If you have an interview scheduled in the near future you should be proud of yourself. You did your best in applying for the best opportunities and you have chough the employer’s attention.
Saying “I need a job” is not enough. Getting hired is more than landing an interview, that’s why you should keep on preparing. It doesn’t matter is you are looking for an entry job or continuing your career path with a more senior position, you still have to pass the interview phase.
(See here how you can prepare for any interview and make it a successful one.)
A recruiter’s job is to get a clear and authentic view on your past performance and experience. To do that they will ask you a couple of questions that you should already know the answers to. The good part is that all the questions are about you, so they should be easy to answer, right?
Let’s review together the 5 interview questions you should prepare for in order to the your dream job:
1. Tell me about yourself (in two minutes)
As easy as it sounds, this can a really hard one to answer. This is not the time to start describing your day to day life. This is in fact a “sell-me” invitation. Prepare a short summary of your professional background (studies, relevant experiences), highlighting your qualifications for that vacancy and finishing with your desire and interest to work for that specific organization.
2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Don’t be afraid to state your weaknesses. Everyone has them, so saying you have none will only make you look untrustworthy. So think about it and identify 2 of your weaknesses. The most important thing is to answer in a positive way. How? Well, if you tend to assume more than you can deliver, you might as well say that this helped you to see the power of delegation and working in a team. Or, if you tend to miss details in your work, you can also add that you’ve learned that you have to triple check things before sending them. The idea is to say how identifying a weakness helped you learn something useful or what are you currently doing to improve it.
3. Why should we hire you?
Here’s another questions that demands preparation. To answer this question you should have spent some time researching the company you want to work for. Also, you should know the job description very well in order to match your skills to the key functions of that particular job. Use your experience from other jobs and professional activities to exemplify your past performance in relevant tasks, as past performance is the best predictor of future performance.
4. How would your last supervisor describe you?
The interviewer is interested in finding how you perceive yourself. This is a very popular question and it is vital that you should prepare an answer for it. Answer with a couple of well-though and desirable adjectives such as: loyal, dedicated, ambitious, determined, independent, highly motivated, understanding and so on. But don’t go too far, keep it realistic and make sure they speak the truth about you. A good interviewer can always tell when he’s lied to.
Also, you need to back up the answer with examples only when asked to do so. Otherwise, keep it short, but be prepared to reply to questions like “Why do you think they think that about you?”.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
This question is very popular. This one help the recruiter to catch a glimpse of your career planning degree, your maturity, how realistic you are, how professionally committed are you, your objectives and motivation.
Again, this question points out once again that the success of an interview is directly related to the degree of preparation you did for it. So take your time and speak to other people that have successfully advanced on a similar position and industry. Ask them how they did it and try to imagine your own path. Also, make sure you express your desire to grow within the company you wish to be hired. This shows your loyalty and makes you a steady future employee. If you never thought about your future career path, this is the time to do it. It’s important to demonstrate that you are focused and aware of your potential professional journey.