What can you do to ace your upcoming interview? Being prepared to respond effectively to questions employers typically ask is an essential part of interview preparation.
Although you can't predict which interview questions will be asked, you can be fairly certain of a few, even if they come in different forms. Having your answers perfected and even thinking of a few questions of your own can put you miles ahead of your competition.
1. So, tell me about yourself?
This is a common interview question that usually appears early on, making it the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression. Be prepared to explain why you would be a good fit for the position. Interviewers want to know why you would make an excellent candidate. Study your CV and make sure you mention key points – you’ll most likely be asked questions later in the interview, based on the content provided in it.
2. How do you handle pressure or stressful situations?
Employers want to know whether you can hold the fort or crumble under pressure. Their ultimate goal is to prevent you from having a meltdown when the pressure is on, and deadlines are fast approaching. Maintaining calm in stressful situations is a highly prized skill.
Share a story about how you have previously stayed calm in a turbulent situation. If it's a skill you're developing, acknowledge it and specify how you'll improve in the future.
3. Are you more comfortable working alone or with a team?
You should base your answer on the research you did on the company culture and the job in question. Nevertheless, you should expect to encounter some team-based aspects in most work environments. Some jobs require you to work collaboratively every day, while others require you to work mostly independently. Describe how your personality fits the requirements of the job when answering this question.
4. What are your future goals?
The purpose of this question is to determine if you will remain with the company or if you will move on quickly. Make sure your career goals are aligned with those of the company. Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the mission of the organisation, as well as how you can fit into it by informing the interviewer that the position aligns with your long-term goals.
5. Why should we hire you?
"I need a job," is a response that might come to mind, but you might want to reconsider that response. What the interviewer looks for here is what makes you unique, and what sets you apart from others.
Create a short, detailed pitch that explains why you are the right candidate for the job. During the interview, explain what makes you unique and the interviewer will be more likely to consider you for the position.
6. What are your salary expectations?
This is usually the question that people find the most uncomfortable to answer. Your salary expectations need to match the salary that the employer has in mind for this position. This is a very tricky question as a high expectation may put you out of the running if the budget for the role is too small. Just like having too low expectations could lead to the interviewer questioning your suitability for the role in relation to your experience level.
Salary negotiations in the interview are best left until after the job offer, unless the interviewer raises the subject. Still, some employers feel compelled to bring up the subject at the interview.
Make sure you have a salary band in mind to prepare for this scenario. Research the average salary for this type of role within the industry. It might be a good idea to ask the employer ‘how would the company value this role and responsibilities?’ to get out of answering the awkward salary expectation question.
If you need additional help preparing for your next interview, contact our specialist recruitment team.