method is just one technique for you to put in your interviewing toolbox. It is a good idea to look at example questions that the company you are applying to might ask on glassdoor and using those to practice the STAR method.

Another tool to help you practice is Voomer. We have an AI-powered engine along with interview questions for thousands of companies to help you prepare for interviews. You can use this feedback to help you improve quickly and land your next job!

Categories
Interview Prep Tips

How to explain a gap in your resume

We’ve all been there

How to explain a gap in your resume is a skill that everyone should know. 59% of Americans will take a break from the workforce at some point in their careers – either voluntarily or involuntarily.

When you’re back to interviewing for a job and you have a gap in your resume, odds are the hiring manager will want to know why.

This question should not give you any anxiety or diminish your chances of landing the job. In this article we’ll discuss why employers freak out over gaps in resumes, what you should always keep in mind and example answers according to your circumstances.

By the way, if you want to practice for your interview Voomer is a great tool where you’ll get instant, AI-powered feedback on your answers for free!

Why employers hate resume gaps

Picture yourself as the employer for a moment. You’ll certainly have limited resources to source, screen, select, hire and train a new employee, so what do you do?

Play it safe. Playing it safe is the name of the game for hiring mangers, because the last thing they want to do is waste time on someone that won’t work out.

They don’t know if that gap in your resume is due to some understandable personal reason or because you were in prison for murder!

It is your job to explain any gaps in your resume in a way that enhances your job application – we’ll show you how.

What applies to everyone

Regardless of the reasons you have for a gap in your resume, you have to do the following:

  • Own the gap in your resume – When properly explained, a gap in your resume will actually improve your chances of getting hired! Don’t blame others for your problems, always frame things as under control (see examples below).
  • Tell the truth – Don’t hide any gaps in your resume, the truth will eventually come out when the employers ask for references.
  • Remember you aren’t alone – 59% of Americans have some sort of gap in their resume. Chances are most of the top applicants to a role will have to explain a gap in their resume!
  • Use the STAR method to organize your answer to the interviewer’s challenge.  The STAR method keeps you on track and makes the interviewer’s life easy when listening to the answer.

Let’s look at some reasons for temporarily leaving the workforce and how you should position your answer to enhance your chances of getting hired.

You tried, but couldn’t find a job

We are surrounded by success stories – how you should always earn more, get promoted every so often and “keep up with the Joneses”.

The truth is that most people will involuntarily leave their jobs at some point – either because they were fired for a reason specific to them or through a major corporate re-organization (or bankruptcy!).

Unless you are exceedingly lucky, odds are you spent a few weeks or months unemployed – potentially even a year or more.

Depending on your specific circumstances, the following framings will help you answer confidently:

  • You are looking for a company where you have a great cultural match
  • Have a very clear idea of what you want next for your career and the right opportunity hasn’t materialized yet (until now of course!)
  • You feel like your skill set has surpassed your past job description and are looking for a job with more responsibilities (which takes more time!). Just keep in mind you’ll have to back this claim up!

You needed a break

The “daily grind” can wear any of us down. Sometimes you just need a break to rebalance and recover from a particularly bad spell at work and that is perfectly understandable.

Let’s look at example ways to frame a gap in your resume simply because you were on a break:

  • You wanted to re-assess whether your career to date was on the right track (perhaps you thought of changing roles). Doing so while caught up in the midst of the intense day-to-day of a job is not always feasible
  • Your previous employer crossed a line you could not accept. Unfortunately, while not necessarily breaching labor laws, workplace toxicity is still widespread within many companies. Showing you have principles and don’t deal with unacceptable behavior shows your interviewer you are a stand up person
  • Talk about the things you’ve learnt on your break. Just because you were on a break doesn’t mean you didn’t grow
  • Ensure you tell your interviewer how you were happy with the break and you are now ready to jump back into the workforce – and won’t need another break

You had to take care of your family

Family emergencies happen all the time and most people will prioritize their loved ones over a job.

This is how you should explain a gap in your resume due to family issues:

  • This issue rarely needs a deep explanation. Employers understand personal issues might come up where you need to drop everything
  • The main thing you need to communicate is that the issue that drove your employment gap is now either resolved or there are arrangements in place so that you can re-join the workforce

You had a health issue

Similar to the above point health emergencies happen all the time and most people will prioritize their health over a job.

This is how you should explain a gap in your resume due to health issues:

  • This issue rarely needs a deep explanation. Employers understand health issues might come up where you need to drop everything
  • The main thing you need to communicate is that the issue that drove your employment gap is now either resolved or there are arrangements in place so that you can re-join the workforce

You went back to school

This is probably the easiest resume gap to explain. Finishing or continuing your education is generally viewed positively by hiring managers, simply because that shows you have long term planning.

  • Explain that you went back to school to accomplish a particular goal (either fill skill gaps, switch to a career that appeals more to you, unlock a potential promotion, etc)
  • If you didn’t leave the workforce to join a “regular” school but a training course (either online or in-person), the same rationale applies
  • Focus on how you plan to use the new skills you acquired

Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

You were freelancing

Freelancers have resume gaps all the time due to the nature of their work.

The best way to deal with this is to explicitly state that freelancing involves times of barley any work and times that you have so much work you need to turn inquiries away!

You can also avoid this issue entirely by adding a blanket entry in your resume where you mention you were freelancing.

Your next steps

When the interviewer challenges you on the gaps in your resume – confidently own the gap.

  • Be truthful about the gap.
  • Sound like a person in demand that knows what they want.
  • Come across as a person on a mission.
  • The past is the past, you want to talk about the future.

If your interviewer understands that your employment gap was reasonable and that the odds of that happening again are minimal, you’ll probably do just fine on the interview!

To give yourself that extra confidence boost, head over to Voomer.

You can practice for free on questions for thousands of companies and get instant, AI-powered feedback on your answers so you can quickly improve and land that dream job!