Topic of the Week Observe and Report - What will you be asked in a job interview?
Common job interview questions:
• WHO are you?
• WHAT are you looking for in a job?
• WHERE are you going with your career?
• HOW can you do an even better job?
• WHY should we select you?
Your Rant: I haven’t interviewed in a long time. What questions are they likely to ask?
Can’t remember the last time you went on a job interview? Join the club. Many people who are being laid off today haven’t interviewed for a long time. Which reminds me of a 24 year-old man in Rapid City, SD. He was stopped outside a local business when suddenly a gunshot rang out. He felt the pain in his leg, clearly he was wounded. Don’t worry, the shooter was easy to catch. It was the very same 24 year-old.
Turns out the guy was trying to clear his gun and managed to shoot himself. Which reminds me, you can avoid self-inflicted wounds during your next job interview by developing answers to the most commonly asked interview questions before the interview. But don’t just write down your answers or practice in your head, actually role-play with friends or former colleagues in mock interview sessions. For more, check out Brenda Greene’s book, “You’ve Got the Interview” (Dearborn, 2005)
WHO are you? Entrepreneurs call it the “elevator pitch,” a one-minute, or less, summary of who you are and where you’re going. Since you can’t get a second chance to make a first impression, it’s wise to practice your “Who?” answer so that your response will be short, concise and compelling. Avoid a generic introduction, make it relevant to the job that you are trying to get.
WHAT are you looking for in a job? As with all these answers, think through what the interviewer wants to hear. It’s probably that you’re impressed by their company, that you have stayed in past jobs for a long time, that you like collaboration. Don’t lie, just pick areas where an employer’s interests and yours match. Don’t know what employers are looking for? Then it’s time to make friends with someone in Human Resources or a hiring manager.
WHERE are you going with your career? Most employers like an employee who is headed somewhere, someone with goals and aspirations. Talk about your ideal job, the type of company you’d like to work for and how your past experiences combine to give your career a direction. A direction that will be enhanced by working for their company.
HOW can you do an even better job? A few companies are looking for perfect employees. However most are more interested in employees who know what their weaknesses are and have a plan to address them. The key is what you’ve learned and how you’ll apply it next time you face a difficult situation.
WHY should we select you? This is the key question because it opens the door for you to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. Gather ideas from their web site and talking with their customers so you can offer an answer specifically tailored to the company and the job.
Follow these tips and you won’t wound yourself in your next interview, you’ll be properly prepared to impress.
About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.