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When you prepare for an interview, you may consider many stock interview questions – and it may be tempting to prepare stock answers.

To stand out from competing candidates, it pays to think more strategically. Here are eight tips for creating more strategic and effective interview answers.

Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes.

Every interviewer has one key question in mind: “What’s in it for us?” How does the company benefit from hiring you?

For every interview question, think about ways to answer both the question asked and this underlying question common to the entire process. The key point you want to make with the hiring manager is that hiring you offers them a great deal of value.

Know why you want to work for this company.

You may already know why you want to work in your chosen field, or why the energy industry interests you. To connect with a particular hiring manager, you’ll also need to focus on why you want to work for their specific company. Find something about this organization that inspires you and build it into your interview answers.

Know your accomplishments.

Anyone can list skills in an interview, and many people do. However, the hiring manager is more likely to be impressed by achievements. Choose three to five major wins in your career to date that are relevant to the position and focus on them as you prepare.

Practice storytelling.

Human brains remember stories more easily than lists of facts or data. Practice telling the story of each of your accomplishments in three sentences or less. Focus on the challenge you faced, the action you took, and the results of that act.

Express your value.

Central to the question “what’s in it for me?” is the question “How does this candidate add value to our company or team?” Discuss your accomplishments and strengths in ways that underscore your contributions and their value.

Go beyond your resume.

While the interviewer may ask specific questions about your resume, everything in your career to date is fair game as long as it helps demonstrate your value and passion for your work. Use non-resume accomplishments strategically to help create a fuller picture of your abilities and drive.

Plan your questions.

An interview is your chance to find out if the job is right for you, too. Think about the major factors that dissatisfied you in previous employment and craft questions that help you determine whether this opportunity offers an improvement over previous positions.

Don’t leave anyone hanging.

Before you leave, make sure you and the interviewer are both clear on the next step: what it is, when you can expect it, and how to respond. An interviewer who has a concrete step in mind is more likely to take it rather than leave you hanging.

If you’re looking for your next career move in the energy industry, contact FootBridge Energy Services today. Our recruiters help professionals connect with the oil and gas opportunities available now.

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