Interview Tips- Know Before you Go!
Job interviews can be the most stressful part of job searching, as they are high-stakes interactions. The slightest trip-up can kill your chances for a job that you may be perfect for. But with the right amount of planning and preparation, there will be no doubt that you’re ready for the challenge ahead.
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- This is the notoriously vague question that you’ll get in some form or fashion on your next job interview. This question is one of the many reasons that I insist all of my candidates have an elevator pitch prepared- a two to three minute introduction that highlights their experience and ends with a goal statement that clearly indicates the position and field they are in the market for. An elevator pitch will not only help during network events and other professional interactions, but it’s the ideal way to attack this question.
- “Why are you leaving your current position?”
- Best to tackle this one by being as honest and quick as possible without being negative about your current employer (side note: don’t be negative about any employer). Don’t over explain. The goal is to quickly share what you’ve learned, what was missing for you (without descending into negativity), and why you’re excited to get that need or skill set met in your next role. If you mention that you are making a shift in your career or pursuing different challenges, be specific about what those changes are and how the role you’re interviewing for will fulfill that.
- “Why are you interested in this job/working for this company?”
- Be prepared to give specific answers about why you want this job and why you think you’ll be good at it. Research the organization ahead of time and discuss something about the company that requires more than just a 10 minute Google search to find. Brownie points if you can share some ideas that you’d bring into the role- if they’re open to hearing them. Focus on the actual work you’ll be doing and not on other factors like benefits, salary, or work schedule.
- “Tell me your greatest strength.”
- This is your big chance to brag, so take it by the reins. Pick a skill that is relevant to the job you’re interviewing for based upon the research you’ve done. Emphasize how you used that skill to succeed in your current or former role, and try to share that gift through the words of someone else. For example, did your last boss tell you that you’re great with details? It’s more powerful to share your gifts through the words of others. Describe how you plan to use that skill in the role you’re interviewing for if given the chance.
- “Tell me your greatest weakness.”
- This one can be tough if you’re caught off guard, but if you plan ahead, it’s a breeze. Pick a weakness you’ve been working on. Tell the interviewer how it has challenged you in the past, and explain to them steps that you have taken to improve this weakness. Lastly, give them a specific example of how you have improved this weakness by actively working on it.
By: Sean Michaelis