There’s a lot of preparation that goes into searching for jobs: readying resumes, writing cover letters, networking, researching, and lots more. Preparing for the interview however, is arguably the most important aspect of landing a job.
Before your interview, you’ll want to think about some of the questions you’re likely to be asked, and develop some compelling ways to answer them. Here are three of the most commonly asked questions we’ve come up with, along with some tips on how to reply. Follow these tips and boost your chances of getting a second interview--or getting hired straightaway!
So, Tell Me about Yourself?
This is one of the most common interview questions and sets the tone for the rest of the session. Answer this question wrong, and the rest of your interview will be an uphill battle. Here are some nice tips to answer this question correctly:
- Resist the temptation to ramble about yourself
- Mention how you were successful in previous positions with similar job requirements.
- Deliver your unique selling proposition (USP), this should be a brief description of who you are. You will want to include your strength and a benefit you can offer the company: “I’m a seasoned and experienced personal trainer strong in developing weight training and cardiorespiratory fitness programs that have resulted in 89% of clients reaching their target fitness goals in the past 7 years”
- Resist the temptation to say “What would like to know?” – this clearly symbolizes that you have not prepared for the interview and the interviewer will be asked to repeat themselves again – this simple answer will have a significant negative impact on the rest of the interview.
What is Your Biggest Weakness?
This is one of the most common interview questions that interviewers go to when trying to assess who you are:
- Highlight weaknesses or shortcomings that do not apply to that job. For example, if you are applying for nursing job, you may want to mention how you are not very good at public speaking.
- Discussing skills that you have improved upon is another way to address what weaknesses you have. It also assesses your ability for self-improvement.
- If you are new, you may want to mention your lack of experience as a weakness, and mention how this is nothing but positive for you.
How do You Handle Stress?
Most jobs in today’s world are quite difficult and stressful. This is why employers find this to be one of their most favorite common interview questions. How do you handle stress? Here are some great ways that can surely deliver the job:
• Mention how you can embrace a challenging environment, and describe challenges you’ve overcome/handled in the past
• Many employers want to know if you can remain calm under pressure.
• Make the interviewer aware that during moments of intense stress, you are able to prioritize effectively and perform your job.
Remember, it is important to internalize this information, when you are at the interview – you do not want to think. The best interviews usually flow like a natural conversation, as opposed to a one-sided interrogation. Mastering the interview takes time & patience, but getting to one can be rather tough as well! Check out our Interview Tips at LiveCareer for more ideas on answering common and uncommonly challenging interview questions.