What Do You Know About The Company
Going into a job interview without knowing anything about the company is the kiss of death. A survey by research firm Millennial Branding showed that 43% of hiring managers base their final decision on how well candidates grasp the company culture.
Instead of regurgitating a list of basic facts that anyone could find out through a Google search, go deeper into your research look at the company press releases, Glassdoor listings and LinkedIn postings to read between the lines of what past and former employees have to say.
The point is to get a sense of the culture there, by studying the photos for what people tend to wear and reading the quotes from executives to see if it’s a fairly traditionally run organization or a bit looser and casual.
Tell Me A Little About Yourself
This is a common opening interview question. Instead of launching straight into the interview, your interviewer asks you to introduce yourself. Since this question is so broad, what theyâre really asking is âhow well do you express yourself?â Though there are many ways to answer this question, we recommend you give a brief overview of your career. Things to include: recent jobs, skills, and certifications.
You can cap off your answer with a little insight into your personal hobbies, but it shouldnât be the focus of your answer. The best way to be prepared for this question? Have a short work bio ready youâll be amazed at how often it comes in handy. Chances are once youâre finished, something youâve mentioned will lead to your interviewerâs next question.
Speak With High Energy And Enthusiasm
Showing enthusiasm is an important part of giving good answers in an interview.
Its okay if youre an introvert or naturally quiet you dont have to be the most outgoing, bubbly personality to get hired.
Just turn it up a bit
Do slightly more than you usually do in terms of energy in your tone of voice and body language.
Tone of voice is especially important when answering questions in phone interviews since they cant see your facial expressions or body language.
If you need help showing energy and enthusiasm in your voice, try standing up and smiling when you talk on the phone. This may sound odd, but its a proven trick that phone salespeople use all the time.
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What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement
Nothing says hire me better than a track record of achieving amazing results in past jobs, so dont be shy when answering this interview question! A great way to do so is by using the STAR method: situation, task, action, results. Set up the situation and the task that you were required to complete to provide the interviewer with background context , then describe what you did and what you achieved : In one month, I streamlined the process, which saved my group 10 person-hours each month and reduced errors on invoices by 25%.
Job Interview Questions And How To Answer Them Correctly
Job Interviews are designed for a hiring manager to determine if you have the right knowledge to add value and the correct personality for their team. Job Interview questions are designed to provide this answer. Hiring managers will often want to test out candidates either by asking complicated questions or by putting candidates under pressure. As a result, there is no such thing as a simple job interview.
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Why Are You Looking Now
Your main aim when answering this tricky question is to assure your interviewer that you are stable and reliable.
They are trying to suss out why exactly you left your left position.
Were you fired?Did you leave on good terms?Are you a job-hopper?What are your work values?
This question can be particularly difficult if you are in fact leaving a nightmare job with a nightmare boss and youre feeling a tad desperate.
You should not be candid about this in your job interview.
Negativity is generally interpreted as unprofessional.
You should find a neutral or positive way to express your reasons for leaving, even if it means not telling the whole story.
Again, we are not advocating dishonesty.
But it is in your best interest to be professional and selective with the information you share.
On the flip side, you dont want to err too far on the side of caution and be overly vague, possibly raising a red flag.
Emphasize the things you learned, the growth you made , and how you are grateful for those things, but ultimately you felt you could not grow any more in your previous environment.
If you were let go through no fault of your own, its perfectly okay to mention that.
Organizations restructure themselves all of the time for many different reasons, so its not necessarily a mark against you if you were laid off.
You always want to emphasize the positive.
How Do You Deal With Pressure Or Stressful Situations
Heres another question you may feel the urge to sidestep in an effort to prove youre the perfect candidate who can handle anything. But its important not to dismiss this one . Instead, talk about your go-to strategies for dealing with stress and how you communicate and otherwise proactively try to mitigate pressure. If you can give a real example of a stressful situation you navigated successfully, all the better.
