Think Like a Hiring Manager: Anticipate Interview Questions, Then Prepare Clear Concise Answers

I tell members of my career mentoring site that they need to prepare, really prepare, for interviews.  One of the best ways to do this is to put yourself in the place of the hiring manager.  This article is a great place to begin when you’re doing just that…

I hope you were paying attention as you read, because you just got some great insight into the minds of recruiters and hiring managers.  You want to avoid all eight of these candidate red flags.

But today, I’d like to focus on number 6 — Long Winded Explanations.  The article focuses on long winded explanations for why you left your previous job, or are looking for a job.  I think that it’s just as important to be able to answer every question in clear, concise language.

Take a lesson from sales training here.  Back when I was doing sales training, my colleagues and I always devoted some time to teaching salespeople how to handle objections.  What we taught them was simple but powerful — anticipate the objections you will get to your pitch and have well thought out, clear and concise rebuttal points.

It works the same way in a job interview.  Here’s what you need to do…

  • Research the job to figure out the experience and characteristics for which the people interviewing you are looking.
  • Based on the experience and characteristics you’ve identified, choose five or six questions you think you’re likely to get.
  • Create S.T.A.R.T. answers for these questions.
    • S — Describe a situation.
    • T — Describe the specific task you were assigned in this situation.
    • A — Describe exactly what you did — the activity you undertook.
    • R — Describe the result you achieved.
    • T — Describe your takeaway — what you learned.
  • Then practice these answers.  Get them down cold.  Get to the level where you can make the points you want to make clearly and  concisely.

If you do all of these things you’ll be able to avoid long winded answers to questions — and position yourself as a leading candidate for the job.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.



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