07 October 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
When preparing for an interview, there is usually a certain level of predictability regarding the interview questions being asked. For example, they’ll want to know about your work experience, hobbies, and why you think you’d be a good fit. While there is no perfect answer to an interview question, decoding what the interviewer is asking can be a great first step to answering authentically and informatively. Here are some examples of common questions an interviewer might ask, and what else they’re actually attempting to discern. “Tell me about yourself” This is a common first interview question, so be sure to start your interview on the right foot with a strong answer. While the interviewer wants to know about who you are, they are also looking to see how quickly you can think on your feet. Therefore, before going into your interview, review your elevator pitch and make sure you can recite it in a tone that feels natural to you. There are more complex questions to be asked after this ice breaker, so knowing how you’re going to answer this question can help you to make a great first impression. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” This question is most commonly used to measure the ambition of a prospective employee, but don’t worry if you haven’t got your 5 year plan mapped out just yet! The only “wrong” answer to this question is to say that you don’t know because this implies that you haven’t given any thought to your professional future. Whether you want to do something as ambitious as running your own company, or are looking to excel as a component of a team, letting your interviewer know that you take your future seriously is key. “What is your biggest weakness?” We all know that true perfection doesn’t exist, so answering this question by saying “nothing” or something cliché like “I’m a perfectionist” can be a red flag for an interviewer because it shows a lack of honesty and forethought. Instead, tell a quick story about one of your weaknesses and how you are working to overcome it. For instance, if you’re an independent worker and were previously required to collaborate with a team, you could tell a story that touches upon how this experience strengthened your ability to work as part of a group. “Why should I hire you?” To answer this question successfully, you really need to sell yourself. The interviewer is looking for an honest answer that emphasizes your achievements while connecting them to the position at hand. To do this, look over your resume and deduce what skills make you a stand out candidate. Have you achieved proven results? Have you tackled a big project with success? Do you have a track record of being a self-starter? This may be the last question an interviewer asks, so make sure your answer really encapsulates your strengths.