Tell Me About Yourself
At the beginning of the conversation, your interviewer will likely start out by asking you about yourself. They are seeking to understand your qualifications, what led you to the job and generally why you think you’d be a good fit. The key here is making your answer concise and direct, including only professional information relevant to the job. Your answer should be structured as follows:
1. Start by describing your background with a summary of your most impressive responsibilities:“I’ve been a hostess at XYZ Restaurant for just over two years where I greet and seat customers, assess wait times, fulfill to-go orders and answer the phones. I love the lively and busy environmentwe often have Friday and Saturday wait times of one hour or more…
2. Next, briefly summarize your previous experience with key achievements:“…Before working at XYZ Restaurant, I worked in retail as a floor associate for five years. Working in retail developed the customer service skills that make me a great hostess, offering a top-tier dining experience from the moment customers walk in the door. It also equipped me with the ability to work quickly under pressure…”
Tips on responding to “Tell me about yourself:1. Start by discussing your current situation2. Work backward by hitting key points along your professional journey3. Connect your background, interests and qualifications back to the job
Pick The Right Clothes And Do A ‘mirror Check’
Don’t procrastinate on this: Plan your outfit ahead of time. Try it on. Make sure it’s clean, pressed and still fits.
Not every job interview requires professional attire, but you still should present yourself as well-groomed and put together. When in doubt, ask people in your network who currently, or used to, work at the company about what’s considered appropriate. Sometimes the person arranging the interview will tell you.
The day of the interview, do a “mirror check” before you leave. Anything stuck in your teeth? Breath fresh? Hair combed? Shoes polished?
On the way to the interview, don’t buy or bring anything that could spill on you. Just ask the guy who flew from Chicago to New York the morning of his interview. He ordered tomato juice there was turbulence. You get the picture.
What Are Your Salary Expectations
The number one rule of answering this question is: Figure out your salary requirements ahead of time. Do your research on what similar roles pay by using sites like PayScale and reaching out to your network. Be sure to take your experience, education, skills, and personal needs into account, too! From there, Muse career coach Jennifer Fink suggests choosing from one of three strategies:
- Give a salary range: But keep the bottom of your stated range toward the mid-to-high point of what youre actually hoping for, Fink says.
- Flip the question: Try something like That’s a great questionit would be helpful if you could share what the range is for this role, Fink says.
- Delay answering: Tell your interviewer that youd like to learn more about the role or the rest of the compensation package before discussing pay.
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Plan Your Journey To The Job Interview
When preparing for a job interview one of the most important things to consider is how you are going to get there. A failure to plan is a plan to fail. If you are planning on driving to the interview, make sure you fill your car with fuel the night before. You dont want to be filling up on the way dressed in your suit.
Make sure you arrive on time, or better yet, at least 15 minutes early. Ensure this by knowing the address and if you can, have a trial run a couple of days before. The morning of the interview, check the traffic reports and have a backup route planned just in case. If you are travelling by train or bus, make sure you check the weather report the night before and keep an eye on the public transport websites for any delays. Look out for track works or traffic conditions that can potentially delay your train or bus trip.
Go to bed early the night before and wake up early to give yourself plenty of time.
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.
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Now Consider These Factors To Help You Evaluate Candidates:
Now that you have a complete overview of the best interview questions to ask, theres one last thing to do: be prepared to answer common questions from candidates. Theyre interviewing you too, after all. That way, candidates can also get useful insight on whether your company is a good fit for their skillset and motivations and hopefully, youll get to convince the best among them to join your team. Happy interviewing!
Follow These Steps To Get Properly Prepared For Your Interview
Alright, now that you know a bit about why preparing for an interview is important, as well as some mistakes to avoid, lets get down to brass tacks: how to prepare for an interview. After all, knowing you need to do it is only half the battle you have to follow through, using the right approach, too.
Luckily, we have your back. If you want to blow away the hiring manager, you need to take your interview prep to the next level. Heres how to do just that:
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Prepare To Talk About Specific Accomplishments
Most people go into their interview and make general statements and talk in very general terms. To set yourself apart, you want to prepare specific examples and talk about DETAILS. Facts, numbers and real accomplishments.
