Toughest Interview Questions (#1)

Interviews are a necessary evil. While they can be tough and even unnerving, they still are one of the best ways for a potential employer (or college recruiter) to get to know YOU. Women Co., a networking site for the career minded women, offers alternatives to common interview questions, comparing what most people say to a more appropriate response AKA one that will get you the job.

1. Why do you want to work in this industry?

It’s safe to say that you can expect to be asked this question.  An industry includes the people or companies engaged in a particular kind of commercial enterprise. Employers want to be sure that they are hiring someone who is (semi) passionate about the field they are entering.  If they’re not, then they want to know why you are entering this field. Is it simply so you can educate yourself on someone else”s dime or do you have plans on starting your own company within the same industry?

Be selective with the responses you give. Flimsy answers just won’t cut it:


Bad answer:
“I love to shop. Even as a kid, I spent hours flipping through catalogues.”

Focus on your unique success stories within the particular industry you are trying to enter. If you don’t have any experience, like most teens just starting out, elaborate on the education that you obtained (what books, magazines, newspapers do you read? What classes are you taking?) Each industry has magazines and other publications surrounding that field or trade (trade magazines)

Women Co. suggests:

“Don’t just say you like it. Anyone can do that. Focus instead on your history with that particular industry, and if you can, tell a success story“.

Here’s an example of a good answer:

Good answer:
“I’ve always loved shopping, but my interest in retail marketing really started when I worked at a neighborhood boutique. I knew our clothes were amazing, but that we weren’t marketing them properly. So I worked with management to come up with a marketing strategy that increased our sales by 25% in a year. It was great to be able to contribute positively to an industry I feel so passionate about, and to help promote a product I really believed in.”

As a young person, you may find that people will be more than willing to help you. All you have to do is meet their expectations and show them that you’re a rock star. Nerves are going to surface but if you prepare (practice answering  the questions in this series in the mirror or with your parents) then your preparation will overshadow your nerves.

Remember, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. We all can be lucky!

Luck = Preparation + Opportunity

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