It’s great to know the most common questions to be hurled your way in a job interview. But we wanted to go one step further and actually help you build the perfect answers. So strap yourself in, here are the 8 most common job interview questions and how to conquer them.
1. Tell me about yourself?
Meet the #1 opening interview question of all time, “The Icebreaker”. This question has no tricky component and purely exists to help candidates settle in and get into a rhythm to master more technical questions.
Nail this question by keeping your answer succinct and direct. The hiring manager is really just after a brief description entailing your educational and professional background.
*Bonus Point – If you can clearly align your education and professional background with criterion mentioned in the job advertisement.
2. Why are you interested in working here?
Building in complexity, this question is straight to the point still and your answer should mirror that. The interviewer basically wants to know what attracted you in the job advertisement. Whether it was their brand image, culture, products or the responsibilities outlined. You want to convey your passion and excitement about the opportunity and get specific.
3. What do you know about us?
Please, don’t blank out on this question. It’s imperative you research the company you’re interviewing with, in anticipation of this common question.
You don’t need to understand the company inside and out that takes time and will come. It is important though to be able to outline the organisations history, industry and products or services they’re renown for.
*Bonus Point – If you can reflect how the organisations values and culture resonate with you. For example, the organisation is innovative and invests resources in R&D to remain in front of competitors. Show how this aligns with you and the work you deliver, as you remain on the cutting edge of your niche’s trends.
4. What are your strengths?
It’s your time to shine; you have the interviewer hooked after nailing the first three questions.
We all know what our strong points are; it’s simply selecting the right strengths to highlight. The aim is to pick 3-4 strengths that are directly relevant to the job criteria and get across how these strengths will lead to you excelling and making an impact straight away if given the opportunity.
Q.5 What is your greatest weakness?
Meet my most dreaded question to be on the receiving end of, as well as ask candidates. So often people get untied, or answer generically with, “My weakness is that I am perfectionist and can spend a lot time ensuring a task is absolutely perfect”. Masking strengths as a weakness is an old trick now, and risks ruining the rapport and trust that has been developed with the interviewer.
Mastering this question takes a bit of self-reflection and hard work, but you will reap the rewards. Try to find a real weakness that is not detrimental to the role you are interviewing for. Then showcase how you have worked towards addressing it through various actions and finish positively on the progress you have made.
*Bonus Point – For avoiding generic answers and “I don’t have any weaknesses”. This response will raise eyebrows for two reasons, it suggests a potential inability to self-reflect and identify areas where improvement can be made. As well as concerns on your ability to receive constructive criticism.
Q.6 Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Naturally, every reader’s answer to this question will vary depending on your personal aspirations and level of role. Begin by highlighting your passion for the current role on offer and how it is the perfect foundation. Follow up by saying your focus is on learning, developing and refining skills and all you hope is that your career naturally progresses as you do.
*Bonus Points - Avoid sounding overly ambitious or suggesting this role is a stepping-stone for bigger things.
Q.7 Why are you leaving the job you currently have?
You are almost there; usually interviewers don’t fire this question out until it is close to closing time.
Here is what not to do:
- Be negative
- Trash talk ex employers or colleagues
Instead try to highlight the exciting parts of the new role and the reasons why you are willing to leave a good job for this opportunity. This question is another opportunity to demonstrate your positivity and passion for the role on offer.
Q.8 Do you have any questions?
The best way to tackle this job interview question is before the interview even begins. Compile a list of questions you would like to have answered during the job interview. If at this point there are still gaps in the information you would like to obtain, fire away. If you are unsure about what sort of questions to ask, try asking about the culture, vision and where your role fits in with that.
We hope this blog post has been informative and gives all our readers confidence going into their next interview.
Please drop a comment below and share a question you need help conquering and the team will reply. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Employment Gaps are more common than you may think and occur because of numerous reasons. Here are just a few of them:
It’s important for job seekers to stop dreading the employment gaps in their resumes. Having a lengthy employment gap doesn’t relinquish all hope in finding your dream job; it’s just an obstacle that can be overcome if you know how to tackle it.
If there were one thing I could pass on to our readers about employment gaps, it would be this. The gap itself isn’t crucial to prospective employers; it is your ability or inability to address your employment gap that will decide your fait.
So here’s how to address an employment gap.
1. Address your employment gap prior to the interview. Think about it, why wait to explain the reason behind the gap on your resume? You might not get the opportunity to meet an employer, so address the elephant in the room at the first opportunity.
A good way of doing this is by dedicating a few sentences in your cover letter to addressing your employment gap. By doing this you reveal your entire hand on the table, so if you get contacted for an interview you know you are in with a real shot.
2. Honesty, it is integral in this whole process. A detailed explanation into why you have been out of work isn’t necessary. However it is vital you prepare an elevator speech that clearly informs the hiring manager of the reason behind the gap. You don’t want to drag a lie into a new job and then have to carry it throughout your entire tenure.
3. Soft-sell your gap. Illustrate how you have retained your skills and industry prowess. It is important you visibly show you’re ready to work and make an impact. In certain situations employment gaps may have actually taught a person life lessons, skills and experiences that are valued in the workplace. If you have been able to increase job relevant skills, or volunteered be sure to make note of this during your application.
We hope these tips help our readers tackle a sticky conversation that many of us will face at some point. For your daily dose of First Avenue news, follow us across social media.
It feels as though winter has been waiting on the sidelines all May and has finally been given a chance on field. Wasting no time, temperatures have plunged and daylight seems bleak, making it easy to comprehend why so many suffer from the winter blues.
We know it can be hard to fight off dejection in winter and we all can’t move to Miami. So here are some ideas to prepare for the winter months.
It’s important to not stop taking care of your body once the summer months and desire for a great beach body has passed. Try to keep all your healthy habits in tact, as a balanced diet, water consumption and the correct amount of sleep will provide the best foundation to fight off the winter blues.
We know the temptation to never leave your warm bed in winter is almost undeniable, but it’s a necessity to avoid oversleeping.
Don’t stop doing the things you love because of the weather, plan fun activities and give yourself something to look forward to. This way there are little checkpoints throughout winter, making it feel not so endless. You will be amazed by how much anticipation can brighten your mood.
You can also utilise winter, to plan far into the future. Why not start organising your summer vacation? What better motivation to pull you through the winter blues?
We get it, it’s cold, and it’s dark and more often than not raining. But the power of feel-good chemicals released in exercise outweigh all those elements.
Exercise is great for the mind and body; it is a stress reliever, a source of alone time and a natural mood booster, through the release of endorphins.
Try and simulate daylight by making your environment as bright as possible. Often our bodies crave more daylight and for this reason we can fall into the winter blues. Try opening blinds and curtains, moving closer to windows or even artificial light solutions.
Integrate music into your day, whether it be while in commute, at the office or whilst exercising. Listening to upbeat and cheerful music can dramatically increase your mood.
We have gone over all the negative aspects of winter, but what about the great ones? There are a lot of awesome parts of winter, that are enjoyable and alone can help you dodge the winter blues. Figure out what you love about winter:
Is it winter fashion?
Do you love going to the snow?
How about snowboarding, ice-skating and skiing?
Or just watching movies rugged up?
That’s a wrap of our winter blues tips; we know you’ll be just fine. If you have another solution to get through the winter months, please drop a comment below.