Employers want to know you’re passionate about what they do, whether it takes the shape of a product, a service, a mission, or a brand. You can also connect your passion to the company’s core values, which can often be found on their website. Showing you’re passionate about the position is particularly important if you’re applying for a role at a nonprofit where the mission matches your personal values.  It’s critical that you take the time before the interview to learn everything you can about the company.

They are trying to determine if you would fit in at the company and if you would add value to their existing team.

“For most of my adult life, I’ve strongly supported X because I believe that Y…”
“X is very important to me in both my professional and personal life because I strongly believe that…”
“I’m very passionate about X and would be thrilled to work for an organization that subscribes to the same core values…”

“I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company/industry, and I feel I can do so by/with my …”
“I feel my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because …”
“I believe I have the type of knowledge to succeed in this role and at the company because …”
“I’m excited about this job opportunity, as it would allow me to …”

I firmly believe in taking a collaborative approach to each project so when I saw a position with your company to join the production team I knew I had to apply. I’ve seen your work in theatrical production, and your behind-the-scenes video really inspired me because I saw the teamwork in action. I love working with a team to achieve a common goal, and I know my background in production has prepared me for this role. I look forward to becoming a valued contributor to this phenomenal team.


When you’re asked about your weaknesses, the employer wants to know whether you are qualified to do the job. The hiring manager is also looking for indicators that show you’ve been able to learn new tasks and handle new challenges.

“My greatest weakness is that I sometimes focus too much on the details of a project and spend too much time analyzing the finer points. I’ve been striving to improve in this area by checking in with myself at regular intervals and giving myself a chance to refocus on the bigger picture. That way I can still ensure quality without getting so caught up in the details that it affects my productivity or the team’s ability to meet the deadline.”

“My greatest weakness is that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of a project. I’m the biggest critic of my work. I can always find something that needs to be improved or changed. To help myself improve in this area, I give myself deadlines for revisions. This helps ensure that I’m not making changes at the last minute.”

“I find that once I finish something I’ve been working on, I tend to dismiss it as shoddy work. Sometimes this tendency spirals out of control and I start thinking that maybe everything I’ve worked on in the past is subpar, even though the results of my work were satisfactory.

Thankfully, I’m striving to silence my inner critic when its input isn’t needed by taking courses on overcoming “impostor syndrome”. Recently, I’ve been happy with my work and I’m ready to take on new challenges without impairing myself.”


Interviewers ask this question is to find out what sets you apart from the other qualified applicants.

“I believe I am the most qualified for the job because I have completed 15 years in this field. While working, I attended a night school in order to stay current with the latest technological changes. I am dependable and goal-oriented, and I work well in teams. Last year, for example, my team increased office productivity by 39 percent by developing a simple record-keeping program for the company’s health insurance. We completed the project well ahead of schedule, too.”

“As my resume states, I have over 10 years of experience working in management in this field. What isn’t stated there is that I was one of the founders of the company and my sales skills grew it from a start-up all the way to its first public offering. The skills I used to do this have been further honed, and I anticipate being able to do great things for your company as well. In addition to having sharp business acumen, I relate well to my colleagues and clients and pride myself on being an excellent communicator, which helps foster a stress-free environment for everyone.”



They want to see if you purposely applied for this job at that particular company and that you aren’t pursuing it simply for the sake of finding a job.  It will help the employer determine your excitement about the opportunity and the motivations that led you to pursue the job.

Looking over the company website, and from our previous discussions, I believe this role would also give me the ability to progress in my career and develop my skills in a lot of different areas such as ‘X, Y, Z’.

“I understand that you seek an individual with outstanding leadership skills. I have extensive experience building and leading teams to success, and I truly enjoy helping people work hard and achieve goals. I also have strong communication abilities, and I noticed that your company values individuals who are able to effectively communicate unique and creative ideas.”


In order to learn more about your accomplishments, values, and career objectives, employers may inquire about the accomplishment you are most proud of. You may be able to talk about your professional development and advancement if the interviewer asks you to name the accomplishment you are most proud of.  They merely want to know what sets you apart from the competition.

Your prospective employer will most likely be impressed with accomplishments achieved during your previous employment. Answering these questions will provide you the chance to emphasize your accomplishments and professional development.  You need to discuss “what you are most proud of” examples that align with the job.

“I’m most proud of getting my MBA in business administration.  Now I am excited to use that knowledge to gain experience in your finance department, I hope to get a chance to continue to grow while providing a positive change to the department and in the world.”


They’re honestly curious, first of all.

If you’re working as a lab scientist they’ll be curious about how you got into it. Did your parents have scientific careers? Did you fall in love with the topic after an introductory course in college? Etc.

Then, they want to figure out whether you enjoy the field. Are you passionate about it, or at least interested?

Because if you seem like you care, you’ll work harder and overcome challenges. If you don’t seem to care at all, you’re more likely to quit when things get tough. Or come in late. Or slack off.

You’ve always had an interest in this career or type of job from a young age.

You have a parent, friend or family member who encouraged you to get into it, and you found that you like it a lot.

You care about helping people and making an impact and this career allows you to do that.


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