What to expect and how to handle the most common questions asked during job interviews.
Though every job interview is different, there are those few questions that no one seems to escape. Often these questions can be the stuff nightmares are made of. Take a deep breath and find a pen and paper because RoxxyWrites! is going to school you on how tackle each of these tricky tidbits like a BOSS!
What They Ask 1: “So (your name here), tell me about yourself.”
What They REALLY Mean: This is a common ice breaker at the beginning of an interview. This question means they would like to know a bit about you before they get into the specifics. Your answer should be about one-minute long and professional. Talk a bit about where you are in your career, what you’re good at, all while focusing on your most recent position. This is not the time to talk about how good you are at the wobble. Keep your personal life and any taboo activities related to politics or religion to yourself.
What They Ask 2: “What drew you to this position/company?”
What They REALLY Mean: The interviewer is asking about the responsibilities and the position itself. This is the wrong time to mention anything superficial, like benefits, salary, or the fact that your commute would be cut in half enabling you to catch happy hour at your Cheers. Hiring managers want to feel like you are enthusiastic about the duties so it’s best to stick to how you can contribute, rather than how you will benefit personally.
What They Ask 3: “Why are you leaving your current job?” Or “What made you leave your last job?”
What They REALLY Mean: Don’t fall into this trap. No matter how you feel about the last position, keep in mind that this is an evaluation. Bad mouthing a manager or co-workers will only make you look bad. No one likes a Negative Nancy. Keep it light and hit them with something like “I’ve learned a lot, however, I’m ready for a new challenge.” Be warned, though, if you use this answer be prepared to talk about how the position you’re applying for would provide you with that new challenge.
What They Ask 4: “Why are you the man/woman for this job?”
What They REALLY Mean: What sets you apart from the 500+ randoms that applied for this position? This is crucial. If you don’t know why you’re perfect for the job, neither will your interviewer. Make sure you know what the most important traits and skills are and be prepared to spout up to three examples from your previous positions that have prepared you for this very opportunity. Make sure your answer is strong, including direct parallels and real on-the-job examples to seal the deal.
RoxxyWrites! Bonus Tip: This question goes hand-in-hand with the oldie-but-goody “Tell me about a time when …” Prepare ahead of time thinking and noting times when you had to utilize any of the main job requirements, when you had to take initiative or lead, address client concerns or a difficult customer. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. This is likely not your first time at the rodeo. Anticipate the questions and have concrete answers at the ready. If all else fails, speak with conviction and confidence while backing up your claim with an example and you should be golden.
What They Ask 5: “What salary range are you looking for?”
What They REALLY Mean: If the interviewer is still interested after all of this madness they will likely ask you this question. Don’t choke now; make sure you are prepared for this doosey. You may be tempted to evade the question or lowball for fear of ruling yourself out. Don’t do that! Before your interview take the time to conduct a quick online search of the market rate for the position. Make a detailed note of why you deserve the salary and what you bring to the table that makes it worth this company shelling out those extra coins. Don’t allow a little discomfort to take you out of the game. Be confident and be able to back it up and you can’t lose!
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