Hint: this is true on your resume also. Youll get far more interviews if you cram your resume with facts, figures and statistics instead of general statements like responsible for handling customer requests.
So when the hiring manager asks what you accomplished in your last job, or what you do each day, you should be ready to impress! This is not the time to hesitate or be unsure. Prepare ahead of time for this.
If youre looking for your first job without any work experience, then think about accomplishments in your academic career classes youve taken, projects youve completed, etc. Thats your most relevant experience!
Why Should We Hire You
While this question may seem like an intimidation tactic, interviewers generally ask to offer another opportunity to explain why youre the best candidate. Your answer should address the skills and experience you offer, why youre a good culture fit and what you believe youd bring to the role.
One thing to remember as youre discussing your fitness for the company with employers is that the idea of culture fit can sometimes be used as a way to eliminate and discriminate against candidates, however unknowingly, who dont think, act or look like existing employees. A better alternative concept you might consider speaking to is culture add, or your ability to bring fresh and additive ideas and feedback to the team. Culture adds make the company stronger by diversifying the experiences and perspectives of its workforce.
Example answer:My experience accurately managing inventory intake and skills in creating effective, streamlined schedules make me uniquely qualified to succeed in this kitchen manager position. I understand that you require a highly organized candidate with acute attention to detail. In my previous job, I successfully handled schedules for 20 employees and reduced food waste by 15%. Im confident in my ability to use my organizational skills to bring efficiency and order to your restaurant.
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Why Is This Job Open
Answering is easy. Either the previous person quit, got promoted or moved laterally, or it’s a new position.
But don’t stop there. If the previous person quit, explain why. Maybe the job provided experience that allowed them to land a higher-level job elsewhere. Or they weren’t a good fit, which gives you the opportunity to describe why the candidate is a good fit.
If the previous person got promoted, use that to talk about opportunities for growth.
And if it’s a new position, definitely provide context. Why the job was created. What the goals are. How the job will create value. How you hope the person hired will shape the job and its duties.
If you’re unprepared, the “Why is this job open?” question could make you feel defensive.
If you’re prepared, it’s an opportunity.
How To Structure Your Interviews
Structured interviews are effective methods of predicting job performance. Their three main characteristics are:
- You ask all candidates the same questions.
- You ask questions in the same order.
- You evaluate answers based on standardized rating scales.
The first two characteristics are easy, yet critical for success. If you ask different questions of each candidate, its impossible to objectively compare their answers. This will result in you trying to make a hiring decision on your gut feeling which potentially leads to harmful biases and discrimination.
So, when you decide which interview questions to ask, spend some time putting them in order. To do this, use the format of an interview scorecard its possible your applicant tracking system has a function to help you build scorecards and share them with your team.
The third characteristic of a structured interview the rating scales is immensely helpful in ensuring youll hire objectively. You create a scale and then you evaluate candidates answers with that scale. To do this right, define what exactly each item on the scale means.
Alternatively, you could use a simpler scale, such as Yes, No and Definitely
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You Didnt Have An Opportunity To Ask Questions
Unless youre running up against the clock, if an interviewer cuts the interview without asking if they can address any of your questions, they may have already made their decision to continue their search, Liou says. Generally speaking, interviews are a two-way street and positive interview experiences will allow both parties to learn more about one another.
If you were given the opportunity to ask questions but your interviewer provided really curt or vague answers, thats also not a great sign for your candidacy or for that employers commitment to respectful and transparent communication.
What Priorsupervisory Experience Do You Have
This question is going to be one of the very first ones asked, so be ready with a great answer. When considering how you are going to respond, make eye contact and relate how your previous supervisor experience relates to what they are looking for. Remember the interview is not about you, its about them. Try and show you can fulfill their needs and solve their problems.
As an example, if youare going to be possibly placed in charge of the third shift in a factory, youcould tell them about your experience as a factory worker and how you communicate effectively with others.
