While we’re not mind readers, it’s important to be prepared to respond effectively to the questions that employers typically ask during an interview. Here is a list of some common interview questions below and the best way to go about answering them:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
You never want to give your life story, but you should provide the interviewer with a short summary of your skills, recent and past work experiences, and accomplishments which relate to the position you are applying for.
- “What is your greatest strength?”
Study the job description and what skills the company is looking for. Out of those skills, which do you most excel in? State the top skill in the interview and talk about recent/past experiences where you showcased/improved on that skill.
- “What is your greatest weakness?”
Study the job description and what skills the company is looking for. You want to state a skill that is considered to be a minor skill needed for this position. Be honest and admit your limited experience, however state that you are working towards improving this skill. This turns a negative into a positive showing the interviewer that although you have limited experience in this skill, you are actively trying to improve yourself in this area already.
- “Why do you want this position/to work for our company?”
Now before accepting an interview, you should have already studied both the job description and done research on the company itself. State why you want this particular job and what attracted you to apply for it. You want to connect your skills and recent/past work experiences to this particular job. From your research, you should also be able to point out what you like about the company itself, such as their products, if they take part in community initiatives, their list of clients/customers, etc.
- “Why are you leaving your current job/why did you leave your last job?”
The most important thing to remember is to never say anything negative about your current/former employer. Here is an example of an answer for this question you can give: “I feel that there really isn’t room for growth with my current/former employer and I wasn’t able to utilize my strengths as well. I’m ready to move on to a new challenge and find somewhere where there are growth opportunities and flexibility to showcase a variety of my skills.” Bonus points if you further connect and explain how you feel this job would help fulfill those goals.
- “What are your salary expectations?”
Before the interview, research online what someone in this specific job position you are applying for would make and what a fair salary range would be. The best website I find for this would be Payscale as it not only provides you with a salary range, but also allows you to complete a free, personalized salary report.
By preparing in advance, your responses will come off far stronger and more confident in an interview. This is the time to showcase your skills, experiences and why you’re the best candidate for the job. Now go out there and ace that next job interview!
– Rebecca Bartley
Public Relations ‘14
Follow Rebecca @rbartleyann