Job Interviews are designed for a hiring manager to determine if you have the right knowledge to add value and the correct personality for their team. Job Interview questions are designed to provide this answer. Hiring managers will often want to test out candidates either by asking complicated questions or by putting candidates under pressure. As a result, there is no such thing as a simple job interview.
Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
The trick to succeeding in your next job interview is to prepare answers to the basic interview questions and example’s that can be used for the more difficult questions.You also need to keep in mind that there are answers hiring managers do not want to hear.
It’s great, to be honest, but you need to make sure that you’re honest in the right areas.To make sure that you have the best chance in your job interview, below, you’ll find a series of typical interview questions and how I think you should be answering them.
Tell Me About Yourself?
If you go to ten job interviews, eight out the ten will ask this question first, as it’s a great way to gain a large amount of candidate information quickly. That said, there are right ways and wrong ways to answer this question correctly. However, you answer this question, don’t throw the question back by saying something like “what would you like to know”. Guess what; it’s a job interview where we’re going to discuss your career achievements.
I have covered this answer in more detail here, however, I think the best way to answer this question is with a quick, one or two-minute snapshot of your career and what you’ve achieved. Don’t forget to give some examples of where you have added value to your present company and explain why you think you’re the right person for this role.
Why Do You Want to Leave Your Company?
This is one of the most challenging questions to answer well as there’re no right answers and plenty of ways to get yourself into trouble very quickly. Firstly, what not to say, don’t bad-mouth your present manager or employer. Generally, candidates that are negative towards their current employer or manager are marked down as having a negative attitude. In my experience, employers don’t like hiring candidates with a contrary view.
My advice is to keep the answer short and to the point. Responses to this question could include – “I am not looking to leave my present company; however, I will do so for the right opportunity to forward my career given that I need a new challenge” OR “I really enjoy my current company and role, however, I am looking for more responsibilities and a fresh challenge. I worked for my present company for the last four years and feel the time is right for me to progress and given the few opportunities to grow in my present company.”
Can You Give Me an Example of a Project That Did Not Go as You Expected?
This is another classic question that all employers ask. I remember when I went for my first interview, I made sure I had a good answer to this question. Today it amazes me how many candidates are stumped by the question and cannot come up with a decent answer.
To answer the question, I would recommend you first explain the project and what you were trying to achieve. Follow this by telling what went wrong and what mistakes you made, but don’t forget to include what you’ve learnt from those mistakes. Think of the failure as something that has happened in your early career and discuss how you’ve improved yourself and the way you lead projects not to repeat the same mistakes.
Whatever you say, don’t place the blame for any mistakes on your co-workers, even if they made crucial mistakes. This only makes you look like you’re not a team player and cannot take criticism. Try to turn what should be a negative question into something that gives you a positive light.
Have You Ever Had a Disagreement with Your Manager? What Happened?
Another trick question where if you have worked for more than a couple of years, you will have disagreed with your manager at some point. If you tell the hiring manager that you have never disagreed with your manager, it merely shows that you’re not a leader or you cannot stand up for yourself and your ideas.
My advice don’t say that you’ve never disagreed with your manager as most interviewers will continue digging deeper, trying to find a conflict situation. A great answer to this question could be, “Yes, I have had disagreements with my manager. However, we’ve always managed to resolve the problems by working together and push the team forward”.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
This might be a classic job interview question, but it’s also another question that experienced candidates often get wrong. Firstly, you don’t need to be scared of this question; we all have weaknesses. If you say you don’t, it’s more than likely your biggest weakness is not being able to look at yourself objectively.
Remember, the hiring manager is only trying to work out where you feel you need improvement and how they can help you.The critical part of this question is not to select a strength and use it as a weakness, for example, “I love my job and therefore work too hard”. You need to select a weakness and explain how you have been working to overcome this, for example, “I am very disorganised, and therefore I use a diary which I write down everything I need to do during the day to ensure that they are done on time”.
Why Did You Not Finish College?
Candidates who have not finished college often get very worried when trying to answer this question. Firstly remember, lots of people don’t finish college for many different reasons, whether it be timing, they started their own business, or they had a to get a job to support themselves and their family.
The best answer here is to be honest while using your common sense. “I could not be bothered” or “I did not like it” is never going to be a good answer as it shows you cannot commit. Something like “I could not finance myself without having a full-time job to support my family, and therefore I decided it would be better to go to college at a later date” is an excellent answer.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five years?
This question is designed to find out if you have made a plan for your career and what your ambitions are for the short, medium and the long term. Firstly, don’t say, “I don’t know” as this makes you look unprofessional.
To answer the question, try to briefly explain what you’ve achieved in the past and use this to describe what you want to accomplish in the future. One point, it’s a great idea that you try to avoid focusing on job titles and instead focus on experience and responsibilities.
Something like – “I want to finish my professional qualifications, gain more experience in my career and increase my responsibilities. I want to work hard to become an expert that my co-workers can rely on.”
Why Should I Hire You?
Why should I hire you is an all-time classic interview question that comes up time and time again. Whether your interviewer asks you this question directly or whether they ask a slightly different question with the same meaning, it’s a question that comes up time and time again.
The best way to answer this question is with the ever-classic line, “because I am the best person for this Job”. Unfortunately, this line has been overused to the point where you’ll need to take it a step further and use examples. Typically, companies will interview more than one person for a specific role. If each candidate tells the hiring manager that they are the best, it tends to be the reason why, rather than the statement that counts. Think about a project or part of your experience that is directly relevant to the role and use this as your example.
Are you a Team Player?
Another, “Golden Oldie” and a question that comes up time and time again, especially with graduate interviews. The obvious answer to this question is “yes” however, again you will need to back this up with examples. Everyone answers “yes”, however very few give good examples.
My advice is to go down the route of explaining how you’ve made sacrifices for the good of the team. As an example, if you work in sales, you could say something like, “yes I am a team player, an example of this could be where I have helped bring in new key clients for my team and closed my colleague’s deals as it’s the team that counts and not individual members.”What other questions have you been asked at an interview that you found difficult to answer?
Remember, the key to job interview success is preparation, however you also need to make sure the end of your interview is handled correctly. Firstly this means asking questions, but this also means following up for feed-back and the right time.