From novices to the most experienced career people, the bridge between you and your next job is an interview. Master these common questions to impress recruiters
Job interviews can be quite intimidating, maybe it’s because you know that you need to leave a good impression for you to be considered. While you shouldn’t have boxed answers to every question you get asked because every interview is unique it’s important to acquaint yourself with certain questions and be aware of what recruiters are really looking for in your response and the kind of attitude that will sure make you the perfect candidate for that next job on your bucket list:
Tell us about yourself?
This is usually an introductory question that many fail to prepare for. It’s somehow an ice-breaker question that doesn’t necessarily require you to give your personal biography but rather sets the tone for the rest of the interview. It’s actually one of the key questions that help recruiters determine whether you are a good fit for the company, getting this part wrong might give the impression that you are not prepared for the interview or seem uninterested in the role. Strategise your answer in such a way that highlights your recent job-related achievements that are related to the post you have applied for, which shows why you are the perfect fit for the job.
Tell us about this company or what attracted you to this company?
It is kind of offensive for you to go to the interview without doing your homework about the company. While it’s easy to say word for word what their mission and vision statement is, or tell them what’s written on their ‘About us’ page, what recruiters want to know is how much you care about their growth strategy. The job post will tell you about the role the candidate has to play for the growth of the company. Make it personal by telling them how you will add value to their mission or vision through the role you have applied for. Showcase your skills and a few practical ways you will help the company.
Why did you apply for this job?
Please don’t mention personal reasons, even by mistake. Rather tell them that you are planning to advance your career or take on new challenges and that the role you are applying for will help reach your career goals. Companies want to hire people that have drive and passion, so show them how the role is the perfect fit for you and why you love the company.
Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses?
This is one common question I have heard in every job interview I have been to. Share your relevant strengths pertaining to the prospect job, and show examples of how you use these strengths in a professional environment. As for your weaknesses, the recruiter wants to see your honesty and how self-aware you are. Don’t mention weaknesses that will jeopardise your chances of getting the job, like ‘I am always late and never meet deadlines!’ , but share something you are working towards improving, like a skill you want to improve on because it might hinder your opportunities.
What conflicts or challenges have you faced at work and how did you resolve them?
This question helps recruiters gauge how you behave in unfavourable situations. Remember, employers will only see the best version of yourself that you present from your CV to how you conduct yourself in a job interview. They also want to get to know how you behave in different scenarios. Give them examples of certain situations you found yourself in and how you professionally accounted to them and resolved the matter.
How would your boss or co-workers describe you?
It’s important to be as honest as possible with this question as recruiters will call your references! Describe your strengths and the traits people like about you, especially in a professional setting. It’s a great chance to mention other traits you hadn’t mentioned before like your strong work ethic or your willingness to go the extra mile. It’s even perfect if you have stories that back you up. Also, this question just proves how important it is to never burn bridges.
Why should we hire you?
This is the best question to sell yourself and your skills to. It’s the best time to tell recruiters why you are fit for the job, how the company will benefit by hiring you and what will make you fit in the company culture.
Job interviews are a great opportunity for you to sell yourself and when done right, they are sure that perfect bridge that will link you to your dream jobs. No matter the outcome never be hard on yourself and use every professional setting, including interviews, as a learning curve to improve on yourself.