Going to an interview for a new job is a stressful situation, no matter how used you are to this entire process. You may never know who you’re going to meet, what their attitude would be, what questions they will ask. No matter how well prepared you are, some employers will still manage to take you by surprise and they will either ask you things you didn’t expect, or check your competence and abilities by testing them on the spot. While some prefer the second option, as they believe it’s better to be tested on how good they are for the job instead of being asked about it, no job interview will end without a Q&A session. So in order to at least be aware of the things you might be asked about, today we will talk about the most common ten questions your future employer would like to know the answers to. And besides the “tell me a little about yourself” and “what motivated you to apply to this job”, there are a lot of other issues you should think before meeting the interview committee.
1. Tell me more about your experience in this field of work
If you have experience, then good for you. you can tell them a lot of relevant stories about how good you are in the domain. If you don’t have much experience, don’t tell them that but get as closest you can get by mentioning a lot of examples that at least match what they are looking for to hear.
2. Do you consider yourself successful?
Well… tricky one. If you are a completely successful expert, you shouldn’t be looking for work, but work should be looking for you. If you say you don’t consider yourself to be successful, it’s also bad. Tell them you are successful because you have a set of goals, a career path you are constantly pursuing and that success is a long trip you are willing to make. Mention some of your biggest achievement, they add value to your speech.
3. How do you manage conflicts?
One of the trickiest. If you say you completely stay away from conflict… not such a good leader or colleague. If you say it is natural for you to end up in conflicts, even worse. Give them solid examples of how you as a person are not a conflictual one but also solved problems in your previous organization. Talk about assertiveness, tolerance, negotiation.
4. What have you done to improve your skills and expertise in the last year?
You should have an answer for that. Mention those related to the field mostly. Try to look like the investigative type of employee, the one that is constantly trying to improve. You can introduce some examples of things you achieved also on a personal level, such as learning a new language, practicing a new skill, but all in all show them you are willing to further learn and improve.
5. Are you a team player?
Yes, of course you are. We all are. Talk about previous experience where you team playing abilities led to achieving a goal.
6. Why do you want to work for us?
return to your overall career goals and future plans but don’t make it sound like they’re just another step you want to climb and you’ll leave them as soon as a better opportunity comes along. Make them feel important to you, as much as you are important for them. You surely have done a rigorous research about the company. Tell them why they are so good for you.
7. How long do you plan to work here?
If you changed 5 jobs in one year, the question is legit. Avoid a very straight answer by all means. Don’t tell them you plan to stay for three months and leave just because you are always looking for the next best thing or because your employers tend to keep you for short periods of times. Be general yet optimist and go for the long term relationship and the contribution to the success of both parties involved.
8. Did you have to fire somebody before?
If you’re applying for a management position, this is a serious situation. Firing is not an easy task. If you did fire people, argument well on the decision while enhancing the fact that you needed to protect the organization. If you were ever fired… be honest but make it sound as it was a logical step for your career path.
9. Tell us about your most valued projects and results
Don’t start a motivational speech where you praise the importance of having projects and the hard work you’ve done to achieve results. Talk to them about concrete results. You brought two new clients to your company’s portfolio. You reduced costs in a field keeping the same performances. You managed to organize four events. Speak in numbers. This is the moment you need to prove you’re worth the job.
10. What has disappointed you in your previous jobs?
Don’t talk about peoples’ flaws, their lack of gratefulness towards your work dedication, your payment or mere trivialities. Talk about not being challenged enough, not having a place to grow up in and so on. Don’t talk about you boss like he was a dictator. Employers stick together and nobody wants to hear the reasons you may become disappointed in them in the next three months.