For many of us attending interviews can be a nerve-racking time being thrown into the great unknown. Although every company structures interviews differently, there are some questions that are quite common across the board.
Nothing impresses an employer more than a candidate who is well prepared and who has done their research. Here is some advice on how to answer those tricky interview questions, so you are well clued up on whatever is thrown at you:
Tell me about yourself…
Many employers start by asking this question and it can throw candidates off on a tangent straight away, as it’s a varied question. Some make the mistake of giving the interviewer a long job history, but they generally only want to know some key points of professional experience you can bring to the role and your desire to be part of their company. This can then lead to more of a conversation that allows you to expand on your qualifications.
Why do you want to work here?
This is why it’s important to do your research before attending an interview. Don’t just go on the internet and recite the first page you come across, have a look at their industry news and find out about team members if they are featured on a website team page. The employer doesn’t just want someone who can do the job; they want someone who would be an asset to their company, culture and team. This question gives you the opportunity to stamp your authority on the job by going over and above the average candidate.
Why should we hire you?
Here is a chance to really go to town and sell yourself. Briefly lay out your strengths, qualifications and what you can bring to the job and the team. Be careful not to be too brief when answering by giving answers such as hard working and motivated. Everyone says this; you need to back up your answers that are unique to you and your experiences.
What are your greatest weaknesses?
Candidates are often a bit wary of answering this question as they think it’s a trick question. However, there’s no point in saying you don’t have any weaknesses or just saying I can’t do this. Answer the question by demonstrating a problem that you had in a previous role, then turn it into a positive by talking about how you solved it, This will show that you have the ability to use your initiative and take the necessary steps to better yourself.
Why did you leave your last job?
Even if your last job ended badly, be careful about being negative in answering this question. Be as diplomatic as possible. If you do point out negative aspects of your last job, find some positives to mention as well. Complaining endlessly about your last company will not say much for your attitude.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Even if your greatest achievement was being named captain of the school hockey or football team, try to opt for something you have achieved in a professional environment. Think of the qualities the company is looking for and develop an example that demonstrates how you can meet the company's needs.
What are your salary expectations?
This is one of the questions that you need to be careful of, especially if you looking for a junior position. Try to give a range instead of a specific number and let the interviewer know that you are open to negotiation should you be successful in securing the role. Don’t bring up salary unless you receive a job offer.
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