So an employer was impressed with your application and invited you to an interview. But how do you make sure you make a memorable first impression?
While learning about a company’s history is important, if you can’t answer their questions in a way that checks all of their boxes someone else will. And it could be what cuts your chances of getting the job.
It can be difficult to come up with answers under the spotlight of interviewers, so here are the most common interview questions being asked. And how to respond to them with confidence.
‘’Why Did You Choose Our Company?’’
This question is often asked to find out if you’ve done any research on the company and if you have a true reason for wanting to work there.
While 9 times out of 10 their company wasn’t your only option, it’s important to seem like their company stood out to you. Make sure you do research and take time to learn about the company’s culture.
When answering this question, a great way to make an impression is to mention how the company aligns with your career goals. Remember, the core aim of this question is to see if you match their judgement for someone that would fit well into their company.
‘’Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?’’
The interviewer wants you to go in-depth about your career goals and how this job fits into your future career plans.
It’s crucial you have short and long-term goals in mind. Because employers look for candidates that are well-organised and driven to improve throughout their life.
Also, make it clear in your answer that you plan to stick around. Giving out hints that you don’t see a future working with their company could give off red flags that affect your chance of being hired.
‘’What Are Your Greatest Strengths?’’
The interviewer wants to know whether you have complementary soft skills and attributes that are right for the job.
While it might seem easy to talk about all your strong points, you shouldn’t go into this question all guns blazing.
Consider your strengths and how they relate to the job you’re applying for. Try to avoid giving answers that are too general, and think about if the interviewer will see your strengths as a helping hand in the job role.
Even when talking about skills that can be used in different situations, you should always keep it professional and relevant to the role.
‘’What’s Your Biggest Weakness?’’
While the majority of candidates mess up this question in one way or another, it’s all about finding the perfect balance.
It’s common to feel nervous when talking about your weaknesses, but many employers like it when you can give an honest answer and show that you don’t see yourself as ‘’perfect.’’
Choose an important but solvable problem that can be fixed with practice. Then explain how you plan to deal with the situation. This shows you’re not only aware of ways you can improve, but are also taking action to do so.
‘’Tell Me About A Time That You Failed’’
What the hiring manager really wants to know from this question is:
“How do you react when you fail? Do you learn from the things you do wrong? Are you resilient?”
This is similar to the “greatest weakness” question in that you need to show how you’ve learned from a bad experience.
To do this, admit one of your mistakes, take responsibility for it, and explain how you got better because of it. Don’t say you’ve never failed and point the finger at others.
While it might be common sense not to mention deal-breaking failures, keep this as a friendly reminder (“I failed a drug test once…”).
‘’Why should we hire you?’’
You might fear coming across as overly confident in your response, but try to think of it as another opportunity to explain why you’re the best person for the job.
Talk about how your skills and traits make you a good fit for the role, so you can be sure to convince the hiring manager sitting across from you.
Be confident in your ability to talk highly of yourself. People can see when someone genuinely believes in what they’re saying, and talking about previous achievements and ambitions could be the thing that sets you apart from the competition.
However, try not to big yourself up too much in the interview. Finding that perfect balance of humble confidence will stop you from sounding overly egotistical.
‘’Do You Have Any Questions?’’
This is one of the most critical questions, and even if the interviewer doesn’t ask it, it’s always a great way to show genuine interest in the company.
Make a list of all the things you want to know more about before the interview, and try to keep things professional and stay away from the information covered in the job description that you should already know.
You might ask questions such as:
- What is the culture of the company like?
- How does the team work together?
- How is a regular workday structured?
- How does the company train and develop its employees?
- What are the company’s long-term objectives and ambitions?
Lastly, don’t forget to ask when you can expect to hear back from the interviewer. This will show your eagerness to get started and keep you from losing your sanity when waiting for a response.
The Power Of Preparation
Being able to give clear answers to every question they throw at you is an impressive skill, and it shows you took the time to practice prior to the interview.
So next time you go from feeling calm to complete panic under the spotlight of hiring managers, keep these principles in mind and you’ll be walking out of the interview with confidence.