After you have spent your time researching a company getting to know the business and its culture, then you can focus on the interview itself. People are predictable, so you can almost guarantee there will be some stereotypical interview questions thrown into the mix. It may feel clichéd, but do take time to prepare for these golden oldies. Don’t forget, though, that this is a two-way conversation, you are allowed to ask questions and figure out if they are a good fit for you too. Being inquisitive demonstrates a level of interest and curiosity; that you care about the business and want to learn about them too.
Here are our top tips for interview preparation:
Reflect on your career chronology to date. Spend most of your time before the interview on this, not rehearsing hypothetical questions (although we have included a few of these below). When you know your story inside and out, it’s much easier to apply examples to just about any interview question.
“Tell me about yourself” It’s an oldie but a goodie. Interviewers always ask it, and you want to be sure to nail this first part of the interview. False humility, “ums” and “ahs” don’t impress or interest anyone. You’re there to talk about yourself and why you are so brilliant for this role, so have an answer to ready to go!
“What’s your biggest weakness?” Talking about your negative points in an interview may feel counterintuitive, but don’t be thrown off by this classic. One fool proof way to prepare an answer to this one is to think of something that you naturally struggle with but you’re working to improve. For example: you may not feel that you are a strong public speaker, but over the past few years you have taken on leadership roles and volunteered to run meetings in order to gain confidence when addressing a crowd. Everyone has weaknesses, and to illustrate a level of self-awareness and determination to grow and improve is incredibly admirable.
“Why are you interested in this role / this company?” First of all: if you can’t answer this question, you shouldn’t be at the interview! To make sure you can, consider why you’re interested in the function of the role, and what it is you love about the company. Identify a couple of key factors that make it a great fit for you. Example: “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem”
Don’t forget about the numbers! Finding some numbers or percentages you can use to demonstrate your efficacy in your current / previous responsibilities and accomplishments makes information easy to digest and helps you tell a hiring manager why you’re so awesome.
Prepare a few smart questions. Jot these down before the day, and take some notes during the interview. Make sure they are thoughtful ones which show that you’ve been paying attention (not something that’s already been covered and you just weren’t listening), and that you have done your homework when it comes to researching the company and the specific job you’re after.
Brush up on your body language. The majority of our communication is non-verbal so be aware of your posture and stance—and make sure it’s good. Think your movements through ahead of time so you are not distracted (or distracting) during the interview. Be modest, tidy, and not over-familiar with the others in the room.
We’d love to know your thoughts.
Are there any other typical interview questions we’ve missed? What’s been your worst interview experience? You can get in touch on any of the social networks below!