Every interview is different, but many ask the same questions. Typically they are general and designed to make a potential new hire think on their feet. It’s always in your best interest to prepare for the most common, because you never know when they might come up. Do your research, prepare an appropriate answer, and be confident in your delivery. The job offers will naturally follow.
Common Interview Questions
“What is your biggest weakness?”
This question can be tricky to effectively respond to. It’s a way for the hiring manager to gauge how honest and self-aware you are. Everyone has a weakness, but when you are interviewing it shouldn’t be a glaring one. For example, “I’m always late” would be a bad response. Similarly, “I have no weaknesses” is also lackluster. Strike the balance between these two extremes. A great answer would be that you are a perfectionist, but sometimes it gets in the way of your productivity. Always pick a weakness that can be spun into a positive.
“Why should we hire you?”
The answer to this question can truly make or break your interview. It’s a prime opportunity to sell your personal brand to the hiring manager. Landing a job requires more than just the appropriate work experience or education. You need to fit the company culture and consistently deliver excellent results. Use this question as an opportunity to prove that.
What’s your dream job?
Be careful with this question. Obviously you have a real “dream job” that might be out of line with your current career trajectory. So, telling human resources that you want to be a music producer might not be the best plan (unless you are trying to advance in this industry). Pick a more realistic option. Perhaps a top-level management role in your current field. This question is all about getting a gauge on where you see yourself later in your career.
“Explain the gap in your employment history”
A large gap in employment history is definitely something you can work around, but a bad answer can be a deal breaker. You should always be honest with your answer, but be sure to phrase it in a positive light. Maybe you were focusing on your education, or simply couldn’t find work. Tell them about any positive contributions you made to society during this time, like volunteering. If you have no positive contributions, don’t let HR know about that.
“What are your salary requirements?”
Do your research regarding average salaries for people in similar roles. Location is important, because salary will fluctuate from location to location. Ask for a high end pay rate. The worst that can happen is you’ll have to negotiate, but it will show your potential employer that you understand your true value and worth.