The most anticipated step after you apply for a job is an interview, and no matter how many you go through, you may get a little nervous before meeting your interviewer.
The best way to reduce anxiety is to practice the most common questions to avoid being surprised during your meeting. Trust us, it happens to almost every candidate, so preparing your questions and answers before an interview is the best way to set yourself up for success.
An interview is a process for an employer to evaluate a candidate to see if they are suitable for the job, company, and culture. Following are a few sample questions you should familiarize yourself with in preparation for your interview:
Example #1: Tell me about yourself?
Hiring managers usually introduce themselves and ask you to do the same in more detail. It is your chance to impress your interviewer. This question focuses on your qualification and job experiences, and you can share your experiences by following this formula:
- Acknowledge your greatest strengths and what you have achieved. You can also mention relevant interests and what you have been focusing on before applying to this role.
- Relate your achievements to your previous and current roles mentioned in your resume.
- Bring it all together by sharing how you would be excited to bring your past experiences into the new position.
- Write out your response and practice the cadence and delivery of your story.
- Be clear, concise, and to the point. It is not an opportunity to share your life’s story.
- Spend no more than a couple of minutes to answer this question.
Example #2: Why do you want to work for our company?
Hiring managers will typically ask a variation of why you want to work for their company. It is your opportunity to share your interest and why this company is the best fit.
What’s important to address is the company and job that made you apply for this particular role in the first place. Ask yourself:
- What do you like about this current company or position?
- Is it the environment and culture?
- Is it the field of work?
- Has it always been a dream to work for this company?
- What makes this company stand out to other employers out there?
Whatever question it may be, deliver the message in a way that is professional and honest. The goal is to show that you are a competitive candidate full of potential and an excellent fit for the company.
- Do not mention how badly you need a job right now.
- Come up with reasons as to why this company aligns with your career goals.
- Respond with positivity and professionalism.
Example #3: Tell me about a challenge you faced? How did you deal with it?
Hiring managers often incorporate a behavioral interview question to evaluate how candidates deal with problems or pressure. We highly recommend adopting the STAR Method to answer questions regarding situations you’ve dealt with your previous or current employer.
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. These are four key concepts you’ll need to master to answer a behavioral question.
- Situation: Give an example of an event emphasizing the challenge you faced at work. Be specific about how this impacted your process.
- Task: Describe your responsibility or goal in the situation. What was your role?
- Action: Focus on what you did to impact the process of your project or challenge.
- Result: Drive it home with the positive outcomes it has yielded through your efforts. What did you learn from the experience?
- Practice the STAR Method and have more than one suitable example.
- Practice your response multiple times in front of a mirror, in the shower, or on the way to work.
- Consistently prepare, don’t wing it!
It’s Your Turn! Do you have any questions?
Interviews, by nature, are conversational. It is a time for you to learn about the employer and the expectations of the role. Be prepared and have questions ready to ask in your interview. Here are a couple of example questions to use that could potentially impress your hiring manager:
- What are some of the challenges and difficulties faced in this role?
- What does a typical day look like for this position?
- What are some expectations of this position?
- What are some key performance indicators you are looking for in a candidate?
- When you look ahead six months to a year from now, and you picture the person doing an excellent job, what do you picture?
- How is your experience so far working at this company?
- What do you hope to achieve with this individual?
- Always ask questions that show your interest and enthusiasm in the job and the company.
- We suggest that you prepare at least five to seven questions.
- Please do not forget to dress up accordingly and be on time. Best of luck!