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8 Interview Questions

While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t), we do recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your responses, and what it takes to show that you’re the right man or woman for the job.

  1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role. One option for your response is to share some of your personal interests which don’t relate directly to your career. Examples might include a hobby which you are passionate about like quilting, astronomy, chess, choral singing, golf, skiing, tennis, or antiquing.

  1. What do you know about the company?

Spend some time researching the company (the “About Us” section of the employer’s website is a good place to start) so you can talk about the benefits of working for this particular employer. Check out the company’s LinkedIn page, as well. If you have a connection at the company, ask him or her if you can get some insight into what the company is seeking in an ideal employee.

  1. Why should we hire you?

This interview question seems forward (not to mention intimidating!), but if you’re asked it, you’re in luck: There’s no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, you can deliver great results; that you’ll really fit in with the team and culture; and that you’d be a better hire than any of the other candidates.

Provide concrete examples from past jobs to show how you have contributed to other companies. Past examples show employers the kind of work you will likely do for them.

  1. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

What’s the best way to talk about weaknesses at job interviews? When you’re asked about weaknesses, it’s important to respond carefully. You don’t want to cast any doubt on your ability to do the job. However, you also don’t want to come across as arrogant or dishonest by claiming that you don’t have any weaknesses. A. Discuss Non-Essential Skills. B. Mention Skills You Have Improved. C. Turn a Negative Into a Positive.

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  1. Why are you leaving your job?

This is a toughie, but one you can be sure you’ll be asked. Definitely keep things positive—you have nothing to gain by being negative about your past employers. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that you’re eager to take on new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you than your current or last position. For example, “I’d really love to be part of product development from beginning to end, and I know I’d have that opportunity here.” And if you were let go? Keep it simple: “Unfortunately, I was let go,” is a totally OK answer.

  1. What challenges are you looking for in your next job?
  2. Demonstrate your skills. B. Express motivation. C. Connect your answer to the job.

Examples of the Best Answers

“In my last job, I took on many additional responsibilities over the years, including editing company webpages on the office’s content management system. I look forward to using my web editing and publishing skills in this position.”

  1. What major challenges have you handled?

On one hand, it’s an opportunity for you to communicate your problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, along with your aptitude for succeeding under stress.

On the other hand, there are multiple ways to handle a challenge; one company might prefer an employee who takes a measured, methodological, and planned approach, whereas another organization might prefer individuals who dive in and do all that they can to meet the challenge, without necessarily thinking of the bigger picture.

  1. What are your salary requirements?

Before you even begin salary negotiations with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job is worth – and how much your skills and experience are worth to the employer. Take the time to research salaries long before you even begin discussing pay. That way you will be prepared to make your case and land a job offer that’s realistic and reasonable.

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