We’ve already had some discussion on how to write a strong resume with a few killer resume tips. With that advice in mind I’m sure you’ve been able to craft the perfect resume and are ready to upload it onto sites like Indeed.com, and submit to employers. Now that you’ve gotten that done we move on to the next step
For now, we are going to continue our talks on job-seeking advice by discussing one of the most frightening aspects of the job-seeking process, especially for new seekers: the interview. Job interviews are a challenging and intimidating process for all job seekers new and old alike.
Most of us understand the very basics of job interview etiquette. Always dress well for the interview no matter what. Come on time, not too late but also not too early. Practice good body language, speak clearly and in proper English, and of course maintain good eye contact. These are just a few of many things that come as second nature too us, especially if we’ve been on an interview more than once before. While it may be common for some to struggle with questions before the interview on what to wear, how to act, how to present oneself etc. this is not the most common concern job interviewers have, especially when they arrive at the interview. More likely it is the questions on job interviews that will stump most interviewees, sometimes even the most seasoned.
Here you will find 3 questions accompanied by useful job interview tips that will help provide you with answers. It’s always helpful to look online for common questions on job interviews and to practice beforehand so you are not blind-sided when you get to the interview. This preparation will allow you to avoid embarrassment, drawn-out moments of awkward silence, and may even make you more likely to obtain the job you are seeking. So without further ado here some job interview tips that will help you address the 3 most common questions on job interviews that all seekers seem to bomb.
Why Do You Want This Job?
A more common variant of this question may be “Why do you want to work for this company?” or a variation along the lines of “Why do you want this position?”
This is one of those questions on job interviews that seems to be especially blindsiding for new job seekers, but some of us old-timers have experienced this as well. Why do I want this job of all the jobs I could have? I’m not sure, I need the money, I like the benefits you’re offering? The position you’re offering pays well and happens to fall in my line of work?
What the interviewer is doing here, however, is not simply asking you silly a question. Of course, you want the job so you can make money, but they want to know that you will bring more to the table than that, and perhaps more commonly, they want to know that you’ve done your homework. To better prepare for this answer, you must do a great deal of research on the position AND the company itself, and try to plan your answer honestly and accordingly. Think “Why DO I want to work for this company and what would I probably love about this job?” A good answer if I were interviewing for a blogger on I don’t know, say, “ABC Online Writer’s Company” might be something along the lines of
“I love to write and I have a passion for writing and using my creativity and talents to create great content. This company allows me to do that and it allows me to discuss topics that I am passionate about. I also love how this company supports freelance writers who are just starting out, and I noticed your company has initiatives going right now among your community of writers to raise money for the homeless. I love that your company gives back to the community and supports the little guy. These are causes I’m passionate about and I would love to be a part of a company I can be proud to work for and honored to contribute to”
You will have to tailor your answer based on the company and position but you get the point.
Tell me About Yourself
This is one question on job interviews that stumps most job seekers perhaps for no other reason than that most people misinterpret the question as well as being caught off guard by it. Professionals have often called this question “The hardest job interview question you’ll ever be asked”
Contrary to what your instincts may tell you based on the question as stated the job interviewer is not simply making idle conversation, nor are they trying to get you to open up about some deep spiritual awakening or identity issue. They are trying to get you to summarize yourself as a professional in a way that shows them what you bring to the table and how you can use your communication skills to portray that.
To answer this question correctly on job interviews you simply need to start by avoiding personal anecdotes and begin practicing at home by crafting a short professional autobiography. What are your skills, and what experience or training do you bring to the table? How do your passions and talents potentially contribute to the position your applying for? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer before you can master this interview question.
My answer for a writing position might be something like,
“I love to write and for years have lived out that passion as a both a freelance writer and ghostwriter as well as a published author. I have authored, finished, and published a book and a few short stories during the course of my writing career. I’ve completed professional courses online in copywriting and blog content strategy, with some basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization. I have also written a few books as a ghost author and have worked as a freelancer writing blogs and advocacy letters on Fiverr and elsewhere for over 5 years. I also maintain a blog online and have volunteered my writing services for causes I believe in. I live and breathe writing and content creation, and hope to bring my skills and passions to this organization as a full time writing professional.”
Do You Have Any Questions?
This is yet another one of those questions on job interviews that everyone gets wrong for one very simple reason: they say “No” or in some cases may ask the wrong questions. After a long, exhaustive, and nerve-racking job interview process it is tempting to simply close the session with no more questions and walk away holding your breath. It also may be tempting to believe the interviewer actually wants this and in the name of respecting their valuable time simply waving away the chance to ask questions. This is actually wrong.
First when you do answer this question never ask about pay and benefits. Obviously, this is something you want to know, but it is generally saved for after the interview once the job offer is made at which point you may begin questions and negotiations.
When you encounter this question, usually one of the last questions on job interviews, the interviewer is not simply asking as a courtesy. More likely they are trying to see just how interested you are in the position as well as if you’ll bother doing any homework on it once it’s been offered. If you ask no questions they may be left to believe you’re only mildly interested in the position bringing very little passion to the table. They may also assume you’ll be giving a bare minimum effort since you’ll only be working for the next to paycheck.
Good questions on job interviews that you should consider asking may include questions that show your interest in the company or position. You may, for example, ask, “Are there opportunities for advancement?” as it shows your interest in working with them long-term.
You may also ask “What are some of the more detailed day-to-day responsibilities of the job?” or “What does success look like in this position?” as it shows you are not only interested in obtaining the position but doing well once you’ve been hired.
There are many questions on job interviews that stump even the best of us, but these are the most common 3. The key to succeeding in an interview is preparation. Research, practice, organize and prepare and you should do just fine. Hopefully keeping in mind my resume advice along with these interview tips, you should be on your way to a new career in no time flat!
If you’d like more help with your resume I offer help for that online on my Fiverr page along with free answers to any questions you might have about your interview.
If you’re a new job seeker or you’ve been out of the game for a while don’t go it alone and leave your career to chance. Let me see if I can help!