Common Interview Questions… Explained
Tell me about yourself • Actually, this is not a question--it is an invitation. • It is an opportunity to share with the interviewer whatever you think is important in their hiring decision. • It is your chance to differentiate yourself from other candidates. In most cases, the standard questions offer the same opportunity. • To ensure that you provide the information they want, you might wish to start your response with a question of your own, like… "I would be glad to. Could you give me an idea of the type of information you would like to know? ”
Tell me about yourself If you simply tell someone about yourself without planning or context to the target job for which you are there to interview, you could give away all kinds of information that leaves them with the impression that you are: • Over-qualified; Under-qualified; Ditzy or naïve • Unprepared for the interview (so not really very interested) • Simply a risk for the company Don’t ramble on about where you live, kids, likes/dislikes…, THIS IS A JOB INTERVIEW. The sole purpose of this interview is to see if you are a fit for the employer; a fit for the job! Therefore, your goal is to avoid answers that give away personal information about yourself. An employer isn’t going to select to hire you because you have such cute children, a wonderful husband or wife, or interesting hobbies.
Tell me about yourself Before you ever go to an interview, you need to KNOW YOURSELF in terms of qualifications for the job and match for the company. To know this you should: 1. Carefully review the job description to note where you meet or exceed the requirements, 2. Research the company, 3. Identify, catalog, list, and review your expertise, strengths, and unique value, 4. Practice, practice so you sound natural and confident. Then, you will be ready to put yourself in the employer’s shoes, and emphasize what will make you stand out for the company and for the job.
Tell me about yourself Break your answer to this question into two parts: 1. How/why you are qualified. Summarize what you have done that qualifies you for this opportunity. Don't recite what is on your resume or job application, but don't assume that the interviewers, who may have been interviewing several candidates, remember your qualifications. Present the most significant highlights that are most relevant to this job. These are the qualifications that make it clear that you are a very good candidate for the job. 2. Why you have applied. Focus on advancing your career. Stay away from reasons that are not clearly careerrelated. Emphasize the opportunity to move forward in your career without saying that you are dead-ended in your current job.
Tell me about yourself Avoid the purely personal reasons. Do NOT say: • You want to work closer to home because your kids sometimes get out of school early and you want to be able to be there with them • You are too tired from the long commute to enjoy life • Your boss is a jerk and you want a better job This is where you must tread very carefully and not say anything that might be interpreted as trashing your current/former employer.
Where do you see yourself in five years? • Employers don’t necessarily care to hear that you expect to climb the corporate ladder and be a supervisor. If the job you’re interviewing for is not a supervisor, they probably aren’t concerned about your management skills. You can share how you’ve been a mentor to others and led projects with little to no supervision. That should indicate you have leadership potential. • Focus on them: In five years, you should have made a significant impact to the company’s bottom line. Think about how you can achieve this in the role you’re interviewing for. In technology careers, advancing your skills is important, too. You should be able to share what areas you want to strengthen in the near term (but be careful that they are not areas of expertise that the company needs now). • Considering the average length of time people stay with a company or in a job is 4. 6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it seems a little silly that employers will still ask this question. However, a bad answer to this question can derail an opportunity for you.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Avoid Giving a Non-Answer • Keep your answer somewhat general since a lot can happen in 5 years, but don't be too vauge since a non-answer will make you look like you don't take your career -- or your job -- very seriously. And, very few employers will be interested in you then. • A common mistake is trying to name a specific position that may or may not exist in the company, like "I hope to be promoted to an executive assistant position within 5 years. " If that job doesn't exist, you could look out-of-touch or uninformed. • On the other hand, a vague response such as, "I would hope to be able to progress into a senior level position, " could backfire if the position doesn't offer any advancement. And a flippant response, like "I'd like to have your job, " could be a complete disaster. • So, taking the time to provide a thoughtful answer will ultimately be helpful both to you and to the employer.
