You have landed a job interview in this tense job market. As you begin your preparation for your interview review these top 10 questions frequently used in various formats from decisionmakers across the country.
Before The interview
- Try to connect with someone already working inside the organization to gain valuable insight and information.
- Prepare your go to answers to the top 10 questions in advance of your interview session. Rehearse your answer until each one sounds like a natural conversation.
- By reviewing and rehearsing your nervousness will ease up.
- “Tell me about yourself”
Decision-maker wants to know that you are prepared and why you want this job.
Tip – explain in 5-8 sentences why your experience, expertise or education make you the perfect fit for this position.
Trap – don’t lose your focus by sharing your life story or full career history.
- “Let’s review your resume”
Decision-maker wants to know your skills, and why you changed positions, jobs, or companies
Tip – prepare a compelling explanation for every detail on your resume.
Trap – refrain from speaking negatively about a previous employer, management, or co-worker.
- “Why should we hire you?”
Decision-maker wants to know what value you can bring to the organization and where you see yourself fitting into the team.
Tip – zero in on 1 main skill that you have the team needs.
Trap – trying to Bs your way through or underselling yourself period.
- “Where do you see yourself in two years?”
Decision-maker wants to know that you plan to stay around awhile
Tip – explain what you like job the work and why you can see yourself continuing to grow in this area.
Trap – disqualifying yourself by saying anything that implies you won’t stay around long.
- “Why did you leave you last job?’ Or “Why are you leaving your current position?”
Decision-maker wants to know-if you have baggage or skeletons in your closet
Tip – if you were laid off or fired, frame your answer so it appears to be an organizational change rather than a reflection on you.
Trap – out right lying or saying something that incriminates or totally disqualifies you.
- “What are your weaknesses”
Decision-maker wants to know- that you re human and right for the job.
Tip – rephrase your weakness as a weaker strength that you recognize needs to be worked on and explain how you plan to develop it into a strength.
Trap – saying you have no weakness, means you’re unrealistic.
- “What do you for fun/relaxation?’
Decision-maker wants to know that you are human and real.
Tip – share a hobby or interest that is a little different but will not conflict with the position.
Trap – coming across as boring with no life or sharing an after-work activity that is controversial.
- “Explain how your experience/education makes you right for this role.”
Decision-maker wants to know that you understand the role and are a good fit
Tip – confirm at least 3 aspects of the role and match your skills and/or experience to those aspects
Trap – giving a laundry list wants to know with no explanation.
- “Why this position at this company?”
Decision-maker wants to know that you have done your research,
Tip – mention something you like about the work, the mission, and the people.
Trap – not doing your research and having no answer.
- “Do you have any questions?”
Decision-maker wants to know that you re interested in the role/company
Tip – do your homework and have questions prepared.
Trap – having no questions at all or worst asking about salary, benefits, etc.
After The Interview
- Send a thank you note within 24 hours
- Make notes on any important information from the interview session
- Analyze your performance by identifying the questions you that were difficult to answer. Here’s your area of improvement. Also identify what will well. Remember to repeat that.
- Wait approximately 2 days beyond the time the decision maker indicated before you begin to follow-up.
- Continue to apply for other opportunities. Nothing is guaranteed. If an offer comes, you’ll be able to better negotiate.
For every job interview remember to research these 5 aspects of a company:
- The company mission, goals, and values
- Ideal candidate profile-what type of person are they looking for
- Decision-maker-what can you learn about their management style and team dynamics
- Industry- major development, changes, competitors, etc.
- Logistics- virtual interview or face to face, where are you going, what time and what material will you need to bring/show.