Just graduated and now you’re on the employment market looking for a job? If you think getting admitted to college was hard, getting employed is twice as difficult.
Your SAT score and/or the rank of your university will no longer matter when you’re out looking for a job. What employers look for is beyond numbers and university rankings, they want to get to know you and assess your skills — basically assess what’s written on your resume and build up from there.
To get hired is to nail those interview questions they’ll throw at you. No, it’s not (but could be) an interrogation process. To prepare yourself before applying and heading to the interview, here are a few quick Q&A points that are most frequently asked during job interviews:
The Most asked Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them:
Q: Tell me about yourself:
You’ll get this as a first question in every job interview you’ll be going, every single one of it. The secret to answering this is no secret, really. Tell something about yourself that links to the position you’re applying for. Endorse your candidacy to them, expound on how you’re a perfect candidate for the position. Do not mention them you’re a shopaholic, just don’t. Keep your answer in 1-2 minutes.
Q: What do you know about the company?
You applied for them, which means you want to work for them, right? So it is only necessary to be knowledgeable of their background and services. Even if the sole reason you applied for them is because they’re hiring and you desperately need a job to pay your rent, atleast do your research on this and show them how fit you are for their company.
Q: What are your key skills/strengths?
Yes, you’re really good at acting and lying but unless you’re applying for theatre or a production/entertainment industry, these skills are of no good use. Think hard about which of your skills are the most essential and align them to the position you’re applying for. Do not pretend you’re good at something you’re not just to get hired, it’s a big no no and it’s a guarantee you’ll regret and/or suffer if ever you tricked them into that (little chance, but possible).
Q: What are your weaknesses?
This may seem tricky but don’t scratch your head just yet. The best way to answer this is to give a positive attribute that results to, sometimes, negative output. For instance, you are a perfectionist to produce high quality output, so there are times when you take longer hours in working on a single project because there are days when you think just ‘good’ isn’t enough. Try to make a positive out of your negative experiences to showcase your performance.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment?
You’ve accomplished a lot but pick out your accomplishment that correlates with the job you’re being considered for. For instance, you and your team were given a difficult project, explain how you handled it and how you lead your team along. Also, if you’ve been awarded during college or out-of-school organizations you’re part of, mention it.
Q: Give me your description of the position and its responsibilities.
Never walk in an interview without prior knowledge of the role you’re applying for. Otherwise, you’ll walk out of the meeting room feeling humiliated more than your 6th grade “call of nature” incident just because you didn’t know what a Sales Representative is. Don’t embarrass yourself.
Q: Why do you want this job?
Do not answer a plain and dull: “Because I need a job”. You won’t definitely get hired. Instead, highlight your interests in the company and its industry. Enumerate their values and align how they are of your own values as well. Do you value integrity, teamwork, empathy, innovation, excellence, etc.? Show a little bit of enthusiasm.
Q: Where do you see yourself 5/10/15 years from now?
This is your future goals so be realistic with it. And of course, align the position to your goal — where will the position take you in five years time? How will the position help you mould yourself to becoming a more successful and better individual in the future?
Q: Why should we hire you?
Yes, it sounds intimidating but you shouldn’t be. It’s not even a trick question. This is the interviewers’ way of saying “sell yourself”. Emphasize on what are the great factors for working for their company and how much the job excites you. Most importantly, emphasize on how much you can help the company grow, the factors on how your skills can be beneficial to the company, the personal qualities you have that fits the ambience of the company and likewise. Show a little enthusiasm. Campaign for your candidacy to get the position.
Q: What salary range are you looking for?
This shouldn’t be a ball-park figure. Research on how much is the salary range for your field and play along with the numbers. Know your value. Don’t provide a rate that is too high nor too low. If you don’t have experience yet, consider the entry-level salary or more than that but always say it could still be negotiated.
Q: Do you have any questions?
Always prepare a question of at least one or two, to ask your interviewer. By doing so, you are showing your desire in taking on the role. This is your chance to ask them about your concerns regarding their company, department and team.
You can always jump from one job interview to another but if you’re not yet hired after 7-10 job interviews, it could be the time to step up your Q&A game. Determine what’s lacking and add color to your plain and dull responses.
Remember, job interviews isn’t about you, it’s about the company you’re applying for. They screen countless candidates in a daily basis so you need to find ways to stand out and be the one they’re looking for. They already have a perfect candidate in mind, it’s your job to fill in those shoes and electrify them with your answers.
Author Bio: Chie Suarez is a resident writer for The Fordham Company, one of Australia’s top celebrity management companies and a major celebrity speakers bureau. Chie Suarez provides tips and hacks in personal and career development for those who are afraid to step out of their safe zones.