A job interview can be a daunting event. Can we ever feel completely comfortable having to witness ourselves being picked apart on the spot? Any sane person in that situation is, at some point, going to be trying to figure out exactly what the interviewer is thinking about them. And by the very notion of a job interview, they will be seeking approval.
Confidence and self belief is key. Knowing your strengths and what makes you a good employee while being able to show them. However this comes more naturally for some people than others. Practicing likely to appear interview questions is definite way to improve your confidence and self belief. It will make you think about what makes you a good candidate, or even a good person. Putting you in a positive frame of mind before turning up.
1. The first question worth mentioning is the open ended sucker punch of a question, “Tell me a bit about yourself”.
It can be hard to sell yourself in a short paragraph, a lot of people can feel quite awkward with this question or may just not know here to start. What shouldn’t be answered here, is how many dogs or cats you have, what films you watch or that you “like to party”.
You should be looking to give a brief look at your characteristics; your strong points. Mention if you’re an early riser or a go getter that is always keeping busy. Talk about your passions. People with passions and hobbies are usually seen as more interesting and charismatic, they typically don’t like sitting around doing nothing. These make for good attributes for an employee. If you have won any awards or excelled at something more than the usual, mention that also.
2. Why are you leaving your job?
This could potentially lead you into a trap of “slating” your last employers, don’t do that. To do so shows naivety in some ways, it’s crass, it’s rude, it’s unprofessional. You need to be able to separate the personal from professional in a place of work. Keep it positive, if you found the job boring say that it didn’t challenge you and you weren’t required to use all of your skills and would prefer a job more challenging.
3. What interests you about this job, why do you want to work here?
This should be the easiest question to answer. Why did you apply for the position, there must be some reason you chose this one and not another one. Be honest if it’s a sales job with good commission, say so. An employee that feels as though they are rewarded greatly is a happy employee. Another way to look at this is if the job falls inline with your interests then bring them interests into the equation. Keep it honest and simple.
4. What are your goals for the next five years / ten years?
Again honesty is the key, if your looking to save up some money to go travelling you’re not going to be penalised for that. Let them know the time frames, if you will still be a benefit to the company then great. However if the company wants someone more permanent, then you would be best not applying as company turnaround costs money and they will be trying to limit that as much as possible. On the other hand if your planning on sticking the company out and working the ranks, embedding yourself into their business, be sure that will always go greatly appreciated. Make sure that overall you are showing ambition and drive to progress yourself further.
5. What is your greatest weakness?
Try and turn the negative into some kind of positive here, perhaps what you struggle with is delegation and that you always try and do as much as you can as to not burden others. Maybe if you are not that great at talking to groups, mention that, but always show you are trying to improve. Perhaps you would be taking a public speaking or presentation techniques class; recognising weakness and aiming to improve is a good attribute to have.
Take the time to compile a list of responses to both types of interview questions and to itemise your skills, values, and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Emphasise what you can do to benefit the company rather than just what you are interested in.
Practice these questions with a friend or family member, practice in front of a mirror or even record yourself on your laptop or phone. Keep tabs on your voice make sure you’re talking loud enough and clear enough