Interview tips: adding context to your answers…
Posted by: Luke
Published: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
When approaching potential employers, and particularly in interviews, there are a few simple things that you can do to leave a positive impression. You’ll often hear how body language, enthusiasm and preparation can help enormously, which is absolutely true. What you don’t hear as often is that by making a slight alteration to the way you give your answers to the interviewer’s questions, you can give yourself a great advantage.
A really good tip for answering questions in interviews is to frame your answer in a positive and personal context. This doesn’t mean that you should tell your life story with each answer that you give, but instead add a little context that’s personal and individual to you. That way, you come across as an interesting and memorable person, rather than just another candidate.
As an example, imagine that someone is being interviewed and the interviewer asks them:
“What other interests do you have?”
To which the interviewee replies:
“I’m really into interior design.”
That’s a perfectly adequate answer, but see how much better it sounds when put in a personal context:
“I’m really into interior design. When I was growing up one of my friends lived in a beautiful house and I always looked forward to spending time there. Ever since then, interior design has interested me and these days I love helping friends out with their flats.”
Small additions of personal context to some of your answers, helps the interviewer to see you as an interesting, well-rounded person, and someone they would probably want to work with!
See our tips for becoming great at talking on the phone