There are two schools of thought to the question of what to say in a job interview. The first group would ay that the answer is "the truth." The second group would say that the answer is "whatever will get you the job." The best answer is a combination of these two philosophies that says that the best answer to a job interview question is the truth, told in a way that gives you the best chance to get the job. For some candidates, those who have the exact set of experiences and qualifications for the job, telling the truth in a way that gets the job is simple and easy. Perhaps these people have been trained specifically for the target job; perhaps they have been working at a similar job. All they have to do is tell their stories.
For other people, the question of what to say in a job interview is a bit more complicated. Perhaps these candidates have come from another career. Perhaps their training was in a different field. Perhaps they had a bad experience or training in their previous position so the target job is a bit more of a reach position. However, even these candidates can tell the truth in a way that gets the job, if they do some extra work ahead of time. The first thing that these candidates need to do is find out for themselves what the interviewer is looking for. This requires doing some research. More is always better, but at the minimum a candidate should be able to discover what the duties of the job are, the results the employee is expected to produce, and the personal attributes that the interviewer will be looking for.
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Knowing what to say in a job interview will require that these candidates look at their existing history, experiences and qualifications and find a way to make them address the requirements of the position. What's more, they need to do it in a logical way, and to make that connection clear to someone who might not see it immediately. For instance, if the job requires legal research, but the candidate has been doing academic research, he or she needs to be able to make the case that the academic research is equivalent to the legal research in many key respects, and then talk about that academic experience.
A key part of knowing what to say in a job interview is a recognition of the power of the example or anecdote. Dry information, like a yes or no answer does not convince a listener in nearly the same way that a vivid narrated example does. For any job seeker, finding a way to bring examples that dramatize the subject of the job interview question will help to convince that interviewer. For even more effect, the job interviewer can tell the story in such a way that the situation, the actions and the results sound very similar to the same elements in the target position. This will create a mental image of the candidate succeeding in the target position inside the interviewer's head, with positive results for the candidate.
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