Preparation is often the key to success. And that’s especially true for candidates prior to an interview. But many job seekers forget the most important aspect of the interview process – preparing themselves for interview questions that could make or break whether the hiring manager hires you!
The good news is, many interview questions are to be expected. Study this list of frequently asked questions and answers so you’ll be ready to address them with confidence:
1. Tell me About Yourself
Most interviews start with this question. If you stumble over the answer, your lack of confidence will be obvious. The best way to prepare for this question is to decide on an elevator pitch about who you are. Skip your personal history and give about two to three sentences about your career path and why you’re applying for the job. You don’t need to be too detailed, you just want to leave enough curiosity that the hiring manager becomes excited to learn more about you.
2. Why do you Want to Work for Us?
When a hiring manager or HR professional asks this question, not only do they want to know why a job candidate wants to work for them, but they also want to know what they know about their company. This question tests how well you’ve done your research and how passionate you are about the work they do. Make sure you know the company well and can speak truthfully about why you think you’re a great candidate.
3. What are your Weaknesses?
This is one of the most asked questions – and also the most dreaded by jobseekers. First off, stay away from clichés like “I’ve been told I’m too passionate about my work” and handle it by minimizing your weaknesses and emphasizing your strengths. Concentrate on professional traits: “I’m always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter, that’s why I joined Toastmasters.”
4. Why did you Leave (or are Leaving) your Job?
Never badmouth a former employer. So if an interviewer asks why you left your job and you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: “I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20% reduction in the workforce, which included me.”
If you’re employed, focus on what you want in your next job: “After two years, I’ve made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience.”
5. Do you Have any Questions?
This is likely to be the last question in your interview – and is your last chance to stand out. Don’t blow it by saying no, or that your questions have already been answered. You should have a few well-thought-out questions to ask – so research the company and the job and practice them ahead of time.
Be Prepared for Success
It’s important to make a positive and lasting impression during the interview process. While you won’t be able to predict every question you’ll be asked by the hiring manager, take the time to practice answering those listed above. This will also help calm your nerves because you won’t be scrambling for an answer and will be calmer and more professional.
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Visit our website and learn how our team of experienced professionals can help you find the right job and prepare for success.