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Interview Question: What Do You Like To Do Outside Of Work?

Interview Question: What Do You Like To Do Outside Of Work?

What They Want To Know

While you may have touched on this when asked, “tell us a little about yourself,” there’s a good chance your interviewer will want to know more. When a hiring manager asks, “what do you like to do outside of work?” they want to get a glimpse of your personality. They are curious about who you are and if you’ll be a good fit for the rest of the team.

This is an opportunity to let your personality shine. Our advice is to be honest – with a caveat – keep it professional. There is no need to go above and beyond in vulnerability here. Avoid delving into politics, illegal activities, or anything else that could potentially be a red flag. A good rule of thumb here is if you find yourself wondering if it’s appropriate, it’s not. Instead, share your life-enriching passions. If you have a hobby that parallels your career, that’s great! If not, simply share something you enjoy. Here are just a few hobbies that are appropriate to mention during an interview:

  • Hiking
  • Spending time with family & friends
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Reading
  • Sports
  • Cooking
  • Volunteering

No matter what you choose – be sure it’s something you are actually passionate about! Chances are, your interviewer will ask you follow up questions. So, you don’t want to look like a deer caught in the headlights, unable to discuss your hobbies in-depth.

Example Answer for “What do you like to do outside of work?”

“I love listening to Podcasts. Every day I like to get outside and go for a walk with my dog, Thor, and tune into a great Podcast. I have always loved This American Life because I feel like I learn something new with each episode. Lately, I’ve also been putting my detective hat on and listening to a couple of true crime podcasts. It’s a great way to check out for a bit.”

Final Comments

This is a strong answer because it is honest, professional, and personal. Remember, this question is an opportunity to share your personality, after all! If you don’t have any hobbies that you’d want to mention during an interview – now is an excellent opportunity to pick one up.

Need Help Answering More Common Interview Questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Interview Question: What Motivates You?

Interview Question: What Motivates You?

What They Want To Know

It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this interview question. When a hiring manager asks, “what motivates you?” they genuinely want to know what gets you up in the morning and excited for the day. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should blurt out the first thing that comes to mind!

You do not need to delve into all of the personal and existential reasons you are motivated each day. Instead, focus on what excites you about your job. What will you look forward to most in this position you’re interviewing for? When the chips are down, and things are tough, how will you be motivated to pull out of it and succeed?

Example Answer For “What Motivates You?”

“As a Project Manager, I love to see everything come together in a successful project. I am so passionate about finalizing all the details of a project, checking off every “to-do” on the list. In fact, my family frequently refers to me as the “Project Manager of our Home” because I carry the same principles into my personal life! No task can be left undelegated; no part of the plan is left undone. For me, there is nothing that compares to the satisfaction of spearheading a successful project. So, when times are challenging, I just remember to keep that end goal in sight.”

Final Comments

This answer is perfect because it goes beyond the surface. The candidate not only explained what motivates them but also painted a complete picture for the interviewer. Finally, it cements their status as a great candidate for the interview because it shows that the candidate’s goals will be aligned with the company’s goals.

Need Help Answering More Common Interview Questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Are You Interviewing With Other Companies

Interview Question: Are You Interviewing With Other Companies?

What They Want To Know

There are a few reasons that hiring managers want to ask this question. The main one being that they want to know who they are in competition with! Additionally, it provides insights into the types of roles that interest you. Do you really want to work in this industry, or is it more about the job duties? The best way to answer if you are interviewing with other companies is with honesty.

If you are interviewing elsewhere, briefly mention that you are in the interview process with other companies. If you are not interviewing with other companies, let the hiring manager know why this position piques your interest. Either way, always bring it back to the role you’re currently interviewing for.

Example Answers For “Are You Interviewing With Other Companies?”

If you’re interviewing elsewhere: “I am currently in the interview process with a couple of different companies. All of the positions I’m interviewing for are quality assurance roles. That being said, I am interested in working for this company in particular, and I believe that my skills would be a great fit for this role.”

If you are not interviewing anywhere else: “I have applied for several positions; however, this is my first interview. I’m excited about this position specifically because it would be a great fit for my skill set and experience in the Civil Engineering realm.”

Final Comments

Both of these answers briefly touch on your involvement in other application processes. However, they bring it back to the position you’re currently interviewing for. Better yet, it reinforces your qualifications and reassures the hiring manager that you would be a great fit. Honesty is the best policy, and it allows you an additional opportunity to sell yourself.

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Interview Question: Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us To Know?

Interview Question: Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us To Know?

What They Want To Know

An open-ended interview question like this can be intimidating, especially towards the end, when you want to leave off on a strong note. Hiring managers genuinely want to know if there’s anything they missed with their questions! It’s best to think of it as one final opportunity to sell yourself and give your closing pitch.

