Are You In The Loop? Do You Know the Top 10 Interview Questions Employers Ask?
Create Your Own Story To Go With Each Of These Common Questions.
Interviews are really a two-way communication process. You want to learn as much about the employer as the employer wants to learn about you. But, you have to go about it the right way.
In most cases employers are going to make the assumption, based on your resume and credentials, that you have the skills and education required for the position. What they want to learn from you during the interview process is whether or not you will be a good ‘fit’ for their company. You need to be assessing the same thing for yourself as well.
So, the most important thing for you to remember, is to be yourself.
Be Yourself. Are you kidding? This type of advice used to drive me crazy. What does ‘be yourself’ mean? Deborah Clarke, Personal and Career Development Specialist, Author, Live Your Dream.
It doesn’t mean, be yourself like Saturday night. It means, be your ‘business self’. It means, be prepared for the interview you’ve just requested (by applying). It means be prepared to discuss why you are the right person for the job, why you want to work for this company or organization, why you applied, why it feels so right for you, yourself.
If the interviewer does his or her job, and you are true to yourself, whether you get hired or not will be the right decision for you. You only want to work with employers that will be a good fit for you … and you for the company. So “be prepared, but be yourself!”
“Be Prepared, But Be Yourself” – Deborah Clarke, Author, Live Your Dream
No Excuses, Be Prepared For These Top 10 Common Questions Most Employers Ask.
- “Give us a brief introduction about yourself?” This question comes up commonly in almost every job interview. It’s an opportunity to provide a relevant pitch that will quickly help the interviewer know more about you. Instead of giving a long story, provide a concise answer summarizing your strengths, achievements and skills, related to the position you are interviewing for. This is your first opportunity to get the interviewer ‘liking’ you.
- “Why are you looking for a job change?” Or if you are unemployed, the question will be “Why did you leave your last job?” The reasons given by candidates for leaving their past job are essential for every employer in order to judge if you are loyal, stable, and reasonable. The best way of tailoring the response to master this question is by being focused on the future. Never talk bad about a previous employer, instead emphasize the positive side and your desire to grow through this job change.
- “Tell Us About Your Top 3 Strengths?” Or “How Do You Define Your Strengths?” This common question gives you a chance to reveal the best of yourself. Best advice here is to play with your words artfully because through this question the employer needs to know about your relevant strengths, which align with the company. Be truthful, humble yet sincere when answering this question. Some example strengths – ‘creative writing skills’, ‘persuasive communication’, and ‘multi-tasking skills’.
- “Where do you see your career in five years?” The interviewer in this question attempts to know if the potential candidate is motivated and has realistic expectations about his or her future. The best bet for you as a candidate is to give a truthful answer about how you perceive your career growth. For example- “I am always ready to take on new challenges and look forward to every year of my life as an opportunity to grow in my career.”
- “How would your past employers and co-workers describe you?” Remember the interviewer is listening to your comments and stories to make a decision whether you are a good fit for their company or not. Best advice here is to value the interviewer’s time by avoiding long stories about your nature. Instead, give some qualities such as- ‘hard-working’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘positive & easy-going’ that will directly affect the decision-making process of the recruitment team.
- “What is your major weakness?” This is always a tough question to prepare for. Revealing weaknesses is never something we want to do in front of a prospective employer – so your goal here is to be truthful and tell a story about something you have overcome. Something you identified in yourself as an area that can be improved, and how you are continually working in this area.
- “How do you handle stressful situations?” With this question, the interviewer does not intend to hear you’ve never encountered any stress in your life. Instead, the employer needs to assess how you’re affected by stress and how you deal with it. The best answer for this question can be given with an example when you encountered a stressful situation and how you stayed composed to get the job done.
- “What salary are you expecting?” This question gives employers an opportunity to learn about your priorities. When responding to this question be prepared with knowledge about what someone in this position should be earning … and know your expenses to live and work in the region you would be working. By doing your homework you will approach this question with ease and confidence. Own your worth, be aware of your skills and value you will bring to the organization.
To help you with confidence in this area (SALARIES), check out ” Key Success Factors 4 Graduates to Kick-Start Your Life and Career After Graduation” – specifically Key Success Factor #3 Money Mindset, will speak to you directly about owning your worth in the marketplace.
- “Why should we hire you?” In order to lock-in the job, candidates must be prepared to answer this question in a concise way. It is recommended to tailor the best response for this question by giving one line answers that will help you get the ‘you’re hired’ response you want. Choose to say something like, “I have a blend of skills, which will help me take your company to the next level.”, “My XYZ skills allow me to stand apart from the rest of the competition.”
- “Do you have any questions?” For candidates, the opportunity to ask questions usually arrives at the end of the job interview. Be prepared with questions that reflect a key interest in the specific role, or an open-ended question about the company in general.
[BIG TIP: Remember your goal is to get them to like you. So what’s the easiest way to get someone to “like’ you? Get them talking about themselves. Deborah Clarke, Author, Live Your Dream]
Some Sample Questions To Ask: • “Tell me about the culture of the company?” or • “Tell me about the last person that held this position, what did he/she do well? • “What can I do to bring more value to the role?”
Lastly, I love this final question period as an opportunity for you to ask the person(s) interviewing you, something personal … related to their work … that will get them talking about themselves.
Ask Something like:
- “When did you start with the company? What got you interested in this company/position?”
- “What is the biggest improvement the company has made in the time you have been working here?”
- “What do you like best about working here?
Keeping these questions in mind, doing your homework (research) about the company and the position, you will be prepared to handle the toughest of interviews and making a lasting impression with the employer, recruiter, or interviewer in no time.
Go For It … Be Yourself.
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