Congratulations! You have an interview scheduled. It isn’t uncommon, it may even good, to be a little nervous for an interview. It shows you care about the outcome, the job and by extension, the company. Good preparation will help calm your nerves and great preparation will wow the interviewers. The key to an outstanding interview is preparing for interview questions and answers.
Typical Interview Questions and Answers
There are some questions asked at almost every interview, regardless of the type of job or company. These include: “What do you know about our company?” “Describe how you work as part of a team.” “How do you work under pressure?”
* You can practice the answers to these (and other) questions ahead of time. Do your research about the company so you have something to say and are comfortable with it. Use your resume to remind you of specific examples you can use.
* If you are well-prepared, you will be able to use some of the time in this part of the interview for listening. Yes, listening to how the interviewer responds to what you are saying. For more on this important idea, see LiveCareer’s article Listening for Interview Success.
Tough Questions, Good Answers?
Here are some of the questions that fall into the tough category. Think them through ahead of time and you’ll be ready for the Super Bowl of interviews:. “How much money would you expect to make in this position?” “Why did you leave your last job after only six months?” “Tell us about a difficult project you worked on and how you overcame it?”
* Think through these answers now, do your research and even practice saying them out loud to yourself. Again, your resume is an important resource. Use it as both a reminder to you and in the interview itself, refer to it: “As you can see from my resume, while I was at XYZ Company, I was in charge of…”
* Through tough interview questions and answers you may also show how you either were literally able to turn a negative situation into a positive one in a previous job. At the least, you can show you have maintained a positive attitude in challenging situations.
Questions You Should Ask
When invited to ask questions, you might ask about salary range (when you’ve heard the starting pay, but where does it go from there?), prospects for advancement, or what a typical work day is like.
* Interview questions and answers asked by you and answered by the prospective employer is another place to show you’ve really done your homework and highlight a positive attitude. A thoughtful, specific question can show you’ve really pictured yourself in this job.
Make Your Resume Their Resource
Through several examples above, you should conclude that your resume is also key to a strong interview. In addition to referring to it during interview questions and answers, it is something the prospective employer can review to be reminded of your good points. Even if you already submitted a resume as part of the application process, bring copies of your resume to the interview. Your resume is an important selling tool during and after the interview too.
* Since it is such an important tool, make sure you've prepared a strong resume with your key selling points highlighted. Visit LiveCareer’s website and use their Resume Builder. Resume Builder is a step-by-step tool that has hundreds of templates and includes sample phrases written by experts to put your experience in just the right light.