Build your own answers using some of our key phrases and examples
There are many example answers listed on this site and in the many books we recommend.
But ultimately you will be the one on the spot having to think on your feet and provide an answer to the interviewers question in the context it was asked.
Many people we coach have discovered before contacting us, that trying to remember someone else’s answer from a book sounds rehearsed, unnatural and not authentic.
And when you hear yourself giving answers that don’t flow as well as you hoped that’s when the nerves quick in. You feel a hole opening up....
Your answers become hesitant and less confident and before you know it, it is not only the interviewer who is not convinced. You won't be either.
Read all the answers to questions in the books we recommend as these are great for getting you into the right frame of mind and perhaps giving you ideas and words you never would have thought of.
Then use our example answers and phrases as a guide to help you build your own.
On this page we have listed some of our favourite example answers and phrases. Try saying them out loud to see they feel comfortable and sound authentic.
If not, adapt them to your own style of speech.
Listen very carefully to what the interviewer is asking. Answering a question you would have liked them to ask or a different question completely is always going to go against you. If in doubt repeat back the essence of the question just to check.
ASSESS the question.
What does the interviewer require? Aim to work out what the interviewer is getting at. What are they listening for? Would a suitable reply cover skills, experience, qualifications and knowledge, background or personality? Maybe it would be a mix of these?
Linked to the above. Identify which of your examples will be most relevant to their question and will show you in the best light
Start your answer on a positive note. Here are a list of positive words but remember they have to be your words and sound natural. These are only some suggestions
‘Yes’‘Yes of course’
‘Yes, I agree’
That’s a good question’
I’m glad you asked’
I’m pleased to say’
‘I’m happy that’
‘That sounds great’
‘That’s something I know about’
‘Yes, that’s what I already do’
'You’ve got a great reputation’
I’m good at’
‘I’ve been told I’m good at’
‘One of my strengths is’
‘I’ve had positive feedback’
‘It sounds exciting’
‘I’m passionate about’
‘That’s something I could get very enthusiastic about’
REASSURANCE and PERSUASION
You need to reassure your interviewer that they can appoint you with confidence. That you can do the job and you will fit in.You have to be subtle of course or you may appear arrogant and boastful. The following words used sparingly have a persuasive, reassuring undertone to them. Again you will need to use your own style of speaking to make them sound natural.
‘That will be Ok’
‘That won’t be a problem’
‘That should be straightforward’
'I'm used to that’
'That is something I already do'
‘I can handle it’
‘You can trust me’
‘I’m able to’
‘I’ll look forward to doing that’
‘I learn quickly’
TO GET ROUND A NEGATIVE
Example answers might include:-
‘It might seem that way but…….’
‘The drawback is…….but looking on the positive side…’
‘I don’t have a lot of experience of that but I can do (something similar)….and I learn fast…’
‘I would make that a priority…….. (To learn)
Skilled politicians or media savvy presenters are able to give long complicated answers (often not related directly to the question) but still remember to sum up by reminding the listener what the question actually was and the key point they want to make.
It gives the impression the question has been answered whether or not it has been!
If you can remember to sum up your answer with your key points that will appear very professional and will have the added bonus of keeping you focussed.
Ideas for Sum Up phrases include;
‘So I would say that………’
‘To sum up I would say my key strength is……….’
‘This example shows how I approach…………’
Again only sprinkle these into the discussion and make them sound natural.
It is always advisable to provide examples to support your answer. You should make sure you have some good ones ready but there is a formula of how to use them we thought we'd share with you.
Find out how to give examples that will impress the interviewer.
You can use our example answers and phrases as a guide and adapt them to suit your way of speaking and the type of interview.
Before you know it you will have a repertoire of excellent example answers that are sure to impress the interviewer.
How do we know? Because that's what our Coaching Clients tell us.
Read our Coaching Case Studies and Testimonials
From Example Answers to Interview Answers