The scope of the job interview is to allow the employer to meet the employee in person and to discuss about the job responsibilities, to learn more about the practical experience of the candidate, his behavior and to measure the results based on the KPIs of the job.
In job interviews, each question has its own purpose. The interviewer cannot ask you about everything, they use specific questions in order to be able to answer in a way you will differentiate your skills and personality from other candidates.
*Hint – You need to be ready to show your Unique Value Proposition to the employer.
- Can you tell me something about yourself?
A lot of candidates are getting confused with this question and it seems very difficult for them. As an applicant for a certain job, you’d be wondering what the employer wants to know.
What’s the point of asking this kind of question?
I suggest you to relax and think of this situation as a great opportunity to impress your future employer. Well, the technique here is to answer this question with something that supports your career goals. Avoid telling those things about your name, date of birth, where you live, hobbies, etc. It would be better if you tell them something relevant about your qualifications and employment history.
- Talk to us about your strengths.
You can answer this question by telling something about your technical skills and your qualifications and make sure to support them with specific examples.
Over here you have to sell yourself! Keep in mind that for this question you need to have in mind your Unique Value Proposition. The knowledge of Personal Branding will help you answer the interview questions better in a more effective and successful way.
- What are your weaknesses?
Never answer this question with “I don’t think that I have any” or “I am not sure what to answer”. You should answer with things that you are improving and make sure to give examples in the work environment. Do not just tell your weak points; you should back up your statement with things that you are doing to improve your weak points.
- How do you handle stress/pressure?
If you were asked about this question, just relax and keep yourself calm because they are already observing you. Just describe how you handle pressure by being honest and direct, but avoid being anxious.
- What do you know about our company?
Before you will go to the interview, you need to do a research on the company. Knowing their mission and vision can help you make the interview more interactive. In addition, it would be better if you tell them that you want to know more about the company from them as well; this will show that you are interested to the company and you really want to be part of the team.
- Why do you want to work in our company?
If you were asked about this question, the first thing that would come into your mind would be “Because you have a job opening”. Well, those are clear answers but it won’t give you additional points on your interview. These kind of answers might sound sarcastic and may possibly annoy the interviewer.
The point of asking this question is to determine whether you have an idea about where you want to work or you’re just applying to any company that has a job opening.
Doing a brief research on the company before your interview can help you to stand out as a valuable applicant. You can also think what you can contribute to the Company and you can give them examples.
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
Not all candidates can deliver a straight forward answer to this question. Obviously you have your own reasons for leaving your current employer, however, you should be careful how you will answer this question. No matter what is the reason, you should keep your answers in a positive manner. Do not give them a hint on how much you hate your current colleague or your boss. At this point, the interviewer is testing your attitude. The Company wants to hire someone who has the potential to become part of their team and not a negative one who can pull them down.
- What can you contribute to our company?
Talk to them about your qualities (related to the position you are applying for). Give them some examples about how you can help the company grow and be productive by sharing your thoughts and ideas. Show them your dedication and your willingness to be a part of their team.
- Why should we hire you?
Basically, this question is about selling yourself. Just like the first question, tell something about yourself. Develop a sales statement including your Unique Value Proposition and be more detailed as much as you can. Get prepared and define what makes you unique and what you can contribute to this Company. Think of your qualities and create a mix and match on what you can offer and what the employer is looking for.
- Where do you see yourself five or ten years from now?
In answering this question, you should focus on your career advancement goals that are related with the job you are applying for.
Interview questions are very tricky and you should be more careful in answering them. Your future career relies on how you deliver your answers. Respond appropriately, just relax and be yourself.
by Marie Pavlou
Unlock Your Greatness