Interviewing for a job is stressful and nerve wracking for just about everyone. After all, for however long the interview lasts, you are trying to look your best, act your best, and answer every question correctly. Luckily, there are ways you can prepare for the ordeal. Many employers use the same interview questions to "test" applicants, so to help you prepare for those, this article will focus on eight questions you can expect, and how to answer them.
- Why do you want to work here?
Interviewers like for their candidates to know at least a little bit about the company. Therefore, before going in for an interview, do some research. Find out some basics, like what the focus of the company is, what industry they are involved in, the direction they are heading, and a little bit about their history. However, keep two things in mind: they already know this stuff, and they want to know about you. So, include how your abilities and experiences coincide with what the company values and seeks.
- Why should we hire you?
This question gives interviewers a chance hear what you have to say about yourself. When answering this, be honest, but also tell them what they want to hear. Remember, you are there for the sole purpose of getting the job, so answer this question in terms of what you can bring to the table as it relates to the position you are interviewing for. Avoid using generic descriptive terms, such as "hardworking," "honest," or "punctual." These don’t tell employers anything about you and they’ve likely heard it all before. Instead, be specific, and point out the talents and abilities that make you the right person for the job.
- Why did you leave you last job?
First of all, be honest. The interviewer can call, or possibly has already called, your previous employer to find this out for themselves. This question is asked mainly to gauge your attitude. Even if you left on bad terms, don’t sit there and trash your previous company. This reflects a poor attitude. If explaining why you left requires some negative comments, which is common, incorporate some positive information as well, such as how you were able to hone a specific skill and what kind of experience you gained from working there.
- How would you describe yourself?
Answer this questions in terms of how you are professionally, not personally. The interviewer is not wanting to know about your family or your hobbies. They are trying to figure out what kind of employee you are. Explain the personality traits that will make you a unique and valuable asset for the company, and, more specifically, for the position you are interviewing for. Once again, avoid generic terms like "team player." Instead, talk about what makes you a team player, such as a willingness to step up and lead the team when you have to, and the ability to be a follower when someone else takes the reins.
- How much are you expecting to get paid?
This is a challenging question because answering too high can cause the interviewer to think you won’t be willing to work for what they are offering, while answering too low can show a lack of confidence in your abilities. Also, giving a number that is way off will show a lack of knowledge about the position you are applying for. To prepare yourself for this question, do some research and find out the average salary for the position you want. A couple of good sources for salary information are Salary.com and SalaryExpert.com. Once you have done your research, answer this question by giving the employer a range of what you expect to earn, rather than giving a specific number.
- What are some of your weaknesses?
I’m sure you’re thinking that there is no way to make yourself look good here. Well, you’re right, since you’ll be pointing out your flaws. However, there are do’s and don’t’s when it comes to answering this question. Don’t say that you can’t think of any weaknesses because the interviewer will know that you’re lying. At the same time, don’t confess that you have a tendency to spread the latest viral video and talk to your coworkers about it. Just be honest, but be relevant. For example, if have a habit of starting a new project before finishing the one you are working on, tell them about this, but always include how you are working to do away with this flaw. So, in this case, talk about how you are no longer letting yourself move on to the next project until the current one is completed.
- Is there any type of person that you simply cannot work with?
There will always be that one type of person that gets under your skin or that you clash with. However, pointing this out can label you as someone who is difficult to get along with, and potentially cost you the job. The fact is that if you had no other option but to work with this person who irritates you the most, you would find a way to do so. This, essentially, is your answer. You should state that no matter who you are working with, you can find a way to get along with them. Point out some character traits that allow you to get along with others. If you have had an experience where you had to work with a particularly difficult person, explain how you were able to do so.
- Do you have any questions for me?
This is another question that allows you to show that you have done your research, as well as demonstrate the amount of interest you have in the position. It’s better to ask something, rather than just shake hands and walk out of the door. It’s always safe to ask about general things that weren’t addressed, such as benefits and a potential start date. You should also ask about some specifics regarding the position you want. For example, you could say something like, "I know that the focus of the company is …, but can you provide me with some details about the kind of projects I’ll be working on or that have been completed?" This will exhibit both knowledge and interest.
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