We all dread certain job interview questions, but with a good answer ready you can actually look forward to any question.
Successfully launching a blog is not easy and just the fact that you have a blog that is in any way career related gives you a conversation starter and icebreaker. But your blog can provide much more than that. Here are a few questions that you can respond to by drawing from your blogging experiences:
Provide an example of your problem solving skills:
If you have successfully launched a blog and sustained it for a significant amount of time, you have solved many problems. So every time you solve a significant problem, write down a short description. Note the nature of the problem and the implications it has for your blog’s availability or effectiveness. Describe exactly your problem solving process. what you did to solve the problem (e.g. use Google, phone a friend etc.). Specify clearly the outcome of the action you took and what you learned if anything. Tell the whole story in less than 60 seconds if possible in a way that is easy to understand.
What special skills do you have?
Successful blogging requires a wide variety of skills. You need to be a good writer, to listen to your followers, to continually monitor what other people are saying about your topic. Create your own list, think about the skills that are likely needed for the position you are applying for and match them up. It is essential that you make the link in the job interview to the benefits the employer will receive when you bring the same skills to the job. networking, research, listening, responsiveness.
Give an example of how you manage multiple projects:
Just sustaining one blog is effectively managing multiple projects. You have a steady stream of new posts to create, comments from viewers etc.
How do you stay current in your field?
This is a question to which a career-related blog is particularly well-suited. If you can show how the research that you need to do for your blog keeps you well informed of leading-edge trends in your field, this is a question that you will answer even if they don’t ask it. This is a particularly important question to answer well if the interviewer suspects that you are “coasting” which may be the case if you stay in the same position for a long time.
What kinds of tasks you enjoy best or do best?
The reason I think this can be a beneficial one is because you undoubtedly have learned a lot about yourself and what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy from the experience of blogging over a longer period of time. Presumably you enjoy and dislike aspects of your paid work but since blogging is entirely voluntary it may be easier for you to notice the tasks that you really like. So these examples are helpful and not just because there’s nothing about your paid work that you enjoy but that you see it more clearly.
What kinds of tasks do you dislike most or do worst?
There is no doubt that you like some aspects of blogging more than others but if you’re successful you must have found a way to do those tasks anyway. Perhaps you really don’t enjoy editing your posts, but you really understand how important it is to take the time to do it carefully because of the impact it has on the impression you give to your readers. That’s the story you want to tell.
What are your greatest strengths?
Successful blogging requires persistence, resourcefulness, creativity and patience, etc. It may also reveal competitiveness and assertiveness.
What are your most significant accomplishments?
Hopefully, you have significant accomplishments other than your blog but it can definitely be one of them. The incremental value for this one is probably the highest if you don’t feel as though you have any from work. You probably shouldn’t assume every interviewer understands how difficult it is so prepare statistics to emphasize the accomplishments. Can you tell them something about improving your ranking? Any honors? Any indicators of exceptional skills?
I’m certainly not suggesting that you answer all the interview questions with references to
your blog. But if it feels like way too many of your stories that you use to answer interview questions are from a long time ago in your work history, your blog may provide answers that you can deliver with enthusiasm and clarity.