We have all been there. That uncomfortable moment when your interview officially starts. Usually it’s right after the ice breaking handshakes and beverage offering. Hopefully you will have already studied up on your potential employers business and/ or company so that you have some resources to refer too if you find yourself in a pinch. That being said, here are some of the most common questions Employers are asking potential employees.
1. Why do you want to work for our company? This question can throw off even the most seasoned interviewee; why? Because too many times the answer an employer is looking for is not the one that crosses most people’s mind when they are being asked why they want to work. The first thing most people think of is money, right? No. Look closer at the question. They aren’t asking why you want to work. They are asking why you want to work for them. Here you can refer to what you already know about the company and cite any interesting facts or benefits such as internal promotion or company structure. Whatever it is, make sure it applies to the job you are applying for and not something that applies to yourself such as “This place is only two blocks from my house”
2. Why did you leave your last job? This is a tricky one and an employer knows it. They are looking to see if you will throw previous employers or co- workers under the bus so to speak. If you go on a tirade about how your old boss was mean to you or how you were picked on at the water cooler by co-workers than you might be telling an employer that your not a team player or that you cant take constructive criticism. This is a good opportunity to point out what you liked about your old job. ( another possible question that an employer may skip if your answer is satisfactory) You can say something like Although I really enjoyed the atmosphere and felt like I could have climbed the ladder, I’ve decided to see what what other opportunities are available to me)
3. What would you consider as your greatest weakness/ strength? Here again, is another tricky question that can make you feel like squirming in your seat. It’s not usually in ones nature to bad mouth themselves, and the employer is not asking you too. This is a question best answered with diplomatic finesse. Something vague and slightly true such as ” I have been told that I need to be more open to feedback.” as for strengths you can cite your organizational skills, punctuality, attention to detail. Keep it short and simple, and don’t offer more information than your being asked for.
4. How do you deal with conflict or stress ? There is no right answer to this question. Perhaps, its a vague attempt on the employers part to see if your going to be the office tattle tell or the office referee. If your going to squeeze your squishy stress head till the eye balls pop out or if your going to explode on a co – worker over the use of a copy machine. It’s always better to avoid inter office conflict , but if unavoidable than use common sense and involve management if unable to resolve on your own. As for stress; you can cite your favorite hobby or idea of relaxation.
5. Tell me a little bit about yourself? Beware of the pitfall in this question. Too often people assume that they should start at childhood or talk about a pending divorce. That is not the case. Here is where you refer to work history and accomplishments from previous employment such as promotions, commendations, or certifications. It is never a good idea to talk about your private life with a potential employer during an interview unless it directly relates to your qualifications for the job. Also, you should never try to bargain, plead, or beg for a chance at employment. Allow your preparedness and confidence shine.
By the end of the interview you should have gotten a pretty good indication about what would be expected of you as an employee and the benefits that are offered. the employer will generally end by asking you if you have any questions about anything he may have not covered. Here is a good opportunity to recap and prove that you were paying attention. you can ask a question or two that doesn’t require alto of time since no doubt the employer will have other things to do or other people to interview. Don’t be discouraged if the job isn’t offered straight away. Many times applicants are thought over in detail and if your interview was memorable, and strong than your chances of hearing back become better. Don’t give up; keep up the good fight.