Three Questions In Every Job Interview

Three Questions In Every Job Interview

Every job interview is different, but in a way every interview is also the same. There are certain questions you will almost certainly be asked and others that may throw you for a loop. By preparing strong, well thought out answers the ones you know you’ll be asked you’ll feel more confident about taking on the surprises.

 

Tell me about yourself

The interviewer is going to want to know about you, and they’re going to ask about your goals and hobbies. Have something short and to the point planned out to say. It’s hard to summarize yourself in general, and even harder to do on the spot. Come up with interesting examples of things you’ve done/learned that encapsulate the most important things you’d like to get across in the space of a single answer.

 

Walk me through your resume

They might not exactly come right out and ask you to walk them through your resume but they will certainly want clarification and elaboration on what you’ve written. Prepare something, again, quick and to the point to say about each paragraph. Also come up with something a little bit longer about whatever is most impressive. Your most salient selling point.

 

Why do you want this job?

This is where you need to most thoroughly plan out your answer. The other two are about you and your accomplishments, for the most part questions about your past. This one focuses on the future and potential and possibilities. You certainly don’t want to stumble here, so take some time beforehand and figure it out. Don’t ramble or go off on tangents. Explain your thoughts in concise, well thought out detail.

 

Now that you’ve prepared answers to the questions you know they’re going to ask it’s time to prepare for the questions they might ask!

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

There are all kinds of reasons that interviews don’t go well. Sometimes it’s as simple as you weren’t the best candidate for the position. However sometimes you were the best person for the job. You missed out because you were too nervous to present yourself in your best light. Or you weren’t able to convey just how perfect you were to the interviewer.

Let your power shine through

Let’s start with the nervous part. Most of us get nervous in competitive or stressful situations. But there are ways of tricking your body into actually feeling more confident. It’s all about creating a feeling of power and strength within yourself. You can do that with power poses. Striking a pose of power and holding it.

For example, before the interview, stand like Wonder Woman. Feet apart, hands on your hips, chin up. Take up space, breathe in and hold. You will start feeling more confident.

Or stand like a star athlete. Feet apart, arms above your head, fingers spread wide – like you just won the race of your life and hold.

Amy Cutty who has a Ted Talk online about how our body language shapes who we are talks about studies that have demonstrated the benefits of standing like a super hero. Testosterone increases significantly cortisol drops, people feel ready to take on more risks, their pain threshold his higher. They also think more abstractly and are more likely to do well in stressful situations – like job interviews.

 

Move from the general to the specific

While preparing for an interview people will often go online to research the sorts of questions they will be asked. Then they memorize the best way to answer them. The problem with that is they come off sounding rehearsed and mechanical in the interview.

 

The interviewer doesn’t want to hear the perfect answer to a question. They want to hear your answer to the question. That means read how you should answer the question then create an answer based on your experiences and qualifications.

 

Why are you perfect for the position?

You might not get asked this question specifically, but ultimately every question you are asked is working toward answering it. Think about your motivations, your strengths, your values, your personality. Bring those into every answer. Come up with examples from your life and your experiences. Make it personal. The more personal you make it the more confident you’ll sound.

 

You look confident, you sound confident. If you’re a perfect fit for the job, the interviewer will know it.

Prepare Your References At The Beginning of Your Job Search

Prepare Your References At The Beginning of Your Job Search

You are on a job search. You will most likely eventually be asked for references. The time to prepare for that is now, before your interviews start. Not in a knee jerk response for a request.

 

The basics

At minimum a potential employer will want to confirm you had the job you say you had. They’ll ask about your dates of employment and title. They might also ask what you were like as an employee. Were you punctual? Did you take initiative? What was your attitude like?

 

If you provide a reference that will only give the basics, then don’t expect any fireworks on the part of your prospective employer. You want your references to be able to speak highly and positively about skills and experiences, but you also want them to hold credibility. The singing praises of your cubical mate aren’t going to get you far. The same words from a supervisor are good. If your previous boss is willing to vouch for you that’s even better. If you are a recent grad a professor can attest to your abilities and drive. In general, you want to have two or three professional references you can count on as references.

 

Credibility factor

When thinking about people we could call on as references, it’s important to consider how much weight their words will carry. If your reference is an expert in something related to what you are applying for that’s amazing. Someone who has seen you do (and excel at) a variety of different things will be able to speak confidently about your abilities.