Where do you see yourself in five years? What the Employer Is Trying to Discover Before answering this question, it is helpful to understand that the interviewer is looking for five primary things in your answer: 1. Do you have a solid grasp of the position and what it entails? 2. Do you have the right attitude? 3. Are you going to be dependable? 4. Are you a good cultural and social fit for the organization? 5. How are you going to use your strengths to achieve success in this job? Qualifications and experience being somewhat equal among candidates, the decision maker(s) wants the candidate who is the best fit culturally. The candidate who takes time to prepare a list of personal goals in advance of the interview will be able to communicate his/her strengths and potential fit best.
Where do you see yourself in five years? 1. Focus on what you are grateful for regarding this position. Consider the personal feelings that swell up inside you as you consider working in this job and for this employer. • Will you have more of a work-life balance? • Will your commute be easier? • Does it seem like the kind of environment where you can leverage your strengths and be valued? • Will you have a greater opportunity to learn new things? • Will your value in the job market increase? Take time to name your feelings and strengths, and write out how an employer could make you feel valued.
Where do you see yourself in five years? 2. Think about how you would like to spend your day and the kind of actions you will be performing. Don't focus on the specific job duties. Instead think about how you will interact with your coworkers, customers, and anyone else who crosses your path. • How would you like to feel at the end of your workday? • What new skills or information will you learn? • What do you see yourself doing in this job that is different from your current or previous jobs? Take a moment to write down those thoughts and think about what it would feel like to love your job and the company where you work.
Where do you see yourself in five years? 3. Try setting some goals as you visualize yourself in this new position. Even if you can't specifically determine where you see yourself five years from now, consider: • What possibilities seem to develop for you by having this job? • What seems new? • How would things be different for you? Take a moment to focus on your personal and professional values, write them down, and formulate a response to a modified version of this question such as "What is going to be important to you in your career in five years? " or "How would you like to see your life/career differently in five years? "
Where do you see yourself in five years? 4. Research the employer to see what options might be available to you there. Go to the employer's website to see if you can explore a "Careers" section which describes the organization or, at least, lists their job openings. Worst case, check out their job postings on a job board or Indeed. • Do they have a lot of jobs open? • Can you see a progression in the job titles and job descriptions, like: Assistant Branch Manager, Senior Branch Manager, Regional Branch Manager, etc. • Do you see other parts of the organization that look interesting to you? Maybe you are interviewing for an administrative job, but the sales jobs look interesting. Don't make the mistake of mentioning an option that's not available with this employer. You will impress them when you share that you have actually learned about the organization enough to mention specific job titles and parts of their organization.
Why should we hire you? What you want to tell them is: they'd be crazy not to they hire you. Focus on them: You need to only share how you meet almost all the criteria they seek, and also have 2 -3 additional abilities that they might not even know they need…yet. They need to know you are a candidate who can not only meet their needs now, but will also be valuable for where they want to go in the future. Have you been down a path already that they are currently starting? Having “lessons learned” to offer them is a very strong plus for a job candidate.
Why should we hire you? Bad Answers to This Question An answer that focuses on the benefits to you is a bad answer. So, answers like: • I need the money. I need a job. • This location is very close to where I live (or go to school or want to move or whatever). • I've always been interested in (whatever they do). As important as those reasons are to you, they are not the reasons the employer will hire you. Frankly, nice as they might be, they really don't care about the benefits to you if they hire you. Your answer to this question should focus on them, not on you! You are the seller in this situation, not the buyer. So, you need to focus on the benefits (more than one!) to the buyer. Remember that the goal here is to entice this employer to offer you this job. Embrace that this question as an opportunity to emphasize your value and to demonstrate your knowledge as they work together to show well you could do the job.
Why should we hire you? You need to plan to answer questions about why you are qualified and know how to sell yourself above the other applicants. Realize that you may have the same skillset, but much of job interview success revolves around who does the best job at communicating it in the interview! So, spend some time doing the following: 1. List your skills and strengths. 2. Write CARs (Challenges, Actions, and Results) about accomplishments for each of your jobs. 3. Document your accomplishments. 4. Uncover what makes you special by reviewing letters of recommendation and/or other testimonials you may have from work, school, and volunteering. 5. Write down concrete answers to questions like this that give a concrete example to prove you fit the bill!
