Tell Me About Your Work Experience
An interviewer may or may not already be familiar with your background. Regardless, this question gives you the chance to detail your experiences that are most valuable to the prospective role. Employers want to know that youve reflected on their expectations for a qualified candidate and that you have directly relevant or transferable skills. Consider these tips for answering:
1. Quantify your experience:I have 10 years of experience in personal finance management, and I have assisted 45 repeat clients in increasing their capital by an average of 15% every year.
2. Illustrate connections to role:As a financial analyst, Ive used visual growth charts to show my clients how each saving plan option can impact their goals. When I became a senior financial analyst, I supervised other analysts and trained them in providing the most helpful experience to our customers.
3. End with a goal statement:“As your senior financial consultant, I aim to integrate my individualized approach to helping clients build the retirement fund they will depend on.
Make The Best First Impression
First impressions really do matter, and you don’t have much time to make a good impression during a job interview. From the time you greet the receptionist until the time you leave the building, you’re being evaluated as a potential new hire. It’s important to leave everyone you meet with the best impression you can.
What Is Your Salary Range Expectation
Interviewers ask this question to make sure your expectations are in line with the amount theyve budgeted for the role. If you give a salary range exceedingly lower or higher than the market value of the position, it gives the impression that you dont know your worth. Here are three ways to approach this response:
Provide a range
Research the typical compensation range for the role on Indeed Salaries and make the low end of your range your lowest acceptable salary. For example, if you require at least $50,000 annually, you might offer the interviewer a range of $50,000-$60,000 per year. Let the hiring manager know if youre flexible.
Example answer:My salary expectation is between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX, which is the average salary for a candidate with my level of experience in this city. However, I am flexible and willing to discuss.
Include negotiation options
There may be other benefits, perks or forms of compensation you find just as valuable as your salary.
Example answer:I am seeking a position that pays between $75,000 and $80,000 annually, but I am open to negotiate salary depending on benefits, bonuses, equity, stock options and other opportunities.
Deflect the question
If youre early in the hiring process and still learning the specifics of the job duties and expectations, you may want to deflect the question for later in the conversation.
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If I Were To Poll Everyone You’ve Worked With What Percentage Would Not Be A Fan Of Yours
At work, you can’t please everyone all the time. The answer to this question will help you find out if your candidate has enough drive and conviction in their own work to have ever conflicted with one or more of their colleagues.
Obviously you don’t want the candidate to be an unlikable person, though, so consider asking follow-up questions to find out why they might have alienated these coworkers: “If I were to interview these people, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?”
A good answer to this question:
The follow-up question about word choice is more important than the percentage they give in the initial question. In their answers, you should be encouraged by words like “passionate” and concerned by words like “lazy.”
Of course, not all negative words are red flags — while words that indicate a lack of work ethic might be a bad sign, words like “stubborn” could show a candidate’s self-awareness — and commitment to things their coworkers would rather move on from.
Review Related Local News Stories Forums And Business Journals
If youre interested in working for a smaller private company, you may have difficulty tracking down information online. Fortunately, there are thousands of media sourcesincluding national and local news, trade publications, business journals, forums, and blogsthat provide articles and product reviews. Also, try your local Chamber of Commerce offices or the Better Business Bureau.
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Ask Your Network For Opinions
Seek opinions from trusted, reliable friends and associates. After youve done your research, discuss what youve learned with your network. Ask people you know for the inside scoop on their own companys culture and if there are opportunities. If youre a recent college graduate building your network from scratch, ask university advisors for names of alumni working at your target companies. Consider reaching out to these people for a quick coffee.
What Good Interviewers Do After An Interview
Many good interviewers I know say that the hardest part of their work starts after they have conducted job interviews with all candidates. This is because in this phase interviewers need to make an actual about who you are going to hire. Interviewers also need to let all other great candidates youve met and interviewed that they didnt get the job.
Here is how good interviewers go about this process:
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Commit To Truth In Advertising
Its natural to want to present your organization and the job youre hiring for in the best light, but its crucial that candidates have a thorough and realistic understanding of what theyd be signing up for: the job, the organization, the culture, the manager, and the people. Resist any temptation to downplay less appealing aspects of the job . In fact, on the contrary, be proactive about disclosing those things. Otherwise youll end up with a hire who feels misled and who might not stick around.
How To Successfully Interview For A Job Promotion
Promotions aren’t always automatic. With some employers, you may need to interview for the next step on the career ladder. It depends on the organizational structure and company policy.
Are you being considered for a promotion, but have to interview to get considered for the new job? What’s the best way to handle an interview for a job promotion? What can you expect when you’re interviewing with a company you already work at? Read on for answers to these questions, and advice on acing an interview for a promotion.
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Gather The Information You’ll Need At The Interview
Your invitation to interview should tell you everything you need to bring with you, such as references, exam certificates, and driving licence.
Remember to take a copy of your CV and application form to refer to. Prepare notes or cue cards to help you if you think you might need a prompt during the interview.
Reread the job advert to refresh your memory and to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Is It Better To Be Perfect And Late Or Good And On Time
If your candidate responds with “It depends,” hear them out — the interview question itself is phrased in such a way that candidates can sense there is a right and wrong answer, and they’ll be looking for signs from you that they’re heading in the right direction.
A good answer to this question:
For most companies, the correct answer is “good and on time.” It’s important to let something be finished when it’s good enough. Let’s face it, every blog post, email, book, video, etc. can always be tweaked and improved. At some point, you’ve just got to ship it. Most managers don’t want someone who can’t hit deadlines because they’re paralyzed by perfection.
