More Interview Prep
Aug 13, 2013
I posted a few weeks back about preparing for an interview and wanted to offer a bit more insight here on that topic. My main point here is to make sure that you are prepared to answer any question that the interviewers will throw at you. Of course we can’t predict every question, but I’ve listed some samples of popular questions below along with explanations of what interviewers are often looking for when they ask them.
Why should you be selected for this job?-This is the typical open-ended question that allows you to sell yourself and your qualifications for the job. If you’ve done your job with your résumé (which you probably have since you have the interview) then they already have some opinions about you in relation to this question. This is your chance to either confirm that they were right or change their minds, for better or worse.
Tell me about two of your strengths and two weaknesses.-When asking this question, interviewers want to see if you can sell yourself but also if you are able to recognize that no one is perfect and that we all have things we need to work on. NEVER answer the second half of this prompt with “I don’t really have any weaknesses.” We all have something that could be considered a weakness so have one ready if this question comes your way.
How do you keep yourself on task?-Here is a question that is becoming increasingly popular as the pace of business increases more and more. Make sure you have a way to keep track of your busy schedule whether it is your iPhone, Outlook Calendar, Post-it notes…whatever works for you. If you answer this along the lines of, “I keep it all in my head,” you will likely not be asked back for a second interview.
If you were to be selected for this position, what would you do on your first day of work?-Your interviewer is trying to make you project forward into the role and find out your level of understanding of the job responsibilities. First day tasks should include meeting the team that you will be working with and asking people how you can immediately start contributing to the success of the team. You can certainly add to this, but don’t talk about setting up your office or finding a cool background for your desktop computer.
Do you have any questions for us?-Usually coming at or near the end of the interview session, this is your opportunity to find out a little more about the position. Focus on things like opportunities for growth in the position and the company, how the position came open (was someone promoted or is it a new position that was just created), and what the company culture is like. Things to stay away from here include pay, vacation policy, sick time, dress code, and best places in the neighborhood to get lunch.
Again, these are not all of the questions that you will ever encounter in an interview, but some of the popular ones I have seen and even used in the past. If you want to read the entire series that I posted about searching for a job, check it out here.