Advice for answering common interview questions often repeats common interview answers. But giving the same answer as other candidates won’t help you land the job.

Seven Fresh Takes on Job Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself.

Stale: “Well, I graduated from X Tech University, and then I had an internship with….”

Fresh: “So far, my proudest professional moment was when….”

A summary of your work history is easy – so easy, in fact, the hiring manager can deduce it from your resume. Instead, focus on your biggest accomplishment to date. It’ll get the interviewer’s attention and show just what you can do.

How did you learn about this position?

Stale: “I was looking at job boards and it looked interesting, so I applied.”

Fresh: “I was looking at job boards, and it stood out to me because….”

Use this question as an opportunity to talk about your enthusiasm for the job or the company. Sure, you heard about it somewhere, but why did you say yes to the interview?

What do you know about our company?

Stale: “I read on your About page that….”

Fresh: “I know you’re dedicated to X, Y, and Z, which dovetails perfectly with my passions because….”

Chances are good you’ll never tell an interviewer something about the company they don’t already know – unless you show them how what you know about the company fits well with your own passions or goals.

Why do you want this job?

Stale: “It’s the next step up my career ladder, and the pay is good.”

Fresh: “Here’s how I can really make a difference here.”

Every candidate can talk about why a particular job would be good for them, but very few talk about how their work in a particular job can benefit the company. Do so, and you’ll stand out in an interviewer’s mind for all the right reasons.

What’s your greatest weakness?

Stale: “Sometimes I care too much.”

Fresh: “I’m working to improve my….”

Making up a weakness that isn’t a weakness is a transparent ploy to appear perfect, and interviewers aren’t impressed. Instead, talk about how you’ve been working to improve your skills in a specific area.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Stale: “Here, but with a raise or two.”

Fresh: “My overall goal is X, and in five years, I plan to have moved toward it in Y ways….”

Interviewers want to know if you can set realistic expectations, if you’ve thought ahead, and if this job helps you reach your goals. Take the opportunity to explain what your overall plan is and how this job helps you get there.

Why should we hire you?

Stale: “I’m a really hard worker.”

Fresh: “Let me tell you a story…..”

The key here is choosing a story that answers three questions: Can you deliver great results? Can you fit in well with the team and culture? Can you do better than any other candidate? Find a tale that addresses all three points, and you’ll knock this one out of the park.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our recruiters specialize in connecting oil and gas industry professionals to some of the best jobs and companies in the industry. Contact us today to learn more.