We all know we’re supposed to prepare for a job interview. So why don’t we? It’s a question I ask because in the past few years I’ve probably served on a dozen interview panels.
Some individuals are quite prepared. It’s obvious they’ve done their homework – from reviewing the company website to researching their future colleagues to connecting their skills and experiences to the mission of the company.
And then there are those who seem surprised by some of the questions. And yet, if you go to any website about interviewing the questions are right there. Here are a few that you should think about in advance and be prepared to answer:
- Would you tell us about a weakness? Most individuals think the goal is to turn it into a positive so they mention things like they are perfectionists or they work too hard. That might work when you are first starting out, but as you interview for increasingly complex jobs, what interviewers really want to know is how self-aware you are. More importantly, they want to know how you are addressing the weakness. One candidate I interviewed was asked the question during three separate interviews and never could answer it. It certainly didn’t help the candidate’s cause.
- Why do you want to be part of this team or company? Interviewers expect to hear that you believe in the mission of the company and that you’ve heard great things about the team. The interviewers already know that since they work for the company. What they really want to know is “What are you passionate about?” and “What gets you excited to come to work?”
- Why should we hire you? This is the softball pitch, meaning that the candidate should be able to hit this one out of the ballpark. And yet, too many candidates stammer when asked this question. Those who have to think about it or stammer their way through it usually have blown the interview. Almost always, I’ve hired the candidate that heard the question and immediately provided a tight synopsis of his strengths and how those strengths would benefit the company.
Are you ready for your next job interview?