Why do you want to work here? The answer to this question has two aspects: the content and the delivery. Focus on them: • Content -- Employers want to know you feel you can fit in at the company quickly. That means not only deliverables in the job description, but also your fit with the company culture. You will likely have to do some homework to answer this one. You need to understand the reasons why others enjoy working there. Is it a great place to advance your skills, have great challenges to add to your resume, or will it allow you to grow as a professional? • Delivery -- The delivery must be genuine. If a hiring manager feels you’re just “telling them want they want to hear, ” but don’t mean it…well, the interview is over in their mind. They want to know this is not just a job and paycheck. They want to hear this is what you want to do and the best place to do it.
Why do you want to work here? It's Not About You. Until you get to the point of receiving an offer, employers are just looking for reasons to eliminate you. Here are some answers you never want to find coming out of your mouth: • "For the money. ” • "It seems like a nice place to work. ” • "My cousin Fred works for you, and he has great benefits. " All three of these answers are similar, and may be absolutely true. However, they share the same problem – they are all about what you want. However, they do not make the employer interested in hiring you. Generic answers don't make you stand out either: • "Because I know I can make a really good contribution. ” • "Because I know you have an opening for _______ and I am qualified. " While these may seem better, they err in the similar manner of being vague, "vanilla" answers that anyone could give to any employer for any job.
Why do you want to work here? What's Wrong with These Answers? The answers above don't stand out to the employer because they aren't about the employer. They make one of two mistakes: • These answers, above, focus on the benefit to you of the job. While the employer probably wants you to be happy in the job, they don't care about the benefit to you at this point. They want to know the benefit to them if they hire you. • Those answers don't demonstrate an understanding of the employer's needs. The employer wants to know that you are really interested in this job, and a vague or self-focused answer doesn't show that interest. With these answers, you fade into the woodwork and get lost among the other job seekers who have not done their homework either. These answers will never get you far with an employer.
Why do you want to work here? 1. Know Yourself • Before you talk to employers, or even network for positions, you need to have a strong grasp of what you can offer them. (What’s the return on investment you provide to the employer? ) • You should be able to talk about your strengths and your accomplishments, and to readily give concrete answers to questions such as – "What are your greatest strengths? " – "Why should we hire you? " and "Tell me about yourself. " – as well as "What do you know about us? " and "Why do you want to work here? "
Why do you want to work here? 2. Know the Company Get to know the companies you will be talking to (or talking about, if networking). When you know details about them, their culture, their goals, their products, and their challenges, you are then able to talk about yourself and your fit into the company. Visit Linked. In, and read the company profile information. Search for current/past employee profiles. Google the company, and read all you can. Visit their company website to learn more about them.
Why do you want to work here? 3. Know the Position and the Department (if possible) In this economy, there is no room for shopping for "any job you find me qualified for. " Instead, you need to know where you would fit into the company, whethere is a current advertised opening or not. Again, resources like Linked. In will let you search profiles for staff in target departments. Use the information to learn more about their job responsibilities and to identify Linked. In Groups they belong to (and join them). Also, using Google and viewing the company website will allow you to learn more as well.
What do you know about us? Focus on them: Candidates who are really excited about the prospect of working there have done their homework. If you really want to stand out, learn more than what is listed on their web site. Do some heavy research—perhaps find some articles on the company that not many would know about. It may even come up in conversation spontaneously, and you can show them a copy of the article (I have had this happen to me).
What do you know about us? 1. Be prepared by researching the employer. Researching the employer is a very smart thing to do for a number of reasons. Research will help you answer this question. This research will also help you avoid bad employers, and also help you have good questions ready when you are asked, "Do You Have Any Questions? " Find out all you can. First, read that job description sentence-by-sentence to be sure you understand what they seem to be looking for and how you match the requirements. Then, • Examine the employer's website: About Us, Mission, Products (or Services), People, etc. • Google the employer's name to see what you discover. Clients? Competitors? Raves? Slams? • Look for a Linked. In Company Profile where you can examine the profiles of employees you may be connected to (networking!). • If it's a publicly-traded company, law requires an annual report to be published, so check Annual. Reports. com which will be full of facts on sales, profits, key executives, locations, and much more.
