Answering Interview Questions Like a Pro
Here you are face to face with your interviewer. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, preparing for. Will you nail the interview or will you be stumped by the interviewer’s questions? Anticipating the potential questions you might be asked and ensuring you have concise, well thought out answers will be time well spent in advance of this moment of truth.
Here are 11 of the most frequently asked interview questions. Make sure you take the time in advance of the interview to develop strong answers to each of them. It will be worth your time and energy.
The 11 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions
1. Tell me about yourself.
The answer should give the interviewer a brief profile, history, 5 – 7 key sound bites, and should be answered in 5 – 7 minutes.
2. What are your strengths & weaknesses?
The answer should start with, “Let me answer in two ways, professionally and personally….” Strengths should include hard skills, soft skills and intrinsic skills. Although you should prepare three weaknesses, you should provide only one at a time, and use the others as back up if and only if asked for more. The weaknesses should always sound like strengths.
e.g. – I can get overly passionate about my work at times.
3. What do you want to do?
Be clear yet realistic about your career goals and aspirations.
e.g. - I want to become an expert business analyst.
4. Why are you interested in this job?
If you’ve done your homework researching the company and the job, answering this question should be a breeze.
e.g. - I believe this job and/or company aligns well with my career values and would provide me with learning and development opportunities and experience.
5. What do you know about our company?
Be creative. Don’t simply repeat what you read about the company in the annual report. Research press releases and newspaper articles. If there is current topical information about the company in the press it will demonstrate you are interested and aware of what’s going on.
6. Why should we hire you?
The answer to this question makes a great closer if you are well prepared.
e.g. - My strengths match up well to the job requirements. I have the knowledge and expertise to do the job well. I am highly motivated and I adapt easily and quickly to change and could be up to speed in no time.
7. What will your references say?
Determine in advance who your references will be. You should identify 6 – 10 references.
e.g. – 2 subordinates, 2 bosses, 2 clients or suppliers, and 2 peers.
8. Why did you leave your previous employer?
Be honest without pointing fingers or blaming others. Make this about you.
e.g. – I had an opportunity to advance my career, or I became aware of an opportunity that better matched my skills and experience.
9. What did you like most and least about your last position/company?
The key is to make what you liked least work for you.
e.g. – I would have preferred to have more customer interaction.
10. Describe the characteristics of the ideal role for you.
This question is being asked to ensure you are a good match for the role you are being interviewed for. If you have researched the role and know you want it, then your characteristics should match up nicely. If they don’t–why did you agree to this interview?
11. The money question.
This doesn’t usually come up in the first interview. However, when it does come up you want to be prepared and be able to articulate your expectations.
The better prepared you are to answer questions, the more likely you will make a strong impression on your interviewer. Be prepared and interview like a pro!
Linda Cattelan, Career & Life Coach and the President of Results Catalyst Inc. – a professional coaching and training company focused on individuals and teams to maximize human potential and to achieve personal and professional success. Linda shares over 25 years of corporate experience, much of it at the senior executive level. A superior track record coaching and mentoring senior managers, executives and entrepreneurs to consistently achieve outstanding results Linda is brilliant at using various self discovery techniques to facilitate getting at core issues instrumental for personal and professional breakthrough.
Holding a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Linda is a Certified Trainer and Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Linda is a regular guest of radio and television and a Contributing Author of the inspirational and informative networking book, The Power of Women United.
If you are interested in closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in any area of your life or you are interested in learning more about Linda Cattelan or Results Catalyst Inc. then simply click here: http://www.resultscatalyst.ca
Further Reading on Job Interviews:
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