To prepare for answering this question, write out the most important selling points you possess in relation to the job you’re interviewing for. These can range from skills, personality traits, certifications, projects you worked on, even mentorships you’ve collected. When giving your answer, you only want to mention things directly related to the position. Bonus points if you can connect it back to something previously discussed during the interview. If you sincerely feel like all of those have been covered, give a brief overview of your collective qualifications and reiterate your interest in the job.

Example Answer For “Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us To Know?”

“Actually, I did want to circle back to the revitalization project you mentioned on the horizon. In my last position, I had the opportunity to consult on a similar revitalization initiative. It was an incredible opportunity, and I learned a lot about the ins and outs of that type of project. As a result, I really look forward to working on more revitalization ventures in the future.”

Alternative Answer: “I think we’ve covered just about everything, but I would really like to reemphasize my interest in this position. My past experience in managing large manufacturing teams for various companies would provide a lot of value to this position, and I believe I could offer unique insights to process improvement with my lean six sigma certification.”

Final Comments

Both of these answers provide one last overview of the candidate’s qualifications, adding value to their candidacy for the position. They are infused with calm confidence and will leave your interviewer with a positive lasting impression. Most importantly, you used the opportunity to sell yourself. The only wrong way to answer this question is, “Nope; I think I’m good!”

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Interview Question: What Do You Like Least About Your Job?

Interview Question: What Do You Like Least About Your Job?

What They Want To Know

This interview question is tricky. While it is a negatively-oriented question, they aren’t necessarily trying to trap you. When a hiring manager asks this question, they are looking to analyze how you answer! They want to know that you won’t constantly avoid your least favorite tasks or pass them off to other members of the team.

No matter if you have the greatest job in the world, there will always be parts you don’t like. Thus, saying, “I love every part of my job,” is not an option! Candidates can approach this question in two different ways: focusing on the complaints or focusing on overcoming the parts you like least about your job. We definitely recommend you do the latter. Start your answer by honestly acknowledging something you dislike about your job. Then, pivot into how you deal with it. This will show the hiring manager how you handle small obstacles or less than ideal aspects of your role.

Example Answer For “What Do You Like Least About Your Job?”

“While I love so many parts of my job, my least favorite task is completing expense reports. As a Manager, however, it’s something that needs to be completed weekly. I’ve found the best way to tackle it is to build it into my schedule. Every Friday, I set a calendar reminder for 9 AM, and I power through my expense reports. That way, I can get them out of the way first thing in the morning and move on to the parts of my job that I love!”

Final Comments

This example is a well-structured answer. It acknowledges the parts you don’t like, explains how you handle it, and ends on a positive note. Additionally, it demonstrates your efficiency and organization because you build it into your schedule. It never hurts to incorporate more positives into your interview answers!

Need Help Answering More Common Interview Questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

What’s Your Spirit Animal?

Interview Question: What’s Your Spirit Animal?

What they want to know

Hiring managers are really grabbing onto these off-the-wall, personality-type interview questions. Questions like, “What’s your spirit animal?” are intended to break the ice in a job interview and force interviewees to think on their feet. There is no wrong answer to this question, but your goal here is to share an answer that helps illustrate your personality, strengths as a candidate, and, hopefully, connect with the hiring manager. The critical thing to remember is to answer enthusiastically. Now is your time to let your personality shine a little bit. This is a question that will often be asked at the beginning of your interview, so your answer can really set the stage for the entire interview.

Remember: body language is essential with these interview questions. Throw on a smile, even if you need a few moments to think about an answer. Your body language is just as important with these questions as it exudes your confidence and personality. If you need a second or two formulate your response, don’t be afraid to say something like, “wow, that’s a tricky one. I haven’t been asked this question in years!” And this will buy you a few moments to think of your response without it being awkwardly silent.

Example answering what’s your spirit animal

“Wow, that’s a great question. If I had to pick one animal to be my spirit animal, I would probably pick a duck because I always look calm and cool on the outside, but below the surface, I’m working like crazy to get where I need to go.”

Final comments

Thus, this response is an excellent example of answering, “What’s your spirit animal?” It’s fun, witty, and straight to the point. Moreover, the interviewer gave a reason for their choice, and it does an excellent job demonstrating their work ethic. Overall, this is a fantastic response to this agonizing interview question.

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Video: What’s your spirit animal?

What’s One Thing You Think We Can Improve

Interview Question: What’s One Thing You Think We Can Improve?

What they want to know

“What’s one thing you think we can improve?” is a tricky interview question to navigate. You want to provide a thoughtful answer without insulting the company (or even one of the interviewers in the room with you). Sometimes, your interviewer will ask you to offer constructive feedback about a particular product or service. Others will make the question more vague, which gives you a bit of flexibility with your answer.

