Interviews: no one likes them but we all have to do them… They make you nervous and stress you out for days. Don’t you wish that interviewing for your dream job didn’t have to be so distressful? As a recruiter and interviewer, how about if I give you some tips on how to successfully answer the tough questions you might see. During my interviewing process, these are some of the questions that I tend to ask accompanied by the answers that I like to hear.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Believe it or not, people often don’t know what to say to this question! I recommend that you stray from your resume and cover letter because you’ll simply be repeating yourself. The employer has already read over your resume and cover letter (that’s why you landed the interview) so save their time (and yours) by making sure you don’t repeat what they already know about you. Talk about things that aren’t work related so that they get to know you on a more personal level. As someone who has done plenty of phone interviews, I would rather hear about what you are interested in outside of work because then I get a sense of who you are as a person and what your uniqueness can bring to the organization.
What made you apply for this position?
In other words, why are you the perfect person for this position? Relate to the job listing you saw and talk about the company itself. This will show that you have taken the time to read the full job listing and also researched the company. Now your interviewer will see that you are interested in THAT job, not just any job. These things will set you far apart from the people that answer this question with “I’m just looking for a job”, which happens often and doesn’t move anything further.
Why are you leaving your current job?
When answering this question, please stay positive. Don’t rant about how much you hate your manager! That will make your interviewer think that you don’t get along with people easily. Instead, flip it around and say something like “I think there would be a better fit culture for me within another company. I am looking for a change and a new opportunity to better myself.” Don’t let the employer know of any conflicts you may have had with past employers. You don’t want the interviewer thinking that you are involved in issues and drama at work…big turn off!
Why should we hire you?
This is your chance to tell the interviewer exactly why you are the ideal candidate for this position. Don’t leave anything out! Relate your experience and skills to what the job actually entails (via the job listing). Don’t waste your time talking about how amazing you are with computers when the job involves cold calling…those things don’t go hand in hand necessarily. Be prepared with examples of times when you did great things at your previous jobs and when you accomplished goals. Your potential employer doesn’t just what to know WHAT you can do, but HOW you can do it based on how you’ve accomplished things in the past.
Coming from someone on the other side of the interview, I hope that these tips help to prepare you for what to expect. These are my most common questions and also some that you may hear in your very own interviews. Good luck with the job hunt, and of course, the interviews!
Colleen is an HR Assistant who began her journey at Cultural Chemistry as an Intern while still in college. She now focuses on recruiting amazing talent for her several clients. She can be reached by calling the office at (603) 518-8676 as well as at her email, firstname.lastname@example.org.Learn more about Cultural Chemistry on our website.