What do you know about us? 2. Make notes about what you find. List key facts about the organization like: • What they do - paying attention to the names of their products and/or services. • Key employees. • Company size – (S, M, L) both in terms of revenue as well as number of employees. • Locations (if they have more than one). • Major competitors, and how they compare with those competitors in terms of size (total sales), profitability (maybe), how/where they are better (and worse), and anything else you can find. • Have you used any of your products or services? Was it a good experience or a bad one? • Look for reviews of their products or services. Note anything related to the job you are seeking that raises questions for you. Is that part of the organization growing or declining? Be very careful of negatives (like you hate one of their products).
What do you know about us? 3. Practice answering the question. As you prepare, practice tying your answer to benefits for them of hiring you. Assuming that these connections or accomplishments are relevant to the job you are seeking, you could say something like these examples. For a job with a company that provides information technology software to the local healthcare industry, a job candidate could answer - • • • "I see that your company has been in business for over thirty years, with an excellent reputation for reliable employee records management software, specializing in systems which can handle both unionized and non-union employees effectively. "Your clients range from small practices to the major healthcare providers in the country, and also include assisted living residences and nursing homes. "I'm very interested in learning more about the mobile apps you have developed to support collecting data from home healthcare suppliers. My experience in this field has shown me that we need to understand this work better both to provide better service and also to retain the best employees. "
What do you know about us? Don't exaggerate or over-do the compliments. Demonstrate that you have done enough research to know that you are truly interested in working for the organization, but avoid seeming like a stalker -- e. g. , don't track down where people live or mention what cars they drive (even if you are a big fan of that location or car).
How do people describe you? Here’s another opportunity to differentiate yourself. Everyone claims to be: a hard worker, good communicator, and team player. But how many are a: problem-solver, game-changer, leader in the industry? Be creative, and have stories to back it up. The interviewer will want to know why someone thinks you are one of these things.
How do people describe you? Focus on them: You want to present attributes that make you sound like the go-to guy or gal wherever you work. Even the standard answers can be taken a step further to be more valuable: • Yes, they want hard workers, but most likely that’s commonplace at their office. Maybe you work hard, but also help others work fewer hours (by helping them do their job better or making their jobs easier). • Good communicators are everywhere. But this doesn’t mean just speaking well. It includes listening. Do you hear things that others don’t? Do you understand things quickly? Can you figure out what people are trying to tell you through other clues (body language, for example)? • Being a good team player is expected, too. But what does this really mean? Getting along with everyone? That’s not hard to do if you’re a nice person. Pulling your weight in the office? Again, expected. What have you done, beyond your job description, that saved the team from a disaster or helped them make an impossible deadline? Did you win an award?
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Your greatest strength is something they need. Don't choose something irrelevant to the job or the employer, like your skill in sudoku (unless that is a requirement for this job). Focus on them: You have many strengths, but pick the one they need help with the most. Is it your expertise in a particular skill? Is it your ability to turn low-performing teams into high performers? Share something that makes them think they need to hire you…right now. I hate the “greatest weakness” question. Everyone knows it’s a trap, and everyone knows the candidate is going to say something trite (popular example: "I’m a perfectionist"). When you give a real answer, you are being genuine. You are admitting you have some growth opportunities and are not perfect. But you can include that you already have a plan to overcome this weakness through training or practice. Some people even insert a little humor in their answer—“I wish I was better at tennis. ” You can, too, if you feel like the interviewer has a sense of humor. But, be sure to quickly follow with a serious answer. Showing you have a lighter side is usually a good thing.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? "What's your greatest strength? " is an often-used job interview question and is frequently paired with the greatest-weakness question. This question is also an invitation to explain why you are the best-qualified candidate for this job. If you are typically a modest person or not accustomed to bragging about yourself, get over it, at least for your job interviews. If you don't tell employers what your strengths are, they will never know. Employers ask this question for a couple of reasons: 1. They are interested in what you think your strengths are because that gives them an insight into your personality. 