In my previous posts, I talked about job hunting and interviews before and after. Now lets talk about during the interview. It is important you stay calm, confident and know your stuff. The employer only wants to get to know you, the professional you! Make sure you practice interview questions prior to attending the interview so you know what to answer. I like to think of the interview as a chance to showcase your professional history, like a movie but its all about you and your accomplishments.
Below are a few common questions to help you get ready:
- Tell me about yourself- Use your elevator speech, 10 short sentences about your qualifications and skills and what are your goals. Do not tell them about your weekend or what kind of cars you like. The employer needs to hear your professionalism not your hobbies.
- Tell me about your past experience- Make sure you know the job description prior to the interview so you can compare your past experience to the new one. Remember you need to assure the employer you are able to get the job done!
- Tell me about your weakness- Here you need to stay away from your personal weaknesses, you must turn your professional weakness to a strength. For example, I tend to always come to work early, I am working on it by analyzing the traffic rush hours so I do not find myself waiting on the parking lot.
- Why do you want to work here? Let them know you have researched the company and agreed with their values and mission statements. Make sure you know what those are.
- What are your goals? Talk about your short time goals- For example; my short time goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company like yours. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.
- Why did you leave your last job? Be honest but do not go into too much detail. The employer will decide if you are the right fit for them no matter what happened at your other job. Just make sure you do not be little your past employers and co workers. If you quit because you did not like your manager, just say, it was time to move on to a new opportunity and had to leave.
- What are 3 positive things your former boss would say about you? Make sure you only give 3, and add an example after each.
- Why should I hire you? Again, use your elevator speech, re enforced your qualifications and assure them you will go above and beyond your job duties.
- Do you have any questions? YES YOU DO, make sure you have pre-written questions in your portfolio, it is okay to open your portfolio and read your questions. Some examples are:
- Can you tell me about the day to day operations of this position?
- What are the most important qualities you are looking for in a candidate to excel in the position?
- What do you expect from me on the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
- What do you like best about working for this company?
- When can I expect a phone call back? Can I follow up with you? May I please have a business card?
- Don’t forget a strong hand shake and eye contact when you introduce yourself and when you leave.
- Be courteous to all the employees, always smile.
After you leave the interview, take a breath and relax.