Three Common Interview Questions, and How To Answer Them

So you’ve followed all the application steps; emailed your resumé, drafted a winning cover letter, and forwarded everything in a charming email to human resources. You schedule an interview and you’re already planning your future around this new job. This is it, you think! But before you let your excitement get ahead of you, ace the interview through preparation. If you prepare yourself by thinking of any possible questions they may ask you, your confidence alone will increase your chances of landing the opportunity.

 

1.Tell Me About Yourself

Don’t let this one scare you. It’s usually where the interview will start and is a great opportunity for you to steer the conversation in the direction of topics you’d like to discuss. Although it seems like a good conversation introduction, try not to think of it as an invitation to tell your life story. Instead, construct of narrative of what interests you in this position and what makes you qualified.

You can prepare for this question by writing bullet points of your experience, skills, and qualifications, and then practice talking about them for 2-3 minutes. But give it a story. Start with your present experience, back to your past, and why your future depends on this position.

 

2. What do you know about the company?

This question will usually follow if they ask you how you found out about the position. If you found the position through a friend, tell them that. Share what excited you about the possibility to work at the company. If you’re honest, it will show.

Further, move the conversation along with attention to what the company has been doing in recent months. Don’t hesitate to ask, “I’d be excited to start making significant contributions here, as well—what are some of your company’s current projects?” Even if you’re not that informed on the company’s history, ask your interviewer, “What do you see the company doing in the next five or ten years?”

 

3. What do you consider to be your weakness?

No one wants to talk about their weaknesses! When you’re preparing for an interview, you often spend so much time thinking about your past achievements that it’s actually easy to forget about this question entirely. It’s often one of the most overlooked questions when preparing for interviews.

What this questions offers is another opportunity to tell a story. Delineate a weakness – whether it’s time management or interpersonal skills, and discuss how you have taken steps to improve your demeanor in the workplace. Yes, it’s a weakness, but you’re prepared to acknowledge that.

Are you ready for you interview? Prepare one sheet of paper with essential notes – achievements and successes you want to highlight, anecdotes that might come in handy, and practice (yes, speaking out loud) for about an hour before the interview.