Anticipating the questions that will be asked during an interview are key to securing a call back. You will wow the interviewer with intelligent, well-crafted answers to the following frequently asked interview questions:
- What are your career objectives? – Explain where you see yourself in five years.
- What are you good at professionally? – Always have a bank of examples ready to share. If you feel like one of your strengths is your ability to be a leader, the interviewer will definitely want you to provide an example of a situation where you demonstrated leadership and the challenges you had to overcome.
- What are you not so good at professionally? – Don’t use this question as an opportunity to disguise one of your strengths as a weakness. Example: “I’m a perfectionist” – not a very intellectual response. An interviewer would much rather hear a true weakness followed by the ways you intend to improve in that area. This also shows initiative on your part and lets them know that you are aware of your limitations. No one is perfect, so don’t let this question intimidate you.
- Who were your last 3 bosses and how would they rate your performance on a scale from 1-10? Be honest! Expect the interviewer to call your references and ask them this exact same question. If you rate yourself a 10 but your previous boss gives you a 7, this is an immediate red flag because you lied. This might make the interviewer question the truthfulness of the rest of the interview. So, rate yourself appropriately, avoiding perfect scores – there is always room to improve. This is also a question you should think about when you are creating your reference list because you do not want to include anyone who will rate you poorly.
- In any one of your last jobs, what were some challenges that you encountered and how did you handle these obstacles? This question allows the interviewer to see how you perform under pressure. Make sure to come prepared with great examples. They might also add on to this by asking how you could have handled the situation differently (if the outcome wasn’t positive) so be ready to include alternative solutions.
- What do you know about our company? This is important because this shows that you did your homework. Always, always, always research the company before you go to the interview.
- Why do you want to work here? Think about what kind of company you see yourself working for and how this job fits in with your career objectives. In addition, while you are researching the company, keep track of the things that stand out to you – company culture, social media presence, blog posts, news articles, press releases, where they stand with their competitors, etc. – then figure out how you fit in and how the company will benefit from hiring you.
- What are the most important factors to you when looking at your next opportunity? Let’s break this down – what type of companies are you targeting? Do you want a job that will continuously challenge you? Are you looking for a long-term position that will allow you to grow within an organization or just something to pay the bills? Is personal growth important to you? Take some time to analysis every aspect of this question and figure out how it fits in with your career objectives.
- What is your motivation for seeking a new position? Are you a recent grad? Is your current position not challenging you enough or not in line with your career goals? Basically, why are you going to this interview in the first place?
- What was the last book you read and what did you learn from it? Whoa, curve ball! Let’s hope it wasn’t one from the Twilight series or Harry Potter when you were 10. Recent grads – If this question makes you sweat because you’re not much of a reader, think back to some of the books you had to read for class and brush up on them. There should be at least one or two…
All of these are potential questions that you might be asked during an interview. If you prepare yourself for these, you will be able to answer a variety of others.