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Tell Me About Yourself
This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but its crucial. Here’s the deal: Dont give your complete employment history. Instead, give a pitchone thats concise and compelling and that shows exactly why youre the right fit for the job. Muse writer and MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using a present, past, future formula. Talk a little bit about your current role , then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have thats relevant. Finally, segue into why you wantand would be perfect forthis role.
Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years
If asked this question, be honest and specific about your future goals, but consider this: A hiring manager wants to know a) if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career, b) if you have ambition , and c) if the position aligns with your goals and growth. Your best bet is to think realistically about where this position could take you and answer along those lines. And if the position isnt necessarily a one-way ticket to your aspirations? Its OK to say that youre not quite sure what the future holds, but that you see this experience playing an important role in helping you make that decision.
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How To Answer Interview Questions
While its handy to have an idea of what you would like to answer for common interview questions, no answer should be memorized or feel over-rehearsed. You want to be genuine and answer all interview questions naturally.
Check out our tips on answering interview questions for some basic interview advice:
- Dont rush your answer. You dont need to start answering the second the interviewer has finished asking the question, especially if you find the question a bit challenging. Think about the question for several seconds and stay calm while you gather your thoughts
- Use examples to demonstrate your points one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is that they dont back up their answers with examples. Its not enough to say youre well-organised for example what can you mention to prove it?
- Dont ramble onbabble and take 5 minutes to answer 1 question aim for 2 minutes on average per answer to a competency based question. Of course many questions dont require more than a minute answer.
- If youre a jokey or humorous character, thats great and can even ease the tense interview environment. Still, I wouldnt actually make jokes in an interview, they may fall flat. Its ok to show that you have a sense of humour, but you also need to make sure you do take the questions seriously!
How Do You Prioritize Your Work
Your interviewers want to know that you can manage your time, exercise judgement, communicate, and shift gears when needed. Start by talking about whatever system youve found works for you to plan your day or week, whether its a to-do list app you swear by or a color-coded spreadsheet. This is one where youll definitely want to lean on a real-life example. So go on to describe how youve reacted to a last-minute request or another unexpected shift in priorities in the past, incorporating how you evaluated and decided what to do and how you communicated with your manager and/or teammates about it.
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How To Prepare For An Interview
Use these questions and example answers to prepare for your interview by making them your own and tailoring them to fit your experience, the job and the company youre interviewing for. Its important to get comfortable with what you could be asked and understand what a good response might be.
Much like preparing for a test in school, the best way to succeed in your interview is to study and practice. Research the company and the job, and practice your talking points until you feel confident about your answers. The more you prepare, the more likely you are to leave a lasting impression and outperform fellow candidates. Come equipped with examples of work from previous jobs, as well as ideas for the new job. Try and make the interview as conversational as possible by showing genuine interest in the job, company and your interviewer.
Question : Tell Me About A Time That You Made A Mistake
Resist the urge to say “I haven’t” but steer clear of mentioning any serious missteps. Instead, give an example of a mistake that you were able to fix. This shows that you’re open and honest about errors that you make, and that you’re able to correct and learn from them.
You can also use your answer to talk about the value that you place on attention to detail, honest feedback, self-reflection, and resilience.
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How Do You Define Success
Employers ask this to help them understand how your definition of success influences your goals and how you measure them. A good answer will show that you know how to define and measure goals and youre willing to challenge yourself and work hard to meet them.
Consider your proudest achievements, your long and short-term successes and how the company youre interviewing with views success. Give specific examples of how youve succeeded in the past.
Example answer:I define success as fulfilling my role in my team and in the company. I work toward completing my individual duties as effectively as possible, balancing that with professional growth and contributing to larger organizational goals. In my previous role, success meant exceeding weekly metrics, implementing processes that supported the companys KPIs and meeting quarterly professional development goals.
Question: What Is Your Greatest Weakness
I hate the greatest weakness question. Everyone knows its a trap, and everyone knows the candidate is going to say something trite .
