Skip to main content
Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
Main Content


Like it or not, job interviewers can usually tell whether or not you are an ideal candidate for the job within the first minute. Always remember that.

Your cover page memo and resume addressed to the hiring person (not HR), opened the door for the interview. You told them you knew what they are looking for, and you are the right person for that job. It sounds simple, but the interview is the moment you confirm yourself as that person. There are several do’s and don’ts that you need to remember, and several additional things that separate the professional (you) from the also-ran’s.

Do you know the correct answer to job interview questions that are commonly asked by potential employers? You may think you know quite a bit about how to answer different questions, but it isn’t always as simple as you may believe. In many instances, there is no one correct answer because it will vary from one company to another.

You may have standard answers that you routinely give to the most common interview questions and they may get you by for the most part, but what if you could tune that answer in to the particular employer you are interviewing with to stand out from the crowd of other applicants?

You can do exactly this if you take the time to research the company you are interviewing with. Some things to learn about the company include:

  • Description of the job you are applying for.
  • Corporate culture inside the company.
  • Expectations for candidates and what they are searching for in applicants.

According to these differences in companies, you can change up your common answer to job interview questions to increase your chances of landing the job.

Following are some great tips that will help you determine all the right answers to the right questions for the right employers.

Please Describe Yourself

When asked to describe themselves, far too many job applicants start into a rant that covers their entire life history. What the employer is looking for with this type of question is your experience as related to the available position. They don’t care about your childhood or how many kids you may have. They want to know what skills you have that qualify you to work with them and other aspects of your previous experience. Keep the personal details out.

Reason for Leaving Previous Employers

If you are one of the millions of people who have been laid off due to forced downsizing and business closings in our current economic crisis, do not try to hide this fact as if you are embarrassed or ashamed. Simply tell the interviewer that your previous employer went out of business or had to downsize. You can then immediately add a statement or two about the valuable skills you learned while working there and how they have prepared you for this new position.

So, what if you quit your previous job? What if you absolutely hated the working conditions, the boss, or your coworkers? None of the bitter drama from your previous place of employment should enter the interview. Ever. Period. Don’t trash your previous employers in any manner or it will be a warning sign of danger to the potential employer sitting across the table at the interview.

Simply state that you are looking for new opportunities to use your skills and talents. Leave it at that.

In the case of large lapses in your work history where you were unemployed for whatever reason, you can state honestly what you were doing during those periods. Just make sure to add in the skills and talents that you were able to develop during those periods and why they make you highly qualified for this open position.

Your Weaknesses & Strengths

Don’t blow off the questions about your weaknesses and strengths. They are bound to come up in almost every interview you go to, so start preparing for them right now! This is a big question that many people destroy their chances of being hired with, so it’s important to spend some time learning the correct way to answer.

Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. Label one column “strengths” and the other “weakness.” Take a few minutes to randomly list all of the appropriate characteristics for yourself in each column. Next, go through and cross out anything that is unrelated to employment and the specific position you are applying for. Finally, come up with one word for any words that are extremely similar, narrowing down each list as much as possible.

Everything on those lists can be a potential answer to the question about your strengths and weaknesses, but make sure you spin them in a very positive light and use these answers to highlight why you are qualified for this position. Remember, each employer is looking for something different in an employee, so you should change your answers to suit the individual company you are interviewing with.

Why You?

Most interviewers will in some manner ask why you believe you should be hired over all otherapplicants. It is important to answer this with as much confidence and honesty as possible, since the interviewer is likely looking to get a sense of your confidence in yourself to do the job. They may already know your qualifications from reading your resume, but it’s your job to completely sell them on you being the right applicant for this job.

If you have done your research into the company prior to attending the interview, you will have a great advantage over other applicants who know little to nothing about the company. Make sure to use this knowledge to your advantage so your skills and strengths match the desires of the company perfectly.

Never compare yourself to other applicants because it will sound as if you believe you are better than others or inferior to others. Neither is a great first impression to make.

Finding the correct answer to job interview questions isn’t that difficult, especially if you are already armed with knowledge about the company and have practiced answers to many of the most common questions at home. The most important thing is to remain calm and come off as relaxed and friendly, even if you are anxious.

Even before you land a job interview, you should be learning about the most commonly asked questions and practicing your answers in the mirror at home. This will prepare you to give natural sounding answers in a very calm, natural tone in the interview. View the attached link to a job interview video and good luck.

Links to more Information:


Courtesy: []

© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.