Don’t Be General, Be Specific

Being specific makes you credible.  It also demonstrates you have real-world experience.  The college degree you are earning is awesome, but even greater is the degree + experience.  So, show it in your interview answers!

For example, when you are asked, “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer,” don’t answer with your personal philosophy or a generic: “Well, difficult customers are just part of the job.”

Instead, give the interviewer a specific situation and the steps you took to handle it.  You could say: “When I was working as a cashier at Starbucks, a customer was angry about the additional charge for soy milk and began to raise his voice.  I listened to the customer empathetically and explained that a lot of others also don’t realize this is an extra charge.  I offered him our Rewards card and explained how it allows for discounts and free upgrades for future visits.  The customer calmed down and took me up on the Rewards offer.”

Notice the different in the two interview answers.  The Starbucks example paints a clear picture of your specific experience for the interviewer.  He or she could clearly see how you could transfer that skill to be a fit at his/her company or organization.  Coupling your educational experiences with your specific work experiences is the best way to impress the interviewer and get that offer!

Don’t Be General, Be Specific