How to prepare for those tough interview questions?
Interviews can be scary, especially when it comes to “those” tricky questions. Interviews can be more difficult when little or no preparation work has been undertaken. Another critical factor to consider, what are the essential skills, abilities and attributes you want to articulate, how do you ensure you highlight those during the interview?
What are some of the questions you will be asked during an interview?
Tell me about yourself?
This is your opportunity to sell yourself. The question is an open-ended question, so make sure you have a well-prepared sales pitch that highlights your skills and experiences. Make sure what you cover is aligned with the position and company you’re interviewing with.
Make sure you don’t waffle and bounce from point to the point that’s not connected. You could quickly confuse and distract the interviewer with information that’s not relevant to the position.
Cover things such as:
- Your style
- What drives you
- Skills/experiences that are aligned with the requirements of the role
- Reference your academic achievements
- Cover any achievements or goal in your life the demonstrates drive and goals
Before you attend an interview, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want to cover.
What do you know about our company, what prompted you to apply?
Most companies will want to understand your interest in their brand, what you know about them and did you do any research on them – are you engaged.
In all my years of recruitment, this is a question that I would always ask, and I would pay close attention to what information the applicant would cover. As a recruiter, you can get a clear understanding of the applicant based on what they tell you about the business.
You don’t need to know every bit of information about a business, but having a good understanding of the company and bring that knowledge back to yourself, by highlighting your skills and experiences to establish yourself as someone that could add value to the business as they grow and develop into the future…
Highlight a new market, product or direction they are heading in. Indicate your interest and mention that you have experience in that particular direction, product or project.
When discussing what prompted you to apply, make sure you have a clear and concise answer to this question.
Some things to avoid (which I’ve heard in the past):
- I don’t like my current job/manager
- Your position is paying more than my current role
- I don’t want to work weekends
- I hate my current company
- I’m not sure, want to try something else
While the points are valid, you don’t want to leave an impression with the interviewer that your motivation is purely self-interest serving. You want to show them that you feel there is an opportunity to make a difference in the role/business.
Do you see this is a career opportunity if so, discuss that and why. Cover what value you feel you can bring to the position and what in particular is of interest to you.
Tell me about any recent developments that have occurred in the marketplace that may affect our business?
Depending on the position you have applied for, you may get a difficult question to test your knowledge of the industry/sector for which you have applied.
These questions are an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, experience and skills in a specific area. Conduct your research on the company, some of their competitors and when discussing at the interview, bring it back to your experience where you can.
Tell me you three main weaknesses?
This is a tough question. We have an image of ourselves and what our weaknesses may be. Most interviews will have this question included, so have a good range of examples.
Review your previous performance reviews to assist you. Have improvements/weaknesses been listed, did you take actions to address them?
A weakness can be used as a positive during an interview. Use examples that have been identified where you have taken action, demonstrate what you did to improve and give an example that shows growth.
No one is perfect, but showing the ability to identify areas of weakness and take action is something that all business look for. Look at this question as a positive one and the opportunity to demonstrate your flexible approach and the ability to grow and develop.
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The information provided in this article and our blog is for general use only. The information is not an extensive list of things to consider. The information should only be used to create thought and ideas so that you can plan and take any actions and steps that are specific to you and your circumstances. You should always seek professional and personalised advice before you take any actions.
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