What Are Some Of The Key Financial Metrics That The Company Optimizes For
I don’t think enough candidates ask about the business itself, regardless of the product, says David Nunez, Head of Documentation at Stripe. This question gives great insight into the health of the company, what they prioritize, and also reflects well on you as the candidate youre signaling that you really want to do your homework, he says.
What Is Your Greatest Achievement
You shouldnt brag about yourself in every interview question and answer, but sometimes its called for. And this is one of those cases.
Dont be timid and dont hold back. This is your chance to share one accomplishment that youre most proud of and why. I recommend choosing a professional achievement, but if the biggest win that comes to mind is personal, thats fine too.
Ideally, share a story that illustrates how you overcome a challenge, went through a transformation, or overcame doubt or fear to accomplish something that youre proud of. If you can show determination and resiliency, thats going to impress most employers. However, there are plenty of scenarios where your biggest achievement might show other traits instead. Thats fine, too.
How Does The Team Deal With Two Urgent Projects With Conflicting Deadlines
This is especially important for candidates interviewing for leadership roles, because resource and time constraints are common in startups, says Todd Sundsted, CTO of Odeko. The answers, and how the interviewer backs it up with experience, help me understand their tactics for balancing conflicting demands. I want to understand how they weigh these priorities or when they push back. It’s almost always an equal-parts entertaining and valuable conversation.
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Whats Your Work Style
When an interviewer asks you about your work style, theyre probably trying to imagine you in the role. How will you approach your work? What will it be like to work with you? Will you mesh well with the existing team? You can help them along by choosing to focus on something thats important to you and aligns with everything youve learned about the role, team, and company so far. The question is broad, which means you have a lot of flexibility in how you answer: You might talk about how you communicate and collaborate on cross-functional projects, what kind of remote work setup allows you to be most productive, or how you approach leading a team and managing direct reports. Just try to keep it positive. And remember, telling a story will almost always make your answer more memorable.
Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job
This is a toughie, but one you can be sure youll be asked. Definitely keep things positiveyou have nothing to gain by being negative about your current employer. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that youre eager to take on new opportunities and that the role youre interviewing for is a better fit for you. For example, Id really love to be part of product development from beginning to end, and I know Id have that opportunity here. And if you were let go from your most recent job? Keep it simple: Unfortunately, I was let go, is a totally acceptable answer.
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How Have You Changed During Your Time Here
This is an unusual one, but it will elicit some interesting insights, says Camille Ricketts, Head of Marketing at Notion. People might talk about how they’ve gotten more opportunities to learn or real mobility in their role. Sometimes they will say they’ve become more resilient or stronger, which is an indication of something else, perhaps. It gives you a fascinating perspective on what the culture brings out in people.
How Much Money Are You Looking To Earn
This question is left off of many lists of common job interview questions, yet its extremely important and the wrong answer can cost you thousands of dollars.
The best answers to this question follow one rule: DONT say a specific number or even a narrow salary range that youre targeting.
Why? You have the least amount of leverage possible at this point in the job interview and job search process. You havent finished interviewing with this employer, and they dont even know if youre a good fit for the position.
So you cant command a high salary right now. Theres nothing to gain by answering salary questions so early, and quite a bit to potentially lose.
If you go too low with your desired salary range, it could limit the offer you receive later, even if they would have offered more normally. Or, you could worry them that youre not at the level they were hoping for!
Meanwhile, if you share a number or range thats too high, you could scare them off before they get to know you and see your worth! Whereas, after talking with you in a few interviews, they might have been willing to stretch their budget to hire you! Ive seen this happen frequently as a recruiter.
Therefore, its a lose-lose to tell them your salary target before you know theyre interested in hiring you. When youre preparing what to say in a job interview, especially an early-stage interview, salary goals should not be a part of it!
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What Kind Of Work Environment Do You Like Best
Maybe you love working alone, but if the job you’re interviewing for is in a call center, that answer will do you no good.
So take a step back and think about the job you’re applying for and the company’s culture . If a flexible schedule is important to you, but the company doesn’t offer one, focus on something else. If you like constant direction and support and the company expects employees to self-manage, focus on something else.