Focus on them: Dont pick a weakness that will disqualify you for the job, but do give a real answer.
When you give a real answer, you are being genuine. You are admitting you have some growth opportunities and are not perfect. But you can include that you already have a plan to overcome this weakness through training or practice .
Some people even insert a little humor in their answerI wish I was better at tennis. You can, too, if you feel like the interviewer has a sense of humor. But, be sure to quickly follow with a serious answer. Showing you have a lighter side is usually a good thing.
What’s Your Biggest Professional Accomplishment To Date
Hiring managers want to hear whether you are great or not your challenge is to avoid coming across as boastful. Give yourself a chance to brag a little about past achievements, but you don’t want to be boastful.
Career coach Michael Higgins suggests that you find the right balance by avoiding generalizations and zeroing in your specific achievements. He recommends the STAR technique, which provides an outline for job applicants when answering this very question: Talk about the situation, the task and activity, and the result. By hitting on each point, you’ll be giving the full picture and giving equal weight to the actions you took and the results.
How To Answer The Most Common Interview Questions
Are you ready to ace your upcoming job interview? One of the most important parts of interview preparation is being ready to respond effectively to the questions that employers typically ask.
Since these interview questions are so common, hiring managers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.
You don’t need to memorize your answers, but you should think about what you’re going to say so you’re not put on the spot.
Your responses will be stronger if you know what to expect during the interview and have a sense of what you want to focus on. Knowing that you are prepared will boost your confidence and help you minimize interview stress and feel more at ease.
Here are the top 10 interview questions employers are likely to ask, plus 100+ more common job interview questions, example responses, tips for giving the best answer, and advice on how to ace the interview.
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What Is Your Biggest Weakness
Ah, this is always a tricky one!
After all, you dont want to mention your flaws during an interview, so its guaranteed to be a tough question.
The trick to answering this one is realizing that the interviewers dont expect you to be perfect. Everyone has flaws, weaknesses, and things to improve on.
When asking this question, the HR manager is actually seeking to learn:
- Whether you have the right skills for the job. If youre applying for the position of a server in a busy restaurant, and you say your biggest weakness is performing under pressure, then youre definitely not getting a callback.
- If youre self-aware and really know what your sticking points are.
And NO: fake humble-brag weaknesses dont count as weaknesses. You cant just say that your biggest weakness is that you work too hard, or that youre a perfectionist.
The key here is to mention a weakness thats real, but not something that would get in the way of you doing your job. You wouldnt want to say youre bad at math if youre applying for an accountant position, would you
Its also good practice to mention how you are working towards overcoming this weakness and realizing how it affects you negatively. If you can, just balance it with a positive side effect: treat it like two sides of the same coin.
- Sample answer 1:
My biggest weakness has always been my communication skills. Ive been pretty shy and anxious as a kid. Over the years, however, Ive been really working on the issue.
How To Answer Interview Questions Quick Instructions
Those are 11 of the best ways to answer interview questions effectively, so you can stand out and get hired in less time.
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Tell Me About A Challenge You Faced And How You Handled It
Employers ask this question because they want a specific example of how well you’re able to roll with the punches and take the lead. Research from the UK suggests that when this topic comes up, you should shape your response around how you were able to take control of the situation, rather than letting it control you.
What Can You Bring To This Role
This is key, because its one of a few typical interview questions that gives you a chance to really sell yourself and all your relevant skills. Regardless of whether or not you have any professional experience in a similar role, you can still talk about the skills you picked up during your degree, an internship or part-time job. Try to relate these skills to the role you are interviewing for. For example, your part time job might have taught you how to work well in a team, as well as how to build strong professional relationships with your colleagues and clients.
If youve already been offered an interview, the chances are that the interviewer is aware of what experience you have and sees potential in you. Provide examples of times when youve utilized the skills theyre looking for in a different context. If youre a new graduate, nows the chance to highlight all the transferable skills you gained during your degree, such as analytical ability, written and spoken communication skills and IT mastery, to name but a few.
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