2. This is the quickest way to gain insight into your strengths. Don't simply pick any random strength you've been told you have (a great cook, good with kids, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc. ). The strengths you describe must be relevant to the job, or they don't matter to the employer. Being a good cook isn't relevant to most office jobs, unless the job is writing or editing a cook book or cooking instruction videos.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? 1. Develop a List of Your Strengths Since the same strength won't necessarily work for every job opportunity, even in the same company, develop a list of three to five (hopefully, more) strengths that you can use as appropriate to that opportunity. Your Skills: Some of your strengths are based on your education and experience -- skills you have developed, like using a particular tool required for your profession. Perhaps you speak more than one language, or are very skilled at keeping unhappy customers from getting more upset. Your Personal Characteristics: Some of your strengths are personal characteristics. These are the "soft skills" that make you a good team member and a productive employee. Choose strengths that are relevant to the job you are interviewing for, and be sure to have at least two examples of accomplishments that prove those you have those strengths.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? 1. Develop a List of Your Strengths What Do You Think Your Strengths Are? Think about the aspects of your work that make you feel the most successful, write them down: • What part of your work do you enjoy doing the most? • What part of your work is the easiest part for you to do (particularly the parts that seem to be more difficult for others)? • What accomplishments are you proudest of (even if no one else seemed to notice)? • What have you been recognized for by an employer (performance review, salary increase, bonus)? • What other internal reward or recognition have you received -- like employee of the month? • What external reward or recognition have you received? Which of the characteristics employers value are reflected in your accomplishments? Connect your accomplishments to those highly valued characteristics. These strengths can be a simple as never missing a day of work or never being late for work.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? 1. Develop a List of Your Strengths What Do Others Think Your Strengths Are? Often, we are not the best judges of our strengths. We think we are, but a view from the "outside" is often more reflective of reality. So, after you have developed your list of strengths, ask a friend or former co-worker (more than one, if possible) if those are the strengths they would choose to describe you. Their answers could surprise you, and, probably, will be very helpful. Ask for examples of when you demonstrated that strength. Then, put together a very short narrative of why something is a strength for you. Have additional proof available.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? 1. Develop a List of Your Strengths Choosing Your Best, Most Appropriate Strengths for Each Opportunity • Before each interview, pick the strengths that are directly relevant to the positions you are seeking. Help the interviewer understand how your qualifications match their requirements. Which of your strengths fits this job and this organization the best? • If the description is so short or vague that the requirements are hard to figure out, scan the lists of "Characteristics Employers Value" and "Skills Employers Need" (below) to find the ones that seem most appropriate for you and the specific opportunity.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? 2. Demonstrate Your Strengths with Your Relevant Accomplishments Make a list of the times when you demonstrated a strength on your list: • Issues you recognized and addressed? • Problems you solved? • Processes you improved? • Expenses reduced as a result of your actions or ideas? • Profits that were generated as a result of your ideas? • Other improvements that resulted from your ideas or actions? When you have a list of 3 or more examples of a strength, think about exactly what happened -- what was the reason you did the action, how did you do it, and what was the benefit of your work. Apply C. A. R. (Challenge - Action - Result) or S. T. A. R. (Situation - Task - Action - Result) methods to describe your accomplishments.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Possible Strengths: Skills Employers Need Don't forget your skills that apply specifically to this opportunity, based on your experience or education/training in: • A type of customer • A type of business • An aspect of business (marketing, finance, law, customer service, and so on) • A skill (writing great blog posts, selling a specific product, writing great proposals, designing excellent products, etc. ) • A technology (OS 10, Bluetooth, AWS, CISSP, and so on) • A job-specific tool like an EKG machine, an infusion pump, a backhoe, a drone, an immersion blender, an HV Gen 2 battery pack, etc. Don't limit yourself to the skills you have developed only in school or in a job. You may have also developed skills in any volunteering you may have done, too.