Once you have submitted the resume, everything depends on your interview. Don’t worry, as these top interview tips will help you cover everything you need to know to ace a job interview successfully. These job interview tips cover all the basics required for interviewing success, from checking out the company to sending an interview thank you note.
No two situations are ever the same, but as a general guide, these are the types of questions that could pop up in a typical job interview.
- Why don’t you tell me about yourself? / Tell me something about yourself.
This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how conﬁdent you are, and generally, what impression you would make on the people you come into contact with on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about your career trajectory and understand what you think is essential and what has caused you to perform well.
Most candidates ﬁnd this question a difﬁcult one to answer. However, the upside is that this question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and deliver it with poise and conﬁdence.
The correct response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer and highlight your most significant accomplishments.
- Focus on what interests the interviewer
Do not dwell on your personal history – that is not why you are there. Start with your most recent employment and explain why you are well qualiﬁed for the position. The key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualiﬁcations to what the interviewer is looking for. It would be best if you were selling what the buyer is buying.
- Highlight Important Accomplishments
Have a story ready that illustrates your best professional qualities. For example, if you tell an interviewer that people describe you as creative, provide a brief story that shows how you have been innovative in achieving your goals. Stories are powerful and are what people remember most. A good interviewee will memorize a 60-second commercial that demonstrates why they are the best person for the job.
- How long have you been with your current/former employer?
This is a hot-button question if your résumé reﬂects considerable job-hopping. Excellent performers tend to stay in their jobs for at least three to ﬁve years. They implement course corrections, bring in new resources, and generally learn how to survive; that’s why prospective employers value them.
If your résumé reﬂects jobs with companies that were acquired, moved, closed, or downsized, it is still viewed as a job-hopper’s history. Volunteer and go to events where hiring authorities may be found. Reel up the networking to include anything that exposes you to hiring leaders who can get past your tenure issue because now they know you. Your networking efforts have never been so important.
- What is your greatest weakness?
An impressive and conﬁdent response shows that the candidate has prepared for the question, has done severe self-reﬂection, can admit responsibility, and accept constructive criticism. Sincerely give an honest answer (but not a long one), be conﬁdent in that this weakness does not make you any less of a great candidate and shows that you are working on this weakness and tell the recruiter how you’re working upon it.
- Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a superior
The wrong answer to this question is, “I’ve been very fortunate and have never worked for someone I didn’t get along with.”
Saying that you haven’t forced the recruiter to question your integrity. Also, it can signal that the candidate is not seasoned enough or hasn’t been in situations that require them to develop a tough skin or deal with confrontation.
- Describe a situation where you were part of a failed project.
If you can’t discuss a failure or mistake, the recruiter might conclude that you don’t possess the depth of experience necessary to do the job. The recruiter is not looking for perfection. They are trying better to understand your level of responsibility, your decision-making process, and your ability to recover from a mistake, as well as what you learned from the experience and if you can take responsibility for your errors.
- Respond that you’d like to think that you have learned something valuable from every mistake you have made. Then have a brief story ready with a speciﬁc illustration.
- It should conclude on a positive note, with a factual statement about what you learned and how it beneﬁted the company.
- What are your strengths?
Describe two or three skills you have that are relevant to the job. Avoid clichés or generalities; offer speciﬁc evidence. Describe new ways these skills could be used in the position you are being considered for.
- How do you explain your job success?
Be candid without sounding arrogant — mention observations other people have made about your work strengths or talents.
- What do you do when you are not working?
The more senior the position, the more critical it is to know about the candidate’s qualities that will impact their leadership style – is the person well-adjusted and happy, or are they a company zealot? Discuss hobbies or pursuits that interest you, such as sports, clubs, cultural activities, and favorite books or magazines you like to read. Avoid dwelling on any political or religious activities that may create conﬂict with those of the interviewer.
- Why did you leave your last position?
At high levels, issues that relate to personality and temperament become more critical than they might otherwise. The recruiter wants to know if you will ﬁt in with the company. The recruiter may also be ﬁshing for signs of conﬂict that indicate a potential personality problem. Therefore, it is essential to be honest, and straightforward. But that doesn’t mean that you will dwell on any conﬂict that may have occurred. Highlight the positive developments that have resulted from your departure, whether you accepted a more challenging position or learned an important lesson that helped you be happier in your next job.