The questions you are asked in an interview may seem simple at first, but when you start blabbing away to your interviewer you realize – wait is this a trick question?
During a job interview, employers sometimes ask tricky questions to trip you up to get an accurate sense of your candidacy. However, by simply researching pre-interview you will be saved from the embarrassment of badly blurting out a stream of answers you were not prepared properly for. This research is the key to feeling prepared for anything that might be asked of you, to save you from stumbling through an interview for better results.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am 5ft 8, have a collection of teddy bears, enjoy binging Netflix on Fridays, blah blah blah – stop! This question basically translates to “What” you are professionally, combined with “who” you are as a person. Which will show “why” you are a good candidate for the role. When employers ask this, they typically want to hear about you as a professional.
2. Why did you leave your last role/why do you want to leave your current role?
However, you answer this question, avoid speaking badly of the previous companies you worked at and their senior management, as hard as that may be. Instead of bad mouthing your previous role – if you feel it is appropriate, talk about how you’re grateful for what you’ve learned in your current/previous job. Or talk about how you have built great skills there, but it’s simply time for something new. This question requires you to find an aspect of your current (or previous) company that you liked and that is also present in the company you are interviewing for, and then talk about it honestly. Emphasize what you were able to accomplish in your last role, and how you were able to grow – but how the new role can offer you more.
3. Why do you want to work for this company?
Thoroughly research the company website, departments, management structure, their social media, and competitors. Also review other websites where the company features and employee testimonials on Glassdoor. From your research, choose around four points about the company and state why they appeal to you.
4. What is your understanding of this role?
Understanding your job role and description is the most important aspect when applying for a new position or starting a new job. This will ensure that you ultimately understand the tasks and duties that you are expected to fulfil to earn your salary and also add value to the company you work for. A job description, combined with the roles and responsibilities of the position should provide the employee with your understanding of the company’s standards that need to be met in order to effectively execute their tasks. Choose around 4 key points that you have interpreted from the job description to answer this question.
5. How will you add value to this company?
The company wants to discover how you can help and what you’ll be able to accomplish if you were to be hired. The best way to answer questions about your potential contributions to the company is to give examples of what you have accomplished in the past. Highlight that these skills, strengths and achievements are transferable and relate them to what you can achieve in the future.
6. What is your salary expectation?
Again, do your research and study the market. Ask around and check out similar roles on Glassdoor or Linkedin for a salary expectation. “I am sure a company such as ‘x’ pays fair market value for this role. What budget do you have in mind?” If you are forced to give a number, give a range and state that you are open to negotiation and incentivisation based on the growth of the company.
can you offer us that other candidates can’t?
This question is a HUGE opportunity to sell yourself. This is your chance to show what you can do for them. That’s essentially what they’re asking to attend the interview! Study the job description, think about your own resume, and experience, and prepare to highlight how your knowledge and skills will allow you to come in and succeed in this role. Make it clear that you are the candidate that can solve their problems by making sure you do the research to find out what those are and tailor your answer to those issues with specific examples of how your skills and experience can be applied to those issues.
Interviewers love to ask tough questions that you’re not expecting. However, if you stay calm and composed and use the steps above, you’ll give excellent answers and fingers crossed – get more job offers!
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