Have a job interview coming up? Daydreaming about your dream job? With the new year upon us, many of us are setting goals that will impact our future. Even if you aren’t setting out for change, it’s important to keep your answers to these questions “in your pocket”–just in case!
Here are my top 5 interview questions you need to master before any job interview.
- Tell me about yourself. This is often one of the first interview questions, but beware–this is a loaded question! As innocent as it sounds, your answer to this question will reveal a great deal about you. It basically assesses your sense of identity and values, right from the start. There are many approaches to answering this question (interests, family, career goals, etc.), but be sure to highlight some of your strongest assets in your response to set the tone of the remainder of the interview.
- Greatest strength/weakness. Your greatest strength is something you’ve probably already thought about, but your greatest weakness? That’s not something any job candidate wants to reveal! The key to success with this question is to always be positive, even about your weaknesses. My go-to response has always been that I tend to be overly dedicated to my work and it sometimes leaves little time for hobbies and other things that I enjoy. Another approach I’ve used is to explain that I tend to be a perfectionist and hold myself to a very high standard, but I’ve learned to manage my time appropariately. Each of these responses are not only true of my work ethic, but communicate that I am diligent and will work hard to get the job done. However you choose to answer this question, be honest, but always highlight the positive.
- What do you know about our company? Why do you want to work here? This is yet another chance to show off (humbly, of course!) Tell your interviewer what you know about their reputation and what this company offers it’s clients. Be sure to have checked out the company website, ask questions of others in the field, seek out articles and other job posts to find how the company describes itself. You can work these key ideas into your response to show you’ve done your homework.
- Tell me about a time when ____ and how you handled it. This is a typical interview question that assesses your ability to handle opposition and conflict. Interviewers want to know that you can handle pressure and will work well with others. Use past experiences, even if they are in a different field, to reveal your ability to overcome obstacles with grace.
- Do you have any questions for us? The answer to this question is always, “YES!” This question allows you to get a better sense of what your specific role will entail. You can ask questions like: What skills would a person need to be successful in this position? Who will I report to? What is the next promotional step after this position? Each of these questions demonstrate a desire to succeed and grow in the field. Are you a go-getter? Prove it through your questioning!
Check out my upcoming post: How to prepare for your next interview.
Best of luck!