Think about job interviews the way an athlete thinks about The Big Game. Your fate will be decided in a short, stressful, live performance. And, like a player preparing to win a championship, you shouldn’t go into an interview cold. You need to practice as much as you can so that you’re ready for whatever happens.
In this case, preparation doesn’t involve running wind sprints or watching game film. Instead, you need to craft your answers to the most common interview questions. You want to think about what you want to say and understand how your answers will make your case.
With that in mind, here are five common interview questions that you should be prepared to answer:
Why Do You Want This Job?
Recruiting is a matching game. Your skills and background will let the employer know whether you can perform the open position’s duties. But the process goes in both directions: hiring managers also want to know if the position is a good fit for you.
That’s what this question is meant to discover. They want to know that you make a good fit for the job. That way, you’ll be engaged in the work and more likely to stick around for the foreseeable future.
In your answer, let them know what attracted you to the position. Show them that you’re excited for the opportunity and that you’d love to work for their company.
Where Do You See Yourself in the Future?
The timeline on this question will vary from the interview. Some hiring managers will present you with a five–year horizon. Others will look out into the more distant future, asking you to detail your ten-year vision.
Whatever the case, they want to see that you are ambitious and driven. Your goal is to signal that you have these traits…but there’s a catch. Tell them that you want to leverage your ambition within their corporate structure. Let them know that you’re hoping to prove your worth for them and rise in their organization.
What Makes You an Ideal Candidate?
Your interviewers already know that you can perform day-to-day functions. They learned that from your resume.
Landing a job requires more than common ambition and the basic qualifications. Your interviewers want to know if you can excel. Your answer to this question should convince them that you can reach the highest performance levels.
To do this, cite the other skills you can bring to the job that allows you to go beyond the basics. In other words, let them know why you make a better choice than any of the other potential candidates.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
The modern economy involves a lot of movement. People change jobs relatively frequently. However, the inability to stay at a company still acts as a red flag for many employers. For this reason, they will want to know why you left your previous positions.
In your answer, you want to assure them that it wasn’t as a result of personality clashes or due to a failure to perform your duties properly. Spin your departures as steps in your career development…ones that lead you to the current opportunity.
What Are Your Biggest Weaknesses?
This is the classic interview trick question. The one your mom warned you about. It’s so ubiquitous that many employers skip it entirely or will at least come up with more clever alternatives. Still, you should be prepared to answer some form of this question.
Your best response is to frame your weakness as something that troubled you in the past, but you’ve taken steps to overcome it. So, say something like, “I used to get flustered when I had a heavy workload, but now I’ve improved my organizational skills, and I am able to thrive in those situations.”
Preparation is key to taking advantage of any opportunity. Having an expert at your side eases this process. That’s what makes partnering with a top staffing agency, like SmartTalent, such an impactful choice for your career development. They can give you the insight you need to land the best positions for your long-term future.
Contact SmartTalent today to discover more.