Interviewing can be a daunting and intimidating experience at times. However it doesn’t have to be. When well prepared you can confidently answer any question with ease and grace. It’s easy to blunder even the best of interviews with one incorrect or stumbled response. Preparation is always the key when going into an interview. It’s important to take the time to do a little research on the company that you’re interviewing with. Write down a list of your strengths, this will help you remember them later. Also it’s important to be knowledgeable in your field (area of expertise). All of these things will help you when you are sitting down to interview for that coveted position with their company.
I have compiled a few of the questions that most of us find hardest to answer on the spot so to speak and how to combat that dreaded ‘um’ factor.
Tell us a little about yourself:
Here is where employers want to know about any volunteer work or affiliations you have. Perhaps you’ve run in a marathon or participate in your children’s PTA or Girl Scouts. It’s okay to add a few hobbies and a little about your family, but don’t be overly elaborate. It’s best to keep it simple, you don’t want to go overboard, however don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back a little where it’s due.
What are your strengths:
This is where you really shine, you get to tell your employer all about how you are the best. Be honest though. Play to your strengths, if you are someone that is very clean and orderly, always early and that sort of thing. let them know…”I’m very punctual, extremely organized and hard working.”
Why did you leave your last job:
Do your best to be positive. Remember your employer will be thinking about what you would be saying to the next employer if you left this job.
Why should we hire you:
Now is when you need to ‘sell’ yourself to the company. You tell them they need you because you are the best for the job because…(add your invaluable asset here)
What did you like least about your last job:
This is another one that requires you to stay positive. It may be difficult, however do your best to put a positive spin on something that you were not too fond of. Don’t go into great detail here, try to keep it short and simple.
What do you know about our company:
Wow them now! let them know that you know about this company and what they are all about. This will let your potential employer know that you have taken the time to get to know what they do.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now:
This can be a tricky question, the employer is looking to see what kind of ambitions you have. It’s important that you know what it is that you want to be doing. Answer with confidence no matter what your ambitions are.
What are your weaknesses:
Again, you should stay positive. Just because something may be a weakness doesn’t mean that it has to be negative, use it as a learning or growing experience. For instance if you have trouble saying ‘no’ to people, it’s not a negative because you are constantly helping or working for others, however you are working on setting healthy boundaries for yourself. An employer will respect that.
Are you willing to relocate:
This may be a tough one for many people. If you are not willing to relocate don’t just say ‘no’, give a gracious but short explanation along with an apology. You may not be certain if you want to relocate and that’s alright as well, simply explain that you are willing to consider relocating. Then again you might be all for relocation and in that case you can tell the potential employer that you would be happy to relocate for their company.
As long as you go into your interview prepared, confident and well groomed you should do just fine. Even if you still have a bit of anxiety (nervousness) about the interview that’s okay, simply let your interviewer know that you’re a bit anxious because you’re very excited about the possibility to join their team. Always remember to keep things positive and you will do great.