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Possible Strengths: Characteristics Employers Value Look at this list, below, of characteristics that employers prefer for their employees. Relate the characteristic you choose to the requirements of the job, with examples of how you have demonstrated it in the past: • • Honest/trustworthy Dependable Punctual Intelligent Reliable Likeable Positive • • Independent Problem-solver Detail-oriented Hard-working Team player Quick learner Good communicator • • • Creative Passionate about doing a good job Organized Flexible Determined (never give up) Leader (important for jobs managing people and/or projects) When you have accomplishments that can be verified through public media (Linked. In or other media) or through discussions with your references, choose strengths that include those accomplishments.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Like good answers to the greatest weakness question, the answers to the greatest strength question also have two parts: 1. The strength, and. . . 2. Proof of the strength. Share examples of the strength that demonstrate your qualifications for the job you are interviewing for. Be sure to present strengths in terms of how they impact the employer.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Examples: Greatest Strength Answers Remember that this isn't a date or a session with your best friend: • Keep your answers short. Don't talk for longer than 10 to 20 seconds. The interviewer isn't interested in your life story. • Respect your current and previous employers' confidential information. You will be demonstrating your loyalty and ethics, which a new employer should appreciate. • Focus on strengths relevant to the job and employer. • Don't choose irrelevant strengths, like your skill with knitting or dancing -- unless those strengths are related to skills needed for the job. • Don't share too much information, particularly personal information about your family and your health. These are only examples. Use these as guides to help you develop your own answers.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? "What's your greatest weakness? " is the question that no one ever quite knows how to prepare to answer. This single question has the power to determine in one swift blow whether you are a potential asset or a liability to a prospective employer. Luckily, there is a solution – prepare in advance for this dreaded question, and you will tame the monster! Today, many HR professionals consider this question old-fashioned and pointless. Who would admit to a genuine weakness in a job interview? But interviewers who do ask this question often see it as a test of the candidate's interest and preparation. So, being ready for this question is the best strategy.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Yes, You Do Have a Weakness The absolute worst answer to this question is: • "I don't have any weaknesses. " or "I can't think of any relevant weaknesses. " That shows a complete lack of self-awareness or dishonesty. You may have only one weakness -- if you are very lucky (or delusional or not paying attention) -- but you do have a weakness. At least one! Focus! Think about the weaknesses you know you have had in the past, particularly related to your effectiveness at work. Focus on the weaknesses you have overcome, particularly weaknesses that had an impact on your ability to do your job. You will find examples of weaknesses below. Use these examples as guides to help you describe your own weaknesses in effective answers to this question.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Be Prepared with 3 Weaknesses • After you answer this question, you may be asked for a second and even a third weakness, so be prepared. Below, you will find 3 different categories of weaknesses. • Choose one from each category or focus on one type. But, do be prepared with more than one weakness in case you are asked. Often, if your job search is focused on one type of job, one set of weaknesses will be sufficient. Don't Be Tacky • Most employers are tired of hearing that a job candidate's greatest weakness is that they are a perfectionist or that they are afraid to speak in front of large groups. Those are old, tired responses. • Put some thought into the weakness so you don't choose something that will elimintate you from consideration for the job. Avoid ruining the opportunity by turning the interview into something like a segment on a cheezy TV interview show.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? Use the Smart Two-Part Answer Notice in the example answers below, each answer has two parts: 1. The confession of the weakness, and. . . 2. The recovery -- how you managed yourself to minimize the impact of the weakness, or (more risky) the plan you have for recovery. Be sure to present these weaknesses in terms of how they impact the employer. See the examples below. Adapt them to your situation and the employer.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? 3 Types of Weaknesses: Pick Your Best Weaknesses You want to position yourself effectively within the interview and need to match positive answers with positive tone of voice and body language. When you prepare for this question, you will want to pick a weakness that does one of three things: 1. The weakness is a strength in disguise, or. . . 2. Present a current strength as a recovered weakness, or. . . 3. The weakness represents an irrelevant weakness. Be sure that this weakness does not hinder your ability to do the job or to fit in with the employer.
