How to Answer Interview Questions

When you’re the subject of a job interview, DISC can help you focus on the best and most strategic ways to ask and answer interview questions.

When being interviewed for a job, here’s the most important thing: know yourself. Be familiar with your personality, and the characteristics that make you unique. Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and be prepared to talk about them honestly. A DISC test can help you put into words the traits that come most naturally to you. But at the very least, be prepared to show that you acknowledge not only your assets, but your faults too. We all have flaws—Own them, and show that you know how to work around those challenges.

Also, use the interview to show that know how to adapt your style and approach to be able to deal with different types of people in less than ideal situations. An interviewer will be impressed that you acknowledge the variables that can affect performance, and that you have strategies to work around them.

Here are the five DISC Golden Rules that you can follow to give a strong interview:

DISC Golden Rule #1: Know Yourself

Know what you have to offer, and be able to communicate that to your interviewer as simply and eloquently as possible. A short DISC test can help with this. It will refresh your memory on what makes you an excellent candidate, give you specific talking points to include (feel free to borrow language from your personality report—we won’t tell), and recharge your self-confidence.

The key is to know what makes you stand out above the other candidates. The person conducting the interview knows you have the capacity to succeed in the position—Why else would you have been called in for the interview? When you know yourself, you know what you have to offer. You also know how you will be able to adapt to the demands of the new job. Use your time in the interview to show who you are as a person, and that you have the self-awareness to be able to not just do the work, but to be a valuable asset to the company as a whole.

DISC Golden Rule #2: Know Your Interviewer

When you head into the interview, use what you know about DISC to create a quick personality for your interviewer. Are they a results-oriented D? An outgoing and informal I? A team-oriented S? A methodical and accurate C? When you’re familiar with DISC, it’s fairly easy to pick up on the clues that point to personality type. You can tell by their body language, demeanor, the kinds of questions they ask, and how they communicate with you. This will help you gear your answers—or phrase them—in a way that’s a perfect match for the communication style of the interviewer. Your ability to understand and adapt to the communication style of others might very well be the key to landing the job.

DISC Golden Rule #3: Be Honest and Confident

Don’t try to outsmart the interviewer by giving the answers you think they want to hear. And don’t rely on pat answers that show no real degree of self-awareness. For example, imagine the interviewer asks, “What’s your greatest weakness?” A less than ideal answer would be, “I work too hard and care too much.” That answer might immediate flag you as a less than desirable candidate. It’s a cliché answer that isn’t memorable or revealing. It gives no insight into who you are or how you approach problems. A better and more insightful answer to the ‘greatest weakness’ question would be, “Perfectionism. I take accuracy very seriously, which can be a god thing. But, my need to work on something until it’s perfect can be a handicap—Sometimes, it takes me too long to complete a project. I have to be very careful to balance accuracy with efficiency. But, since I know this about myself, it’s something I consciously strive for in all my projects.”

DISC Golden Rule #4: Profile the Work Environment

Research, talk to other people, surf the website, read corporate blogs. A company, like a person, has a personality. What is this company’s personality type? Knowing this will help you understand how you need to adjust your approach to assimilate. It also shows that you will be able to seamlessly integrate into the corporate environment and will be able to hit the ground running in your new position. Both are qualities that make you an extremely attractive candidate.

DISC Golden Rule #5: Be Prepared

Before you start to prepare any answers, take a long look at the job listing. What do you think the skills, credentials, and personality traits of an ideal candidate are? Try to think of specific ways your personality exemplifies those requirements, along with examples from your work history that support your qualifications.

Lastly, look our list of interview questions. Use these questions as a way to prep for your job interview. Answer them using the DISC Golden Rules as a guide. You might not be asked these same exact questions in your interview (Microsoft, for example, famously asked the question “Why are manhole covers round?” in their interviews as a way to gage problem solving skills), but you’ll most likely see variations of them pop up at some point.