Regardless of your answer, you don’t want to head right into your criticism. Instead, start with something positive; it helps set the stage and make your judgment seem not so harsh. Then, introduce your constructive feedback and provide a background for your thoughts. In other words, you can’t just criticize something and call it good. You must offer an area of improvement, explain why you think it needs improvement, and provide a solution to overcome this situation. Try to offer some stats, facts, or pull something from your professional experience to add credibility to your answer.

This situation is where doing your homework on the company will come in handy. If you don’t do your due diligence on the company, you will struggle to come up with an excellent answer to this interview question.

Example answering what’s one thing you think we can improve?

“I really enjoy the content you share on your company’s Instagram account. The graphics are eye-catching, and your captions are engaging. However, have you thought about sharing more content about your team? You post tons of great information about your services, but sharing stories about your staff and other internal messaging is very on-trend right now. We periodically post internal stories or employee spotlights on my current employer’s social media, and they get great engagement. I think if you added that content to your social media tool belt, you would increase your engagement and gain new followers”

Final comments

This response works for this question because it starts positive and then offers a suggestion for improvement. It’s not overly critical, and the interviewer uses their personal, professional experience to justify their recommendation. Plus, they ask a question in their response about if they considered this suggestion before, which could open the door for a nice dialogue. Overall, this is an excellent response to the question, “what’s one thing you think we can improve or do better?”

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

How Do You Deal with Stress?

Interview Question: How Do You Deal with Stress?

What they want to know

Every job creates stressful situations. Interviewers often ask, “How do you deal with stress?” to understand if you can keep your cool when things get a little intense. Everybody gets stressed out – it’s a natural feeling that we all feel from time to time, and there are different levels of stress. However, interviewers want to know how you navigate these challenging or intense situations in the workplace.

So, to answer this interview question, briefly describe how you handle stress at work. Everyone handles stress differently, but the key here is to show your interviewers that you have a professional and appropriate way to blow off some steam. If you can provide a brief example in your answer, that’s even better.

Pro tip: do not answer with something like “I don’t really get stressed” or “stress doesn’t bother me.” That’s not true. Every job can be stressful, including the one you are interviewing to get.

Example answering how do you deal with stress

“When I get stressed out at work, I like to get up from my desk and take a brief five- or ten-minute walk. Walking helps me burn off a little steam and allows me to separate myself from the situation for a few minutes. I usually come back from my walk feeling refreshed and ready to continue working! For example, I was building a report to present to our leadership team. I had a tight turnaround time and had a few other projects I had to complete that week. I felt overwhelmed, so I decided to take a brief walk around the building and get some fresh air. After my walk, I came back to my desk recharged, and able to complete the report for my boss.”

Final comments

This answer is an excellent example of expressing how to deal with stress. It’s short and sweet but does an excellent job of illustrating what the interviewee does to overcome stressful situations. This is just one of many different ways you can demonstrate how you handle stressful situations in the workplace. As long as you can show a healthy way to cope with stress and provide an example, you’ll pass the question with flying colors.

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

What’s Your Greatest Strength

Interview Question: What’s Your Greatest Strength?

What they want to know

This question is one of the most dreadful interview questions that an interviewer can ask you. It’s difficult to answer questions like these because, as a candidate, you never want to come off as conceited. However, you want to illustrate your skills and confidence to a new potential employer. To successfully answer “what’s your greatest strength?”, you want to highlight your technical and soft skills. Your answer is your opportunity to share skill sets and qualities that make you an excellent fit for the position and the company itself.

Example answering what’s your greatest strength

“One of my greatest strengths is my strong writing skills. My journalism minor in school helped me discover a passion for writing. For the past three years, I have honed my communication skills and attention to detail by working on our university’s editorial. This role has helped me learn how to write for different audiences and tweak my tone for different writing goals. As a technical writer, I will be able to write, edit, and publish technical documents for the product development and engineering teams with ease.”

Final Comments

Confidence? Check. Discuss a valuable skillset? Check. Relate it back to the job? Check. This example does an excellent job demonstrating the candidate’s background and skills, as well as tying them back to the position. Through this example, you can tell that the candidate carefully reviewed the job description and tied their skills back to the job. The answer was short and direct, which makes it a great example to answering this challenging interview question.

If you are having a difficult time answering “what’s your greatest strength?”, don’t worry. Many candidates struggle to discuss their strengths in an interview. Here is a list of skills you can communicate in your answer:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Technical skills
  • Tenacity
  • Work ethic
  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility and adaptability

These are excellent skills to start with in crafting your answer; just don’t forget to tie them back to the position!

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!