There are several steps that go into getting a new job. Each step requires candidates to put in some work, but the one they are likely to get most stressed out about is the interview. Even if someone is fully qualified for a job, they have to do well in the interview to move forward in the hiring process. It is definitely important to make a great impression during the interview, but the good news is there are things candidates can do to maximize their likelihood of a successful outcome.
One of the best things any job candidate can do is practice their answers to common interview questions. Even if those exact questions do not come up during an interview, preparing in this way will pay off by helping get thoughts and phrases in order. Here are some strategies to use during your next interview for five of the most common questions:
At first thought, this seems to be a simple question, yet it is surprisingly tricky because it is so broad. The best strategy for answering this question is to develop an elevator pitch for yourself. This is your chance to hype yourself to the interviewer. Come up with a few experiences or accomplishments that you can use to show why you are the best fit for the job. This will keep your answer specific to the job, but limit you from rambling on and getting off track.
Of all the questions someone may be asked during an interview, this is the one that often triggers the most anxiety. The purpose of this question is to gauge a candidate's self-awareness and honesty. That is why the best strategy is to talk about a weakness that you are in the process of improving and how you are doing so. Better yet, you could also talk about one that you've already improved!
This question gives you an opportunity to put your research on the company to good use. Use the knowledge you gained about the company in your answer by lining it up with your career goals. For instance, is this company part of a specific industry that you have been trying to break into and would like to focus on throughout your career? The interviewer wants to make sure you are truly interested in this job, not just any job, and that you will fit into their company culture.
The most important strategy for answering this question is to avoid negativity and keep your answer positive. Do not answer this question by focusing on any frustrations with your current job. Instead, focus on the future and your potential career path. You should frame your answer in a way that shows the position you are interviewing for is a better fit than your previous one.
Hiring managers ask this question to gauge career expectations, the candidate's ambition, and if the position is a good fit for the candidate’s goals. The more honest and specific you can be about your projected career path and your career goals when you answer this question, the better.
By taking the time to think through the answers to the above questions and work on these strategies, you will be in the best position to have successful interview and make a good impression!
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