Find ways to highlight how the company’s environment will work well for you — and if you can’t find ways, don’t take the job, because you’ll be miserable.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job
This question can really make a lot of job seekers nervous. If you were literally fired from your last job, youre going to have to own up to it and show what you learned from the experience and what measures you have taken to address the reasons you were let go.
If you left voluntarily be sure to explain why. For example: You wanted a different challenge. Hint: A challenge offered by the company and position youre interviewing for
We tackle this question in more depth in our blog post here.
- If it was because you left voluntarily then reference a specific characteristic that the company you are interviewing for has that you are attracted to. One that your previous employer didnt have.
- If you were let go, be honest and explain the situation and own it. Explain what you learned from the experience, because the interviewer knows youre human, you make mistakes, and just wants to see that you were able to do something about it
- Words like downsizing and budget cuts and bad economy are good defenses if they are true and are the reasons for departure from the job.
- Dont bash your last company or boss or anything along those lines.
- Dont say, Its time for a career switch and Id like to try my hand at the job you are offering or Im tired of doing the same old thing. Give a pointed, Positive reason for why you want to head off in a new direction.
- Dont lie if you were fired.
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Questions About The Department Where The Open Position Is Located
This is a critical line of questioning because you’re getting to know the specifics of your coworkers. You’ll also see the types of processes that your coworkers abide by to generate success.
Who is the person that I’m directly reporting to?
Can you explain more about the department that I’ll be working with?
Is there another coworker that I’ll work closely with other than my manager?
What do you believe are my manager’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Is there going to be more hires in this department over the next year?
Is there another department that I’ll be coordinating with daily?
Is there a common trajectory for people who’ve previously worked in this department?
What opportunities do you see from working with this team?
Are you aware of team-building activities that this department participates in?
How much of an impact do you believe this department has in regards to the success of the company?
What Will Separate Someone Who Is Good At This Job From Someone Who Is Really Stellar
Desiree Caballero, Brand Strategist at Robinhood leans on this question for assessing mutual fit you want to work somewhere that values your skills as much as the company is looking for the ideal candidate.
Its a favorite for Kimberly Muñoz, Engineering Manager at Slack, as well. When I ask this, I usually get a better picture of what the hiring manager is looking for and the perceived needs of the organization, Muñoz says.
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How Do You Juggle High
Another common question, interviewers who ask this or variations, such as how do you handle multiple deadlines? or how do you prioritise your work? want to know how you handle your workload and manage your time.
The best way to address this is to talk about your skills in time management. Consider how you schedule your day, how you prioritise different work assignments, and how you maintain a good work-life balance.
For example, At the beginning of each week, I schedule a time to sit down with my manager to discuss upcoming deadlines and priorities. Then I schedule my week accordingly. I like to get the most difficult or complex task done first thing in the morning early in the week to give myself a buffer in case they take longer than expected or I need to ask for help. A lot of my work involves data entry tasks that dont have any hard, urgent deadlines, so I make sure I set an hour every afternoon to process that so I stay on top of it.
Work Experience Questions To Ask Job Candidates:
- What types of jobs have you held in the past?
- What was your title at your current/previous/last job?
- What were your duties in that position?
- What did you like most/least about the position?
- Why are you leaving your present employer?
- Whats the most important thing you learned in school and/or at your last job?
- Why did you choose your major?
- If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?
- What is your understanding of the skills necessary to perform this job?
- What special training have you completed that qualifies you for this job?
- What certifications do you hold?
- Can you describe how to _____________ ?
- This job requires the ability to _____________ . Can you give me an example of a time that you have had to _____________ ?
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What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Asking this question allows you to determine how self-aware the candidate is about the skills they have and the ones they’re lacking. It also allows you to assess their understanding of the role and the skills they would need to succeed. Look for strengths that match the role and honesty when discussing weaknesses.
Example answer:”My greatest strengths are my industry experience and knowledge. Since I have worked in finance for eight years, I have learned a lot from my colleagues and managers. There’s still a lot to learn, which I hope to do here. My greatest weakness is my perfectionism. I have a hard time submitting projects without checking them five or six times first. I don’t want to miss any errors, but this can be a time-consuming process.”