Try to remain neutral as they feel out their response, though. They might not be able to relate to work that’s measured purely by quality and deadline, but it’s important that they can express how they prioritize their tasks.
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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.
Did You Ace The Interview
As you consider these observations, keep in mind that it serves you best to take the interview process at face value. Regardless of how confident you feel by the end of the interview, your guess is only a guess until you have an offer in your hand. Continue to prepare, show up, and do your best in every interview.
Finally, remember to observe what you can about the company and the hiring manager, and pay attention to any red flags that may be there. If the hiring manager spoke badly about the person you will be replacing, could not explain the job clearly, or kept checking their phone during the interview, consider what it would be like to work with them. Do not get so caught up in analyzing your performance and whether you had a successful job interview that you lose sight of everything else.
Make sure your first interview during the job search goes well with expert career advice and professional interview coaching. Check out our sister site, TopInterview.
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Prepare Answers To Common Questions
Here are some common questions you may hear in an interview:
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- How did you hear about this job?
- Why do you want this job?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your strengths?
- What do you know about the company?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is your work ethic?
- What kind of environment do you prefer to work in?
- How do you handle work-related disagreements with your colleagues?
- How would your current employer and colleagues describe you?
- How do you handle pressure?
- Do you have any questions for me?
In addition to preparing answers to these common interview questions, make sure you’ve also prepared some questions for the interviewer in return. This will show your investment in both the position and the organization.
Tips on responding to “Tell me about yourselfâ:1. Start by discussing your current situation2. Work backwards by hitting key points along your professional journey3. Connect your background, interests and qualifications back to the job
Create A Great Job Description
Create a job description listing the essential skills and experience.
If you want to hire the perfect person for a position, you need to have a really good description of the position. Don’t get caught up with lots of bullet points, like “Office Experience,” and “Computer Skills.”
A good description shouldn’t over-describe. It should focus on what is absolutely necessary for someone to be successful in the position, and describe what success looks like over specific periods of time typically 30, 90, 180 days, and 1 year.
Use the job description as a roadmap for creating questions.
For example, if you’ve determined that customer service skills are essential, you’ll want to create questions related directly to that. How do they define customer service? What is the best customer service experience they’ve ever had? Review all your essentials in the description and build questions directly related to them.
Write out your questions beforehand.
You might think you can remember all of your interview questions, but the reality is that the greatest weakness of most interviewers is exposed when they try flying blind. Write down your questions, and be sure to give yourself enough blank space to jot down notes.
Jot down notes during the interview.
Get specific details and come back to them.
Make sure you’re on the same page with salary expectations.
Ask detailed questions about roles that lasted less than two years.
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Think About A Weakness Youve Overcome
Its no secret that interviewers love the question: What is your biggest weakness? Identify something that youve struggled with in the past, but have since dealt with. Be sure you can list concrete ways in which youve overcome this former weakness. For instance, perhaps you used to struggle with organization, but now you make a point of keeping an updated calendar to help you stay on top of your tasks and deadlines.
Expand Your Research To News And Recent Events
A companys website, blog, and social media are great ways to learn about a company, but youll also want to get an external perspective. Search for general news coverage and specific industry publications for recent updates about the company and its competitors. Scanning customer forums and product reviews can also help you gauge a companys or their products reputation.
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Practice Common Interview Questions
Prepare answers for common interview questions that hiring managers often ask, such as:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Tell me about a challenge you had to overcome at your last job.
- How do you approach a typical workday?
- What motivates you?
You can also research specific questions for the job you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re interviewing for a programmer or developer role, you could practice coding questions.
When you practice your answer to these common questions, you can deliver more confident responses. If you can, practice with a trusted friend or family member who can give you feedback. You can also practice your facial expressions and body language in front of a mirror.
What Is Your Dream Job
Employers typically ask this question because they want to ensure that your interests and passion align with their job. A good answer will describe a role that matches the one youre interviewing for. Consider using this formula for your response:
1. Mention the skills you want to use:I enjoy guiding other team members on projects and making sure everything goes smoothly…”
2. Describe a job in general:“…My dream job would be a leadership position where the other team members are active participants and communication happens daily…
3. Discuss your values:“…I love seeing a project through to the end and celebrating everyones hard work…
4. Tailor to the job for which you are interviewing:“…For instance, if youre applying for a leadership position, you might discuss how your dream job would include supervisory responsibilities.”
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Preparing For An Interview
Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Lets look at the steps to preparing for an interview.
Make Natural Transitions Between Questions
Having a list of interview questions to ask is good practice, but it has an inherent difficulty: it might make the interview seem more robotic and inflexible.
For example, imagine youre listening to a candidates answer. When they finish talking, you may suddenly feel awkward, so you nod and say something akin to OK, interesting and then you move on to the next question. This isnt how a natural conversation would flow, and it might make the experience less pleasant for the candidate .
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Take The Time To Say Thank You After The Interview
Taking the time to say thank you after a job interview not only is good interview etiquette. It also reinforces your interest in the position and shows the interviewer that you have excellent follow-up skills. Use your thank you letter, as well, to address any issues and concerns that came up during the interview.
Interviews Are Your Chance To Sell Your Skills And Abilities
They also give you a chance to find out if the job and company are right for you. Follow the tips here to ace your interviews.
Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing your:
- Willingness to work and flexibility
- Leadership skills
- Ability and willingness to learn new things
- Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
- Creativity in solving problems and working with people
Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This can show you if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview so you can convince the interviewer that you can learn the skill.
Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. This might include commenting on the news you learned from the company website, and then asking a question related to it. Also ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
- Could you explain your organizational structure?
- What computer equipment and software do you use?
- What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?
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