What is your greatest strength/weakness? • Weakness: New Graduate, Entry-Level, or Career Changer without Relevant Experience Strength: Enthusiastic Learner and Hard Worker • Weakness: Introverted Strength: Careful, Thoughtful, and Self-Sufficient • Weakness: Impatient Strength: Productive and Well-Organized Regardless of what strategy you use, your ultimate goal is to present an answer that doesn't damage your potential for the position. If you are not sure if you are picking a negative weakness, review the criteria for the position, and put yourself in the shoes of the employer to consider what you would like to hear and what you would think was negative. Take time to practice difficult answers like this with a partner until you feel comfortable so that you will sound natural and confident in the interview.
When can you start? Be careful about this question for a few reasons: • It doesn’t mean that you “got the job. ” They may be just checking to add that to their notes. You must keep your guard up until you are in your car and driving away from the interview. • If you are currently employed, you should be honest about the start date and show professionalism. You should tell them you would have to discuss a transition with your current company to see if they require a two-week notice (or some other timing). If you currently have a critical role, your potential new employer would expect a transition period. • If you can start right away (and they know you are not currently employed), you certainly can say you’re able to start tomorrow. Sense of urgency and excitement about starting work at the new company is always a good thing.
Why do you want this job? • There should be a heartfelt answer on this one. Your gut should be giving you the answer. Although, if the reason is about money, location, work schedule, benefits, and other factors not tied to actual role, you may want to think a little more about your answer. None of those reasons are important to the hiring manager. • Focus on them: They want to hear that this job is exactly what you’ve been thinking about as a next step in your career. • Of course, the follow-up question they’ll ask is: How so? • Be prepared to answer that with your rationale for how this job meets your professional needs and how you can contribute at your highest potential while in this role. People want to feel like their work means something. There is nothing wrong with sharing that feeling in a thoughtful way.
Why do you want this job? 1. Write down the four to six things that are most important to you in a job. For example, money is always on the chart so start by putting down the amount of money you would like for a new position. Then, ask yourself what else is important to you. These could include: • • • Salary/compensation. Customer-facing activities. Variety of work. Being part of a team. Working for a company with a good reputation. • • • Working for a company which is growing rapidly. Additional training opportunities. Opportunities for growth in 3 years. Company stability. Using specific tools or technologies. • • • Recognition. Camaraderie. Commute length. Work schedule. Whatever is important to you not on this list. Note: Do not put down a good boss or good benefits as those are a given. Remember that these areas are identified for your insight and not necessarily for you to share with the employer. Use them to help you develop your answer to this job interview question. (More on that below. )
Why do you want this job? 2. Now prioritize your entries. If making a specific salary is most important to you, then rank that #1. However, if you are willing to sacrifice some money now for continued training, then training has a higher priority. 3. Evaluate your current (or former) job and the job for which you are interviewing. After ranking all your categories, now evaluate your current/former job on a 1 -10 scale for each category in the chart and see how it ranks. This helps you see clearly why you are not happy in your current position and will give you an indication of why you are interested in the new opportunity. When you have completed the Matrix for your current/former job, consider how the job you are interviewing for meets your needs. Make note of those points where the new job fits your preferences.
Do you have any questions? YES, you had better have questions. This is your chance to “interview the interviewer. ” In essence, to learn about the company, the role, the corporate culture, the manager’s leadership style, and a host of other important things. Candidates who are genuinely interested in the opportunity, ask these types of questions. Those who don’t ask questions give the impression they’re “just kicking the tires” or not really too concerned about getting the job. When given the floor to ask questions, you should realize the interview is not over yet. Good candidates know this is another time to shine. It is imperative that you ask questions that do three things: 1. Show you did some research about the company. 2. Mention something else (related, but interesting) about you. 3. Will have an interesting answer or prompt a good discussion.
Do you have any questions? After you have had a chance to ask your questions, you will want to validate that you are an ideal candidate for the job. To do this, you should probe into the minds of the interviewers and see if there any concerns they have about you. The key question to do this can be along the lines of: “After discussing this job, I feel as if I would be a perfect fit for it. I’m curious to know if there is anything I said or DID NOT say that would make you believe otherwise. ” The answer you get to this question may open the door to mentioning something you did not get to talk about during the interview or clarify any potential misconception over something that was covered. You may not get a chance to address shortcomings in a follow-up interview -- it is imperative to understand what was missing from the discussion while still in the interview.