Your search for a new job, whether it is a better position within the company you are currently working for or an exciting step in a completely new career path, typically begins with an interview. These interactions between hiring officials and potential candidates can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming for everyone involved, yet their purpose is clear. During the job interview, companies make key decisions regarding whether or not a candidate is a good match and the candidate should be using this opportunity to make a similar judgement. The most common job interview questions are used by the company to get a clear picture of who you are and how much you have to offer them.
There are two key focal elements that you, as an applicant, need to keep in mind as you prepare for job interview questions. One: this is your chance to make a lasting impression. Your resume and cover letter provide a basic outline; this is your opportunity to flesh out those details and add some personality to those documents. From your physical appearance to your ability to interact with the interviewers, this is the time to really showcase yourself. Two: this brief meeting should be considered a chance to exchange information. As important as it is for the company to get to know you, there are also several advantages available to the interviewee. Find out what type of work environment you can expect from the company. Learn more about the duties involved in the job. Get your own feel about the culture of the workplace.
Prepare for the Most Common Job Interview Questions
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the best things you can do to ace an interview is to prepare. Job interview questions tend to be a mixture of practical, behavioral, and oddball questions. Remember that the ultimate purpose of each of the questions is to get information about you. How can you prepare to deliver meaningful answers? Take a look at twenty of the most frequently asked questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What attracted you to this job?
- What can you tell us about our company?
- What makes you qualified for this job?
- What contributions can you make to this company?
- Tell me about your recent accomplishments.
- What salary are you looking for?
As you develop your answers to these questions, remember that each one is a chance to sell yourself to the interviewer. With some of the questions, you may be tempted to turn your focus inward, but to give a successful answer, you need to keep your focus on the company.
Three Steps for Acing the Questions
Your first step should include gathering information about the company you want to work for. Read some articles about the company; become familiar with their website; know the purpose and mission of the business; and get a feel for where the company is heading. As you review the potential job interview questions, develop answers that are relevant to the business. Your research into the company will also help you to identify what you have to offer the company and the range of salary you might expect.
Next, take a close look at yourself. Check out the information available about you on social media and search engines. Be prepared to respond to any negative statements without getting defensive. Put yourself in the position of the hiring personnel and take a close look at whether you believe that you’d be a good fit. Identify those things about yourself that make you stand out. Write out examples of times that you went above and beyond. Sketch out an outline of those personal points that set you apart from the rest of the applicants. Develop answers to the job interview questions that reflect these things.
Approach the interview with confidence. After researching the company, preparing to answer a variety of traditional and off-the-wall job interview questions, and practicing your responses, head into the interview with a positive, relaxed attitude. Your confidence can also set the interviewers at ease and will leave them with the impression that you could easily be a good fit for the company.