Wouldn’t it be great if you could read the mind of your interviewer?
Until we learn how to do that, being prepared with some of the most commonly asked questions can really set you up for a killer interview. Whilst we don’t recommend a ‘canned’ response to questioning, knowing what could be asked and what you will say will help you feel more confident, and stop you being caught off guard.
These are some of the topics you are more than likely to be quizzed on in job interviews, and how you could respond.
1. What do you know about the company?
This is not an opportunity to demonstrate how good you are at memorising the ‘About’ page on their website. Instead, demonstrate an understanding of the company goals, and how they align with your own. By showing that you understand and appreciate the vision of the business you are already fitting in with their culture, ambition and values. Hiring you should be a no-brainer.
2. Why should we hire you?
Don’t be shy! If you are asked this question you are in luck. It gives you the ultimate springboard to sell yourself, and that is exactly what an interview is all about. You can do the job, you can deliver great results and you can be part of the fabric of the business. This is your chance, don’t waste it.
3. What is your greatest weakness?
Aaaah! The dreaded question! Do you reel of a list of personal afflictions and remain humble or say you’re perfect and high five them on the way out? Finding the middle ground with this question is key. Be prepared with something you are working on. Like: “I have found public speaking challenging in the past but my recent role requires team management and I am finding new ways to develop this skill.” Hired.
4. What are you looking for in a new job?
Read the job specification. And then read it back to them.
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
Bit of advice: get a life. Telling them you like to go out and get pissed every Saturday night is not going to cut it. Think about what makes you tick, and do your research. If you’re fortunate enough to know who is interviewing you before you walk in the room you might find you have something in common. Love camping or languages or maybe you studied art in college? Consider this a first date and be interesting. It’s not just your work ethic they are interested in.
Most of all, have faith in your abilities. They want to meet you so you’re already in the game. It’s up to you to close it down.
Plus, you probably have never been in situation as bad as some of these terrible interviews, check them out here or contact us to find out how to nail the perfect interview.
When an interview goes badly you just know it.
From cringey to awkward to downright hostile we’ve all been locked in a room before that we just can’t wait to escape from. Hopefully you’ve never been in a situation as bad as some of these though. Take comfort in the fact that there is always someone who has messed it up worse than you.
Here are 5 things you should never do in an interview. And yes, they all actually happened. Get ready to hide behind the sofa.
1. Taking a call.
We don’t care if your mum needs you to pick up milk on the way home or if your wife is going into labour. Interviewers see nothing ruder than you picking up the phone halfway through a question. Turn it off and focus on the task in hand. If you’ve got somewhere more important to be then be there instead.
2. Nicknames aren’t cool.
“Hi, I’m Dave but my friends call me Dave The Rave”. Having a personality is cool, having a nickname is not. You are not there to make friends. You may get some smiles in the room but you won’t get the job. Be professional and wait until you’re hired to show your true colours. I’m sure they will give you a new nickname in no time, you party animal you…
3. Don’t cry about it.
If you’re asked a tough question or feel under pressure, for god’s sake, hold it together. Your interviewee is not your therapist. Take a deep breath and open a bottle of wine when you get home. If you break in the interview you’ll never cope in the office. And no matter how nice they are about it, if you start to cry you’ve lost the job. Be strong. It’s not going as badly as you think.
4. Know what you want.
If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. Cheesy but true. Don’t get the business confused with the competitors you’re interviewing with tomorrow. Don’t act like this meeting has come around unannounced and seriously, don’t forget your interviewer’s name. Being able to demonstrate your planning skills also shows you have passion for the role. Be clear that you are entering this meeting with one objective, to win that dream job.
5. Don’t go over the top.
Have an understanding of the expectations of the interview. You might be able to pull off a killer musical theatre act, but now is not the time to showcase those skills. And yes, we have heard of candidates putting on a performance for their interviewers. Cringe.
The best advice we can give you is to be prepared. You can check out our top tips for planning question responses here. In the meantime, remember the more prepped you are the less likely you are to find yourself in one of these awkward situations.
If you would like to have a chat with your recruitment team on interviews planning, get in touch. Although the musical theatre thing, that was one of ours. Just a warning.