It doesn’t matter if you’ve attended dozens of them before. Job interviews are nerve-wracking. You applied for the role because you think it’s your ticket out of unemployment or that it will move you further along your career than your current job. So, the minute you walk into that interview room, the pressure is definitely on.
You also aren’t really sure of what the interviewers will ask. Or are you? Well, while no two interview panels are the same, you are likely to face certain questions. Here’s a look at five of the most common interview questions and tips on what interviewers are expecting from you.
Tell Us About Yourself
This is the first attempt by the panel to gauge your suitability as a candidate. Your answer shouldn’t, therefore, go into your marital status, kids, hobbies and other things that revolve around your personality. Neither should you use this as an opportunity to rehash your resume – a resume maker tool like RESUMEBUILD does a good job of that!
Rather, see this question as an invitation to make your 1-minute elevator pitch. Focus on your experience, qualifications, and interests that position you as the ideal candidate.
Why Do You Want This Job?
Do you really want to work for the organization, or are you just desperate for a nice, secure, and well-paying job? For the majority of people, the latter would be a more sincere answer. Unfortunately, that’s not what hiring managers are keen on hearing. They want to gauge how deep your interest in their company and industry is.
They want to know you took the time to research their organization, including their guiding ethos and their corporate culture. Your response will point to your preparedness and organization, two crucial attributes in the workplace.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
You, of all people, are best versed in the things you are good at, so this should be a breeze, right? Not quite. First, you probably have dozens of strengths you could list. Focus on those that are most relevant for the position. So, if you have a knack for both public speaking and teamwork, but public speaking won’t be a required skill for the job, dwell on your strength as a team player.
Second, if you don’t want to come across as arrogant or cocky, let someone else’s words praise your strengths. That could be a current/past boss or your work colleagues. Better yet, use tangible achievements to back up your assertions, e.g., the text introducing you as a speaker at an industry convention.
What Are Your Biggest Weaknesses?
This is perhaps the trickiest question of all. If you ramble endlessly over the horrid weaknesses you grapple with, that will immediately doom your prospects. On the other hand, claiming to be unaware of any personal weakness would be considered, at best, a lack of self-awareness and, at worst, deceitful.
Strike the right balance. Think of something you aren’t good at but isn’t required in the discharge of your role. If you have time, explain how you are working on overcoming it. As much as possible, go for something that includes a humorous anecdote. It will go a long way.
Where Do You Want to Be in Five Years?
This is a chance to show your ambition and aspiration but peppered with a healthy dose of reality. For example, don’t say you want to be CEO in five years when the chances of that happening are extremely slim.
Instead, mention a role at the company that you’d hope to occupy by the time you hit five years at the organization. Make sure it’s something where your current skills, experience, and interests would be an advantage.
No two interviews will be the same. However, if you can master how to answer these five questions, you’ll consistently make a lasting positive impression with hiring managers.