You’ve found the perfect job at a wonderful company in a great location and have been given the chance to interview. The days leading up to the interview can bring a variety of emotions ranging from being nervous to feeling confident. There is always the unknown of what questions will be asked of you and anxiety can easily settle in. However, by preparing answers to the most popular interview questions, you might just feel more organized and sure you will have given the meeting all you had.
- “So, tell me about yourself.” While it’s not necessarily a question, what you say is very important in the interview process. Focus on what led you to wanting this job and what makes you passionate about the industry you are getting into. This is the chance to support why you should be hired for the position.
- “What do you know about our company so far?” The only way to prepare for this question is to do your research. Hopefully, if you had interest in the job position, you looked into the company you could potentially be working for. Look over their website and social media pages. Pay close attention to the company’s history, what they specialize in and any other information you might have found interesting you can bring up during your meeting. Prove to them you are interested and understand the company’s culture through their corporate social responsibility initiatives and relate to this throughout the interview process..
- “What is your biggest weakness?” Oh, the question that feels as though there is no right answers for. Yet this can be used as one of your greatest advantages. Be honest and ready as this question is almost always asked. Think of an answer along the lines of, “I am very critical of my work and like things to be error-free. However, I find myself spending more time than necessary on certain projects and need to stick to a schedule that works for me and the company.” This shows you are a hard worker and organized.
- “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” When you are asked this, they want to know if you are looking for a career or for a “filler” job. Be open with your answer. If you see yourself having a family but still working full time in a decade, explain that. If you want to grow in the company and know you can bring a lot to the table in ten years, tell them you are open to learn and ready to thrive.
- “What is one word that best describes you?” Avoid words like “Nice,” or “Happy.” Those words are important, however, using words like “Consistent,” “Professional,” or “Responsible” shows what you can bring to your work at the company. Being nice and happy will be proven in other ways by how you interact with those around you, but that’s not what they will hire you for.
- “Why did you leave your last job?” “…and what will make you leave this one should we hire you?” is what they want to add. Let them know why, but leave the negative (if there are any) out of your answer. Say, “I was at a standstill and am looking to move up in responsibility,” or “I was fortunate to have the job at [company] however, I want to get started with my career which I feel I will be able to do here.”
- “What is the salary you require?” You don’t want to ask for too high and be unrealistic, unless you feel you deserve it. However, you don’t want to give them a number that will leave you feeling unhappy. Do your research on the average salary for your type of position. Take into consideration the size of the company you are interviewing at and pick a range you feel comfortable with. If you are still unsure, let them know that it is up for negotiation.
- “Tell me about your strengths.” Like the weaknesses question, you want to answer in a way that will support your credibility to the company. Talk about your organizational skills, your ability to work with others, or how you can work on your own without supervision and still produce necessary results. If you are a self-starter, let them know that.
- “Have you ever dealt with a difficult customer, and how did you deal with them?” Try not to make the example customer look like the bad guy. Give a situation that will show your possible employer you were faced with a situation that made you think outside of the box and how you maintained control of the outcome. This is also a chance for you to bring up your strengths in an example format.
- “What questions do you have for me?” Never skip the opportunity to answer this question. Chances are you have multiple questions but are nervous asking them. There is nothing wrong with learning ahead of time about benefits, expected work attire and if this is a position with potential growth opportunities. Ask them something that shows you’ve done your homework on the company and reflects your interest in the prospective position.
When negotiating the terms of a job offer, many contracts contain language which significantly limits your rights to notice and severance upon termination by the company. An employment lawyer at hkm.com can help you understand what these terms mean, and where to apply pressure in negotiations with a prospective employer.
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