A lot has changed in the workplace over the past few years, and interviews reflect that. Employers have learned a lot about what they need from employees after navigating Covid-19, The Great Resignation, and The Great Reshuffle with varying degrees of success. Millennials are the dominant generation in the workforce, with Gen Z close behind. Employers are looking for authenticity, adaptability, communication, initiative, and problem-solving abilities. Here’s an updated look at some commonly asked interview questions you’ll see in 2023 and beyond, along with strategies to answer them effectively.
- Tell me about yourself: This classic icebreaker has transformed into a chance for applicants to provide a concise and engaging narrative that highlights their relevant experience, skills, and personality while quickly building likability…the latter of which is key to interview success and is trickier to do virtually. Attention spans are shorter than ever, and your response to this question should be too—so keep it focused, less than 60 seconds, and have a strategic closing where you wrap up talking about something related to the job.
- How do you handle ambiguity and change? In today’s workplace, these things are a given and employers have learned the hard way that most people handle them poorly (even those who say they’re good at adapting to change). A strategy to effectively address this is to focus your response on examples where you’ve had to “pivot and shift” to adapt to changing priorities, client needs, and business needs—but this is something you take in stride. In 2023, we don’t just “handle” rapid change, we expect it.
- Describe a challenge you had to overcome while working with someone who operated very differently from you: Companies are placing a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and in addition to that, we also have an unprecedented number of generations in the workplace all at the same time. This creates a LOT of different ideas, approaches, communication styles, and gaps in knowledge. The key to talking through this topic is to demonstrate self-awareness, humility, and an openness to learning from others. It also helps if you can give an example of a time when you were able to successfully collaborate with a colleague.
- How do you approach remote work and collaboration to achieve a successful outcome? A great strategy here is to focus on what’s become a bit of a lost art—communication. Part of what makes someone an effective collaborator is knowing when and how to communicate based on the situation and people involved. Remote work makes relationship building and communication more challenging, but it can also make work more efficient. Sometimes you need to pick up the phone and call someone because it’s more efficient to brainstorm and problem solve “live.” And when you’re on a Zoom call, don’t shy away from turning on your camera. Getting to know people and being authentic is a key part of communicating effectively and it helps build trust and relationships with clients and colleagues.
Mastering Behavioral & Other Difficult Interview Questions
When you’re asked something that you weren’t prepared for, remember that most interviewers are looking for authenticity and an ability to think strategically under pressure. It’s not just about the answer you give, it’s also about the thought process you use to get to the answer. Mentally prepare a few different example stories you can share that showcase times when you achieved positive results or experienced success in prior roles that are related to the job you’re interviewing for. Use these sample scenarios to help you answer behavioral interview questions which will usually start out with, “Tell me about a time when…”. A solid approach to any challenging question is to always have your response end on a positive outcome or result that you achieved, or a lesson that you learned. Employers appreciate candidates who display resilience, self-awareness, alacrity, and a willingness to grow.
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