I have led several teams in the past. As an example, at my last job as supervisor at Loews I was in charge of overseeing multiple groups of employees who all worked in different departments and with different schedules. As you can imagine, being able to communicate effectively in this environment was critical. I worked hard to be clear and organized with my staff and made sure that everyone was on the same page. Ive noticed in the past that often some employees can get confused but be too shy or scared to say anything. This can lead to problems, so I always make sure that after any group meeting I check in individually with any employee I may feel may be in the dark in a certain area.
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Tell Me About A Time You Set Difficult Goals
If you’re looking for a candidate who is goal-oriented and results-driven — as most hiring managers are — this question will help you gauge whether they’ll be able to handle the audacious goals you have in store for them. Ask follow-up questions like, “what did you do to achieve them?” Have the candidate walk you through the process and purpose of the goals they set out for themselves.
A good answer to this question:
A good answer to this interview question shows they understand what difficult goals are, and that they put a lot of effort into attaining their goals while maintaining a high standard of work quality. Listen for answers that describe a lofty goal and show why this goal challenged their normal targets. Responses that admit the candidate came up short of this goal can also indicate self-awareness and confidence despite a lack of success.
What To Wear To An Interview
While many employers expect candidates to dress smartly, a growing number encourage casual wear at work, making it trickier than ever to choose an interview outfit.
What you’ll be expected to wear depends on factors such as the size of the company, the industry it operates in and the culture it promotes. For example, a small creative agency may have different standards to a major accountancy firm.
If you’re unsure on the dress code, ask before attending the interview. The key point to remember is that it’s better to be too smart than too casual. Only opt for a more casual outfit if you’re certain that’s acceptable – if there’s any doubt, go for smart business attire. Whatever you choose, make sure that your clothes are ironed and your shoes are clean.
For telephone and online interviews make sure you dress as though the interview is in person. Sitting in your tracksuit bottoms trying to act professional probably isnt going to go too well.
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There Are A Lot Of Job Interview Guides Out There But These 10 Tips Are All You Need To Know
Prepare like a pro for your next job interview.
Sweeping a hiring manager off their feet is a great achievement, but pre-interview jitters can make even seasoned job seekers fumble during a big audition. The best interview tips may vary in their techniques, but they all exist to help you bring your best self to the table.
The easiest way to calm your nerves and ace your next job interview is to walk in 100% prepared. Following these 10 tenets will help you quash any anxiety you may be feeling and nab that coveted reward we call a job offer.
How To Prepare For A Job Interview: 6 Tips
Interviews can be intimidating, and having a good system in place to prep for job interviews is essential. From knowing what to wear to how to handle sensitive subjects, job interviews are full of formalities, emotions, and questions.
To help you make the most of your time in front of hiring managers, the following tips will help you prepare for job interviews.
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I Have A Great Deal Of Experience
This is your chance to shine. Highlight any previous job duties that relate directly to your new job. If it is a management position, state every time that you were responsible for the supervision, training, and development of other employees. Discuss your motivational techniques and share specific examples of how you increased productivity. Feel free to list any training classes or seminars that you have attended.
How Is Success Measured At This Company
This answer should give you some information as to how the company thinks of its employees, and how the review process is conducted. For example, if the interviewer says success is purely based on sales or metrics, it might indicate a product first, people second mentality. However, if they say that both growth and retention are important, it signals that upper management is concerned with the mental health of their employees. This answer can also give you a look at how your success will be measured and how likely you are to get a raise. This question can also lead into how often raises are seen at the company and if theyre on a yearly review cadence or if raises are few and far between.
If youre looking for a completely remote work environment, ask if thats a possibility. If you have to pick up your kids early on a certain day, or arent open to work travel, make sure thats known. Dont make yourself the last priority. Its much better to let your needs be known early on so that the job works around you, rather than you working around the job. The perfect job for you will be the one that works with your needs and doesnt make you feel like you have to sacrifice yourself to be successful.
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