The interviewing process may seem like a daunting challenge at first, but when broken up into smaller, more manageable pieces it won’t seem so tough. Below are a list of five questions you should be prepared for during any interview. Practice answering these and your next interview should go off without a hitch.
Tell us about who you are
This is almost guaranteed to be one of the first questions (if not the first). How you answer this question is a good indicator on how well the job interview will go. A potential employer wants to see what you think of yourself first while simultaneously assessing you. When responding to this question it’s important to remember one thing. This question is asked time and again simply for the employer to get a good grasp on what type of person you are. Do you like sports? Are you in school? Are you able to drive and get to work on time. They just want to see that you’d be a good fit for the company.
Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses
This can be a tricky question. First, try to list your qualifications for the job, but be very careful not to rattle off a list of accomplishments unrelated to this particular field. That can appear braggadocios and you may come off as vain or full of yourself. At the same time, you can’t list everything about yourself you’d like to change. Try to find a good balance. If you pride yourself on punctuality you may want to mention that. If you struggle with dealing with stressful situations you could say that you’re learning how to be more fluid to the ever-changing challenges in life.
Why do you want to work here?
It makes a difference whether you’re seeking employment just because you need some extra money or because this is something you feel you could see yourself doing for an extended period of time. If you’re applying at a pet store, and you want to be a veterinarian, it’d be a good idea to mention that. If you really only do need the job as a way to earn a little bit of cash, try generalizing things. You’re in search of business experience or seeking real world familiarity with how the customer service industry works.
How would you deal with (insert problem you may encounter if hired)?
Based on your answer to this question your interviewer will understand how you handle conflict and the steps you take to resolve it. Be sure to focus on professionalism while still relating to the issue in a way that demonstrates humanity. Finish your statement off strong with a happy ending, in that both parties are happy (be it a customer and worker or to co-workers). Remember to show that you can empathize to the person and therefore know how to better assist them.
Are there any questions you have for me?
Often times a potential employer will ask this near the end of the interview process just in case there was any confusion during your time together. This is your opportunity to really stand out because for the first time, the ball is in your court. Try something like “What is the biggest problem in your company at this time and should I be hired, would I be in a position to help solve this issue?” That would not only show you’re willing to help the team, but immediately encourage your interviewer to imagine you working at that position. Try to get your employer to open up about themselves on more than just a business level during this question as well by asking something like “what has brought you the most joy from working here?”
These commonly asked interview questions only serve to prove to your employer that you are a capable and strong candidate for the position so you should be happy when you get these types of questions. Now that you know how to answer them, simply accepting the job is the next logical step in your employment process.
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