Whether it's your first time giving an interview or you have given interviews many times by now, the next one is always nerve-wracking. Some questions are pretty standard, but some can throw you off. Before you go for your interview, here is a checklist.
Considering you have done your due diligence with regards to the research of the company you are applying for and your own SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, let's jump into the questions.
Tell Me About Yourself.
Seems simple, but do not skip its preparation. Don't delve into detailed history. Instead, prepare it like an elevator pitch, clean and short as well as effective and persuasive. Include some details about your position and how you got here with tons of experience that has relevance with regards to the position you are applying for. End it with why you would make a perfect employee for the role.
How Did You Hear About This Position?
This may seem inconsequential but this can also be used as an opportunity to show your passion for the job. Mention how you found out about it and then include what excites you about the role.
Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
Do not give generic answers here. The generic test is if you can also give the same answer to this question to a bunch of other companies. For this, do your research for the company and mention a unique point that you find appealing. You could also talk about how and what areas you think the company can expand into in the future. Be specific in your answer.
Why Do You Want This Job?
Companies are looking for passionate people for the job. The answer to this question should be well thought of. Mention some key points that you think make you suited for the position.
Why Should We Hire You?
This can seem intimidating but it can also be your lucky question. This is the best opportunity to sell yourself as a capable and skilled candidate for the position. The answer should mention that you will deliver results, that you will be a great fit for the team and that you are better than the other candidates.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
When answering this question, focus more on quality than quantity-related factors. Mention a few qualities that will fit the role and support them with examples. Instances are more likely to be remembered than general answers.
What Do You Consider to Be Your Weaknesses?
This question is more to test your self-awareness as well as your honesty. The important part here is to keep a balance between extremes, something that you are struggling with but also improving upon.
What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?
This is your chance to tell the interviewers that you get results on the table. STAR, or the situation, task, action, resulted will come in handy while preparing an answer for this question. Give context on what the situation and tasks were assigned to you. Then describe your plan of action and what results you achieved.
Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It.
You may not want to bring up conflicts in the workplace during your interview, but if asked do not pretend that a conflict has never occurred. Mostly the interviewers are looking to see if you can face conflict and look for ways of resolution.
Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills.
Answer with the experience you have as a leader of any project or proposed a new idea. It does not mean that you had to have had a title. You can also use the STAR strategy here to clear the story of your leadership skills.
What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?
You must mention an incident where a disagreement was handled professionally by you for this question. Extra attention must be given to how you begin as well as the ending of this answer. Begin with a short sentence highlighting the incident and end strong, with a smart understanding of the situation or what your key learning was.
Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.
The key to this question is honesty. While being honest, do not put the blame on any person. Mention what learning you gained from the experience and your course of action to avoid repetition of the mistake. This question is mostly asked to see if you are self-aware and your ability to receive feedback.
Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
This can be tough to answer. Remember not to be bitter or negative about your previous employer. Frame your answer in a way that shows you are eager for the new role or job position and that you find this role to be a better fit for you.
Why Were You Fired?
If it is because of layoffs or because of performance reasons, be honest in your answer. If the reason was your performance, frame the answer like a learning experience. Mention how that led to some growth as to how you approach situations now. Portraying growth can lead to this question becoming your advantage.
Why Is There a Gap in Your Employment?
It could be because you were taking care of someone who needed it, like your parents or children, or because it took time to find a job. Irrespective of the reason, you must be prepared to discuss gaps in your employment. Be honest but do not share details you are not comfortable with. Mention any skills you might have gained or bettered during this time period. It could even be volunteering or crisis response skills.
Explain Why You Changed Career Paths?
Do not be struck by this question, instead calmly and concisely explain what decision you have made regarding your career. It is more important here to highlight how skills from your previous role will make you better and unique for this position. It makes an impression if you can explain how what might have been considered irrelevant skills for this role can be used for this role.
What Are You Looking for in a New Position?
It would be best to include in your answer the things that the role has to offer. Include the skills you think this role will give you and in this answer, be specific, don't give generic skills.
What Work Environment Do You Prefer?
Here, include the work environment that the company has. For this, you will have to have done your part of the research. Include specific details and don't give a generic answer
What Is Your Management Style?
The best manager has the skills to be a strong leader but flexible at the same time. That is what you want your answer to reflect. After a brief explanation, including some examples of moments you exhibited those qualities in a management role or position.
How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?
This answer requires your honesty because, the closer you get to gain the position, the more likely they are to call your references or previous workplace. This can also be used as an opportunity to mention some strengths or skills that you would like to mention but have not been able to so far.
How Do You Deal With Pressure or Stressful Situations?
Do not be in a hurry to move on from this question. Mention some real strategies you use to cope with stressful situations. Include points where you communicate or use proactiveness for mitigation of the pressure. It would be better if you can give an example of a situation where you dealt with a rather stressful situation.
What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?
This is not a trick question. This is to find out about what you are passionate about or devote your time to outside of work. This is where you can let your personality shine. But still, keep the tone professional and make sure your answer does not communicate that you will be devoting a major amount of your time and focus outside of the job.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
Be specific about your goals for the future. This is to find out if your goals and expectations are realistic or if you are ambitious. This is also to see if the position you are currently applying for is part of a plan towards your goal. If you are not sure of what the future goal is, it is safer to say that you are unsure but know that this experience will help you make that decision later.
What Would Your First 30, 60, or 90 Days Look Like in This Role?
This is to check if you have done your research. This answer will also determine if you have given thought to your job position and taking initiative. For preparation for this question, gather information about aspects of the company as well as how you would familiarize yourself with the team. You can also suggest a project idea to show that you are indeed serious and ready for this role. A good answer will show that you are thoughtful and care for your position.
What Are Your Salary Expectations?
You should have figured out your salary requirements ahead of time for this question, find out about the pay scale of similar roles. Take your skills, knowledge and experience into account. You can give a salary range, keeping the lower part of the range closer to what you hope for. You can also flip the question and ask what the range for this role in their company is. You also delay the answer, saying you would like to learn more about the compensation package or the role itself before discussing salary.
What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?
This can be difficult because you have to answer in a way that does not insult the company or worse, the person you are interviewing. It is better to start with mentioning something positive about the company. Then give feedback that is constructive as well as what fresh perspective you will be bringing with you. Explain why you are suggesting the change. Try to end with a question that shows that you are curious about their product and would appreciate their point of view.
When Can You Start?
Be realistic, and mention expectations that are workable for both you as well as the hiring company. Don't shy away from mentioning if you need to give notice to your current employer. If you wish to take a break between jobs, mention that you have some previously scheduled commitments.
Are You Willing to Relocate?
If you can and are willing, simply agree. But if you want to answer no, or take time to think, again mention that you are excited about the opportunity and explain your reason for the reluctance to move and offer an alternate option such as work from home or working at the local office branch. If it is not very clear right now, you can also say that you wish to stay for the following reasons but would be willing for the right opportunity.
Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?
If there is something relevant that you would have liked to mention before, use this as an opportunity to do that. You can also give a brief summary of your qualifications.
Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
Keep in mind that an interview is not just for you to answer questions about a job, it is also for you to determine if this is the right place for you. This question is an opportunity for you to find out what you wish about the company or the team, the position or the department. If you can, keep some unique questions for asking if this question comes your way.
We wish you the best for your next interview. If you wish for more detailed training, IM Impeccable offers Campus to Corporate training as well. What makes IM Impeccable unique is our customized solutions. We offer groups as well as individual training. For more details contact IM Impeccable and book an appointment today!
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