When it comes to getting the job, interview preparation is everything. Having a good picture of what the hiring company is about, and being able to confidently answer the questions thrown at you by the recruiter and management team can help you to stand out as the preferred candidate. Yet, how do you prepare to answer questions without sounding too rehearsed? The answer lies in being able to understand the most common interview questions and then developing an answer that sounds natural.
Here are some interview questions you always want to be prepared for as you get geared up for your next interview.
Tell me more about…YOU? This is generally an ice-breaker question that gives the recruiter a “picture” of who you are. Develop a brief elevator pitch that tells your story in 30-seconds or less. Start with where you are from, how you got into the industry, and where you’d like to see yourself in a year.
Why do you want to work here? When asked this, the recruiter is looking for what you know about the company and how this ties into your career goals. You may want to talk about your skill sets and how the company offers challenging assignments that are relating to these skills.
How do you handle difficult situations? Having the ability to manage difficult people and situations is a plus in most hiring managers’ eyes. Give a clear example of a past challenge that you were able to solve as an indication of the problem solving skills.
Why did you leave (or want to leave) your last job? This can be a somewhat uncomfortable question, but the key is to be honest…with tact. If you were let go, simply indicate that the company did not offer you the career opportunities you had expected.
What are your strengths/weaknesses? This is a common question that many recruiters lean on. Just give some relevant examples of your top three strengths and one weakness. Play up your strengths.
What would your previous employers say about you? When a potential employer asks this question, they may be either cross-tracking employment verification or hoping you’ll provide more information so they can skip this step. Acknowledge the question and then provide some reference letters to review.
Can you give me the salary you are looking for? While awkward, this question needs a good answer. Determine general salary ranges for the assignment you are applying for by visiting Payscale.com and O*Net to look them up in advance, then give a salary range instead of a specific number.
Why should we hire you? If you’ve gotten to the final round of interview questions, or have been invited back for more interviews, you’ll be asked this very bold question at some point. Be sure to focus on your background, your strengths, and your skills as they relate to the assignment and the company objectives to “sell” yourself to the hiring manager.
For support with your career search, consider the benefits of registering with a proactive staffing agency like Advance Temporary Staffing Solutions. You can get access to a wide range of temporary and contract assignments, and you’ll get plenty of interviewing practice too.