Prepare for the Toughest Interview Questions
Interviewing for a new job often causes more nervousness than the job itself. There are many unknowns going into an interview about the process and the individual that will be facilitating the interview. Be prepared to answer the tough questions that will be asked with these examples and what the interview is really looking for in a response.
Tell me about yourself.
The first question begins the entire conversation and sets the tone for the rest of the interview. It is a great opportunity to have a branded elevator speech and keeping it as a short overview about your professional career. Your interviewer knows what is on your resume, in your cover letter and they might have been searched for you online before the interview. Don’t go into your whole life story of where you went to elementary school, your best friends name or your favorite restaurant. They are looking for information about you professionally, some background and how that relates to the job that you are applying for. Don’t give away all of your best information here but provide an overview to your professional career that would relate to this position.
The weakness question.
This question might be a direct question asking about your weaknesses or it might be hidden in a reworded question, essentially asking for the same answer. Either way, be prepared to not be perfect. There are always ways to improve in work habits and the interviewer will want to see that self-assessment. Use something that you have been working to improve and explain the process of that change and how you have been successful.
What is your long-range plan? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The goal of these questions is to see if you want to stay with the company. In five years there may not be a promotion growth opportunity available through a title change, so the interviewer might be looking to know that you will stay with the company and feel growth within the position itself. It’s expensive for employee turnover and they do not want to invest in you as an employee for you to leave after a few short months.
How has your education prepared you for your career?
This is the perfect opportunity to talk about assignments within your education programs. Discuss conquering assignments and how successful you were with them. Still working on your degree, it showcases your dedication to your field and motivation to get ahead.
If I were to ask your professors (or your boss) to describe you, what would they say?
This is an easy way to see if your references are prepared for a reference phone call. Make sure you know what your references will say about you when an organization calls them. If you don’t know, ask them and then get a letter of recommendation for your files.
What is your dream job?
Even if you think you are the next Beyoncé but you’re applying for a customer service position, don’t mention that you are constantly looking for your break into the music industry. Relate your dream position to the job you’re are interviewing for.
Why should I hire you?
Here it is. Your time to shine! Reiterate everything that you said in your interview and sell the interviewer on why you are the best candidate for the position.
Do you have any questions?
Oh, you thought the interview was over? Do not say no. There are always questions to ask and details that have not been discussed. Ask the interviewer about their personal experience at the company, the company culture and find a way to recap about your interest in the company. Ask them if they have any hesitations based on your resume or need you to clarify anything.
The key to any interview is to be prepared. Make sure you research the company you are interviewing with, know the exact job description and why you are the best choice to be their next employee. It is better to be over prepared than under prepared.