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Why Do You Want This Job
What They Want to Know: Why did you apply for this position? What do you find most interesting about the job and the organization? With this question, the employer wants to know why you think this job is a match for your career objectives. Take the time to describe how your qualifications are a match for the job. The more you can show you’re qualified, the easier it will be to get hired.
From the time my appendix burst as a kid and I spent a week in the hospital, Ive wanted to be a nurse preferably here at James Memorial. Although I went away for nursing school, Im eager to move back home and care for our local community now that Ive become a licensed RN.
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What Do You Expect From Team Members In This Position
Job descriptions often are nothing more than marketing jargon used to peak interest in a position, and sometimes the intricate requirements are neglected. Asking this question in an interview helps you determine what you’re going to be doing and what is expected of you. Hiring managers expect and respect these questions. Asking them to explain the job requirements in detail shows you care about the position, like to know all the facts before making a decision, and have the courage to ask the difficult questions.
Question: What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment
Consider this question an invitation to do some bragging about what you have achieved in your career that can benefit this new employer. By asking this question, the interviewers are inviting you to share an achievement/accomplishment which provides proof that you are the best candidate for this job
Focus on them: Choose a recent accomplishment, if possible, that demonstrates your ability to do this job very well. Have several good examples prepared before the interview.
Like your greatest strength, your greatest accomplishment aligns with something they need. Again, as with strengths, while you have many accomplishments you could describe, the smartest strategy is to focus on your recent accomplishments that make it clear you can do their job very well.
Be truthful and also be very careful about treating this question casually. Advanced preparation is the smartest strategy.
Hopefully, your and your resume reference this accomplishment or situation in some way.
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What Are Some Tips For Interviewing Over The Phone
With the large surge of phone interviews in todays work world, its nice to have a few tips and tricks in your pocket to stick out. Here are a few tips to help during your next phone interview:
Find a nice, quiet place away from other distractions
Do some research on the company prior to the interview
Write down talking points prior to the call
Keep your resume in front of you
Dont speed through questions
Take your time
Prepare some question to ask
Ask if they noticed anything from the conversation that you can work on
Send a thank you email
What Did You Do In The Last Year To Improve Your Knowledge
This question may come up as a result of the pandemic. Employers want to know how people used their time differently. Know that you dont have to feel scared about answering this question if you didnt spend your time brushing up on skills or taking courses. We learn from any experience we have.
If you spent time honing your professional skills, you might say the following.
Example: The extra time on my plate really allowed me to get introspective around where I want to take my career. I read a lot of journals to keep abreast of the latest ideas in my field, and sharpened my skills by taking some online courses, such as .
If you chose to work on your personal development, you could say something like the following.
Example: Like everyone else, I, too, gained some time last year from not having to travel two hours a day to and from work. I decided to spend my time on things I love. So I got back to learning how to play the guitar and journaling. I feel it brought me closer to myself and has been really great for my mental health and productivity.
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How Did You Hear About This Job
When asked this during an interview, donât just say you heard about the job on a website. This is your opportunity to go into more detail about why you love this company and what motivates you to want to work there. Moreover, if you have a personal connection at the company, this would be a good time to mention their name!
Questions To Ask About The Company
In addition to those questions about the specific job, you can leverage the research youve done beforehand to ask questions that showcase your interest in the company and industry. Here are some examples:
Question 13: What do you like best about working here?
This question can be a casual way to engage your interviewer on a personal level while gaining valuable insights into their experience with the company. If appropriate, be sure to respond to their answer with examples of why you believe this type of environment is a great fit for your personality and working style.
Question 14: Who do you see as your biggest competitor and why?
This question can show that you have an interest in the bigger picture of the company and industry. It can also be an opportunity for you to share that you did research on the company by following up the interviewer’s response with what you found when you looked into this before the interview.
Question 15: What challenges has this company faced in the last few years? What challenges do you anticipate in the coming years?
This is a great question if youre interviewing with managers or senior leadership. It shows your interest in the performance of the company and can give you insight into the pain points they experience. If applicable, you can follow up their response by any experience you bring to the table that can help with these pain points/challenges.
Question 16: What changes or innovations in the industry are you most excited about?
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