 

Prepare them well in advance

The time to let someone know you are including them as a reference is early on in your job search. Give them time to think about you and what you can bring to the table. When you know they might be called on, give them a call. Let them know the kind of job you are applying for and the sorts of things you would like them to focus on. Confirm when it would be convenient for someone to contact them so they have time to give the reference their full attention.

 

Now that you’ve prepared your references, go out and get yourself in a position to need them!

The Key To A Successful Interview is Preparation

The Key To A Successful Interview is Preparation

No matter how qualified you are, what great school you attended, or how amazing your experiences, you cannot go into a job interview and just wing it. People do not hire statistics or qualifications they hire people. They hire people they like, people who inspire them, people who impress them with potential. Use these tips to set yourself apart from the pack at your next interview.

 

Who is interviewing you?

Find out the name of the person interviewing you beforehand. Discover what you can about them. Check them out on LinkedIn. Google them. Have something you can say about them in conversation. While you’re at it do the same thing for the company.

 

Practice makes perfect

Get online and find a list of the most common interview questions and how to answer them. Once you’ve figured out what you want to say get yourself in front of a mirror and practice your answers. Take note of your facial expression. Check to see that you look relaxed and confident.

 

Remember they have your resume in front of them so don’t just repeat what you wrote down there. Expand with stories of how you made a difference in your previous job or at school. Provide qualitative evidence. Productivity increased by 25% during the 8 months of my leadership.

 

Have a few off-resume things you can throw in there to humanize you. A hobby or a volunteer initiative you partake in.

 

Plan your route before hand

Don’t just plan your route to the interview an hour before you’re scheduled to arrive. The day before check what traffic is usually like at that time. Ensure there aren’t any road closures. Make sure you plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

 

Google yourself

Before starting your job search, you should absolutely Google yourself. If there’s anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see then get rid of it. Make sure your online image is as professional as the person who walks in for the interview.

 

Make a good impression with everyone you meet

From the receptionist to anyone you meet in the hallways or elevator, smile and present your best self. You don’t know who is in charge or who has who’s ear. Plus although you always want to present your best self, it’s doubly important in interview situations.

 

Dress like you already have the job

Imagine yourself already in the position. How do you dress? How do you hold yourself? Embody that person. Be that person.

 

Prepare copies of your resume

You never know when you might need a hard copy of your resume. You might be interviewed by more than one person. The person interviewing you might only have your resume on the computer and need a hard copy. By having extra copies on hand you give the impression of a person prepared for any situation.

 

Turn your phone off

Of course you realize your phone should be off during the interview, but what if while waiting in the lobby scrolling through your phone you get distracted and forget to turn it off? Set a reminder to turn it off five or ten minutes before the interview starts so you don’t forget.

 

Listen to the questions

Prior to the interview you will have practiced answers to questions you anticipate. Once you think you know what they are going to ask you might be tempted to launch in with your amazing answer. Wait. Listen carefully to what they are asking and what they are saying. Ensure you are answering the question they are asking. If during your conversation you realize they are interested in things different from what you prepared, revise your answer accordingly. A conversation is as much about listening as speaking.

 

Finish with flair

No interview is over until the thank you note has been sent. Highlight something memorable from your interview, something that made you both smile or that wowed them. Reiterate your interest in the position and wait for the acceptance!

Take The Time To Make The Most of Your Next Interview

Take The Time To Make The Most of Your Next Interview

You’ve already got your next interview scheduled. You might think you’ve got what it takes to go there and wing it. If so you’ll most likely be knocked off your perch by others who took the time to prepare.

 

Write down the most relevant things you want to convey at the interview

There are things you want to ensure the person doing the interview knows about you. If you just think about them, there’s a spectacular chance they’ll fly out of your head when you come face to face with the interviewer. If you write them out before hand and read them a few times before the interview, they’ll dance out of your mouth at the appropriate time like choreographed works of art.

 

Take timing into consideration

There’s a thing called decision fatigue that comes over people as the day wears on. Essentially everyone has a finite amount of decision making capacity throughout the day. As the day wears on decisions become harder to make and the quality of decision making deteriorates. When booking your interview do your best to get yourself scheduled earlier in the day when the interviewer is still at their decision making peak.

