Your resume has been reviewed and you’re up for interview. Congratulations! Now don’t worry! We know you’re on your toes with this one, that’s why we’ve got you covered. We have the top 5 interview questions being asked and the answers most recruiters want to hear.
But before that we want to remind you to read up on the company you’re applying for and to make sure that you know their strengths and their needs and how your application will essentially contribute to reinforcing the former and addressing the latter.
Another thing to consider is that, according to Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy, people will immediately ask themselves “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?” as they take in their first impression of you. To many people, proving their competence and earning the respect is more important. However, not earning the trust is more detrimental. Cuddy says that in an “evolutionary perspective” “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.” So make sure that you emanate both trustworthiness and competence the moment you step into the office.
“Tell me about yourself.”
This question is all-too-familiar even amongst new applicants. Yet your answer to this first question will set your whole interview’s tone. Your interviewer will want you to be your most honest self, but there is such a thing as oversharing.
- Share your success stories. Your employer will want to know the hardships you faced and the way you overcame them.
- Do not share facts that are not relevant to your job or your workplace. Your interview is set for an amount of time, do not waste that on quirky tidbits about yourself which will not help you land the job.
- Do not tell fibs. Do not make white lies about yourself to up your credentials. Trust us, there will come a time when your co-workers, or worse your boss, will find out about them.
“What’s your greatest weakness? What’s your greatest strength?”
When your future employer asks you this, he is looking at how honest and humble you can be, not just how your weaknesses and strengths match the job you’re applying for.
- Tie it in. It is a good strategy to bare your work-related weaknesses and make your strengths about how you address or addressed those weaknesses to tightly-knit your answer.
- Do not humblebrag. No one wants to hear “My greatest weakness is that I’m too perfect for this job.” Be human, make sure you can connect in that aspect. Earn your employer’s trust by being honest enough to admit that you have a lot to work on, but make sure that you get the point across that you are working on it.
“Why should we hire you?”
This is the best time to sell yourself, but sell smart. You are applying for a specific job, not just any position in the company. Target the needs of the company that your presence can address.
- Make sure to show you’ve faced their problems. One way to show why you’re better fit than the other applicants is not to say “I am better than them” but to show that you have in fact gone through the problems the company is addressing right now and that you have fresh perspective on how to address them, having already experienced your share of it.
- Be specific to the position. Do not use buzzwords that are general and practically empty. Address why you with your experience and skillset are a great fit for the position you’re applying. An example: how will your time management or your organization skills be useful for a developer like you? How will it help the company specifically?
“What would make you resign from a company?” or “What made you resign from a company?”
This is where you show your ability to evaluate and observe key company values and deficiencies. You need to be able to show what you value in a company without bashing your previous workplace or seeming too righteous.
- Be realistic. You know that as an employee, you will have obligations that will not always fit your schedule and needs. Your entry point here is a reasonable and balanced idea of your sacrifices and the company’s demands.
- Set your needs according to the company’s specialty. This is another chance for you to prove why you’re the perfect fit for the job in that certain company. Target their specialties, like company culture or mentorship, which you look for in a company and without it would make you reconsider.
- Make it about how to get you enthusiastic and involved. Your employer will not want to hear that you get discouraged by the lack of nap time or snacks. You are not a child. They will not want to hire a typical employee with no will to engage and learn because they’re just after the salary.
“Do you have any questions for me?”
This is the part where you really make your interest in the company known. Do not leave this out, but do not ask outlandish questions either.
- Never say “No.” There must be something you’ll want to know regarding your job and the company. But don’t scandalize your interviewer. Make sure your questions are within the bounds of your admission into the company and the job you’ve been assigned to have.
- Don’t ask about gossip or company issues. This should not be new news. Keep the discussion respectable.
- Ask questions that would help you understand your position. You may have had a similar job before but not all the roles you’ll take on will be the same. The roles for the same position of different companies are often injected with duties tailored after their specific needs.
That’s it! Just remember that you’re applying for a specific position and that means all your answers must be equally specific to the job. Don’t forget to come on time, possibly 15 minutes before the actual interview, and bring all the necessities like a printed copy of your resume even if they did not ask.