Interviewing for a job would be so much easier if you knew the questions ahead of time. You could develop the best possible answer for each question.
But wait a minute. You should know most of the questions because they only have your resume from which to work. It stands to reason they will use that document to ask you what you did, how you did it and what were the results. OK so far, but what about the questions that aren’t on our resume? Here are a few of them and a summary of how to prepare.
- TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. Match your experiences with the top 5 items on the position description. Provide a crisp but positive critique given the needs of the hiring manager.
- WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER OBJECTIVES? Saying you want to expand your responsibilities to better support the needs of the company is always a good response. Everyone wins!
- DO YOU WORK BEST AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR AS A TEAM MEMBER? Careful here! State that you work best as a part of a team where you can contribute as an individual. This may be your best response. Give credible examples as a member of a team and as a leader.
- WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU OVER ALL THE OTHERS? Provide them with new ideas that may be helpful alternatives, and potential solutions. Don’t tell them you have all the answers.
- DISCUSS YOUR PROFESSIONAL DISAPPOINTMENTS – Be ready with a story of unmet expectations that didn’t happen and how you handled it. The key is what you learned.
- HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY DEAL WITH CRITICISM? – The interviewer is looking for your attitude toward pressure and how well you respond to it: Emphasize people over things.
- HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH DISAGREEMENT WITH A SUPERVISOR– The interviewer is looking for your ability to lay out your case logically, while accepting the boss’s decision.
- WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED TO KNOW? WHAT ARE WE MISSING? A real curveball question unless you’re prepared. Don’t be put off balance. Have a list of items ready. Cite activities that parallel the interests of the company, like community support activities.
As a general rule, the simplest answer is usually the best answer. Complexity can get you into a tangle of conflicting responses. You must do the necessary research to understand the key elements of the company for which you are interviewing. If not, you’ve already lost the interview to other candidates who have done their homework.
Your primary objective is to stand out as a candidate. These questions are poised to answer the ultimate question of why a company should hire you. If you’re prepared you’ll become the candidate of choice over those who are not ready.
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