 

Invest in business cards

You might think the only people who carry business cards around are the ones who already have jobs, but that’s not necessarily the case. Rather than thinking of it as a business card, think of it as a calling card. Something to set you apart from the other candidates. A tangible reminder of who you are and what you’re all about. Include your name and all your contact information and a line or two about what you do. It’s a great way to make an impression and ensure the potential employer remembers who you are!

 

Create a field of positivity around yourself

Do all your homework in advance. Research the questions you think they’ll ask and your answers in the days before. Don’t do any more preparing the day of the interview. Go in knowing you are qualified and experienced and ready to take on new challenges. Ensure you arrive well before the interview, cool, calm and collected. Radiate positivity. Leave them wanting more!

Six Questions To Ask During Your Next Interview

Six Questions To Ask During Your Next Interview

You’ve done all your prep for your upcoming interview. You’ve researched the company, you’ve got a handle on their attitude and aspirations because of all your scoping on social media. You have prepared answers to questions you know they will ask you, like Where do you see yourself in 5 years? And What is your greatest flaw? Great. Now what about the Do you have any questions for us? Question. Are you ready for that? Here are six possibilities:

 

What would a typical day be like in this role?

When you ask this question, you demonstrate that you are already picturing yourself in the role, figuring out exactly what will be expected.

 

Can you describe the corporate culture?

If you’ve done your homework you should already have a pretty good idea of the answer to this question. Still, it’s always good to ask because they probably don’t post everything on social media.

 

What are some of the company’s initiatives in regards to extra learning?

This demonstrates your excitement about expanding your credentials and growing with the company.

 

What are some of the possible future opportunities associated with this role?

This question indicates that you are envisioning a long-term career with the company, as opposed to taking the job as a stepping stone to something else.

 

How would my performance be measured?

Will you be assessed monthly? Quarterly? Who will be doing this assessment? It’s important to know.

 

What are some of the company’s long term and short term goals?

With this question you can determine whether or not this company is a place where you actually want to invest a large swath of your time and dedication. If for example you want to be part of a large organization and this small company is planning on expanding then it would probably be a good fit for you. If however they’re more interested in staying small then maybe it’s not quite right.

 

The questions you ask should be two way. Helping them realize exactly why you are the perfect candidate and also helping you figure out if this is somewhere you would actually like to work.

Prepare The Answers To These Common Job Interview Questions

Prepare The Answers To These Common Job Interview Questions

 

Some questions are always asked

You have a job interview coming up. Great! Unless you’re a seasoned pro with extensive interview experience behind you, you are probably wondering what sorts of questions they will ask. They will certainly ask questions specific to your field and your experiences but there will also probably be a host of more generic questions.

 

Here are a few of those and a few hints for how to go about answering them.

 

Tell me a little about yourself

You could tell them about your love of movies and all things Godzilla, but that won’t get you any closer to the job you’re after. You also don’t want to regurgitate what they’ve already seen on your resume. Essentially you want to give them a snapshot of how you are going to be an amazing fit for their organization as a whole and this job in particular. Biginterview.com suggests summarizing your answer with three main points: Who you are. A quick overview of your expertise. Why you want the position.

 

What are your strengths/weaknesses?

Highlight your positives here with tangible examples to back up what you’re saying and discuss how you recognize a weakness and the steps you are taking to improve. Don’t use negatives words about yourself during the interview. You can talk about a skill you need to improve or learn, but never disparage yourself.

 

Why do you want to work here?

Homework, homework, homework. If you don’t have a good answer for this, then you probably don’t deserve the job. Research the company extensively before your interview. Check them out on all social media channels, and wow them with your enthusiasm.

 

What are your salary expectations?

The worst answer here is something along the lines of I’m not sure. What do you think? Or I’m sure whatever you decide will be alright. Once again you need to do some research before hand. Google what people with your experience make in a job like this and come up with a Goldilocks number. Not too high to knock yourself out of the ballpark and not too low to seem unworthy. The Balance Careers has a few tips for answering the salary expectations question.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

If in fact you would like to be working as a surfing instructor in Hawaii in five years it’s best you keep that information to yourself. What the interviewer is looking for here, is an indication of your ambitions. Once again, a little research will take you a long way. Figure out where others who have started in the position you are applying for have gone and within what time frame. Of course, you will tell them about how you first plan on mastering everything there is to know in this current position. Focus on your short term goals in this new job then move on to long term goals.

 

For more ideas, check out this guide to common interview questions and best answers from Zety.