If you have ever interviewed for a job, you have probably found that interviewing is one of the most difficult and nerve racking parts of the job search process. The goal of your resume is to get you the interview; the goal of the interview is to get you the job! You must learn to interview effectively, since you will likely engage in 100’s of interviews throughout your career. You must always put your best foot forward, if you want to get selected over other candidates to receive a job offer. You will likely interview with Recruiters and/or Hiring Managers as well as teams of prospective colleagues etc…
What questions will they ask? How should you prepare? How do you control your anxiety/nervousness? These are just a few thoughts that go through every candidate’s mind prior to their interview.
Interview preparation takes time on your part. Below are answers to some of the typical and not-so-typical questions as well as a few tips and techniques.
How you should answer some of the typical and the confusing interview questions?
- Tell me about yourself – this should be a short 4-5 sentence synopsis of who you are professionally and personally. Try to focus on professional strengths that set you apart and are not already included in your resume; tying into the job description. Mention your family or hobbies to show you are not only a potential employee, but a human with a personality! Practice and memorize this dialogue.
- Tell me about a weakness – we all have weaknesses, so acknowledge it. Pick 1 or 2 weaknesses that you have and indicate how you are improving on them. Try to explain your weaknesses from a positive standpoint.
For example; if you are a multi-tasker; this is positive, because you get a lot done at one time, but perhaps it takes you off task at times and you find yourself focused on too many tasks and not completing them. Describe how you take it upon yourself to refocus yourself and prepare a “to-do” list to ensure you stay on task.
- Are you a leader or a follower? Do you work better as a team, or as an individual contributor?
While your personality may be geared in one direction or another on these questions, you never know what they are seeking, so it’s important to indicate your strengths on both sides. Can you be a better leader in some situations and a follower in others? Are you capable of collaborating with other team members on projects, yet capable of owning your own tasks which contributes to the overall team/company goals?
*Employers are looking for effective problem solvers who will figure out a solution, when you don’t have an easy answer.
*Hiring Managers are looking for someone who is diverse, who can learn new things, who is easy to get along with and is coachable and flexible, with a good personality.
*Often times it’s not if you answer the questions correctly, but how you go about determining the answer; your thought-process and problem solving techniques.
A few tips you should know:
- Always do your homework about the company, gather information and be prepared for the question: “what do you know about this company?” You can do this via LinkedIn, Google searches and websites like Glassdoor.com.
- Review the job description thoroughly and be prepared to answer questions on every aspect.
- Dress professional, it is always better to be over dressed than underdressed for an interview.
- Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early for your interview; anticipate bad traffic, issues with directions, parking problems etc…
- Never complain about your previous or current employer.
- Turn off your cell phone during the interview
- Send a post-interview thank you note.
Interviewing doesn’t have to be stressful, if you just be yourself and know how to answer some basic questions; it will come easily to you. Interviewing takes practice. It’s best if you practice with a friend or family member or a professional career coach ahead of time, rather than with a prospective employer at the time of your interview!
These are just a few tips and a few questions you may be asked in an interview, my interview coaching includes in-depth preparation with proper techniques, as well as role playing with multiple questions to ensure you feel comfortable with the answers. I can also help with everything from resume writing and LinkedIn profiles to job search/interview and personal branding coaching.