Interviews are essentially a way to market yourself by promoting yourself as a potential candidate for employment. Thinking as a marketer you want to brand yourself with your skills. This means thinking of 3 to 5 ways of distinguishing your strengths and being prepared with success stories that positively reflect well on you. Having notes on highlights of your success stories will help jog your memory. Also asking pertinent questions to the employer is a welcomed time to do so while responding to the 7 integral questions nearly every employer asks.
Here are the 7 interview questions that you must prepare for in today’s job force.
Tell Me About Yourself?
This is the time to reflect on who you are professionally. Focus on your career history, not your personal life. Does your background fit our company’s needs? Include a bit of your personality and interests, but as it relates to your career. Will you be able to deliver results for the company right away or will they need to invest in you? This is where you can do a brief overview of your stories.
This is the question you will want to be prepared for since every employer uses this one. Rehearse it till it’s as natural to you as saying your name. Consider how you’re going to structure your experience to fit the employer’s needs, as this is critical!
What Interests You In Our Company (Or in This Job)
The employer is looking to see if you have any knowledge of their company. This is where your research on the company prior to the interview will pay off. Have you researched the company’s background? This is where market insights you may have, will be taken in account for. What problems do you think you can solve for us? This is where belief in yourself and your abilities shines and how your work will make a difference or impact their survivability as a company.
Yes this is the homework portion of the interview. With the information literally at your fingertips because of the internet, employers expect you to know a little something about the company you are trying to work for. Google, LinkedIn, Social Media sites, annual reports and Zoominfo.com are places to find out company information. Sites such as Glassdoor.com or online industry reports can help you get a feel for a company’s needs.
Tell Me About A Time When…
The employer wants to find out how you solve business problems. Success stories or power stories can be highlighted to break down to the Challenge, Action, and Resolve format. If you can handle the specific challenges of the job and whether or not you can think on your feet while meeting the particular challenges incurred within the company. Here is where you can have detailed examples that show your ability to meet the company’s job requirements.
Select 4-6 stories to highlight how you would work well in the company by relating your experience with the job requirements. Aim for 1 to 2 minute stories to ensure the employers attention. Remember the interviewer is looking for how you tackle problems; so tie in your answers to what you want to do with your career.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
Do your former employers value your work, if not, what happened? You want to clarify any sticky situations that happened regarding your past jobs. Are you considering staying a considerable length of time? You will want to explain any reasonable explanations of being let go. Does your personality or work style cause problems? You will want to concentrate on areas of new focus in your career.
This is one area you do not want to be uncomfortable in so practice your answers. Do not get emotionally charged over this question. Take the interviewers lead and leave the emotion out of your answers. Layoffs, RIFs, downsizing and gaps in employment are all common in today’s workforce. Just explain what happened if asked. Be aware the interviewer is looking to find the right candidate and contributor and not trying to trap you into failing the interview.
What Would You Do If…
What kind of reaction would you have, if any, to conflicts and problems? You will want to think through the question. Make sure your response ties into one of your success stories. What thought process or methods do you use to solve issues? Here is when you can demonstrate how you solve problems and its effectiveness.
Instead of blurting out the first thing out of your mouth, take a moment and think through the question. Look at your success story notes and see if the conflict, action and resolve in any of them tie into the question being asked. You may also tie in your answer with what problems the company itself has at the moment and offer up solutions.
What Color Would You Be? What Kind Of Tree Would You Be?
How do I know you’re the right person for the job? You want to focus on whether the interviewer is uncertain of your fit in the company. How do you respond to off-topic or silly situations? You want to reassure the interviewer that you are the right person to fill the position. You want to focus on the facts.
Remember not every interviewer has had sufficient training in interviewing possible job candidates. Decide if you want to play along, but explain your answer. If not, skip over the question with “If you’re asking how I would tackle this particular problem in relation to your department’s particular challenges, I’d rather speak about that.”
Why Should I Hire You?
Can you make the employer’s job easier by telling them why you’re the best applicant? Here is where you focus on your skills and why what you bring to the table is clearly superior over others in your field. I have 5 other candidates to interview – what makes you a better fit for this position? Articulate your value to the company at this time.
Visualize another competitor being interviewed in the next room, this visualization ramps up your competitive nature and rids you of nerves. Here’s where your success stories come into play by providing proof of what you can deliver. Make sure your answers are in line to the company’s current needs.
These 7 questions are the main questions asked during most interviews today. They help the employer get a better grasp of the candidate’s potential within their company. Knowing how to respond to these pertinent questions will help you gain employment.