The best way to approach an interview is, and always will be prepared. Here are some of the most common interview questions that, although predictable, can trip you up if you don’t have some talking points prepared.
Why Are You A Good Fit For This Position?
It’s easy to rhyme off some good qualities that have yet to be seen, but to truly impress your prospective employer, make sure your answer is specific to the company. This question is a great opportunity to show that you’ve done some research. Identify some of the company’s values, its mission, specific outcomes (events, products, services) and strategic priorities, and reference those in your answer.
Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
Is there ever a perfect answer for this? The most important thing to remember is to always keep it positive. No matter what the real reason is you are looking to leave your current job, don’t bash anyone or anything. Instead, focus on the specifics that this job offers that you don’t do at your current place of work, and discuss how this opportunity aligns more with your long-term career goals.
Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
Speaking of those long-term career goals, what are they? Be careful with this question. Employers want to know that you are driven, but not unrealistic when it comes to your expectations. If your goals are all about you becoming rich, or if you start to pitch your next great business idea you want to work on, an employer will be wary
to invest any time in training you, for fear you might switch jobs quickly. Instead, focus on outcomes – for example, you want to work in a position where you have autonomy, or you make a difference in people’s lives. And reference some emerging trends or realities that the industry you’re in faces.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
The answer to this question can never be ‘I have none’. It’s a question that is designed to make you think, and to show if you can be self-aware and self-accountable (nobody likes to work with someone who can’t admit when they are wrong). Don’t go right away to ‘I’m a perfectionist’ either.
Instead, reference something specific from the job description, but nothing critical. It could be something like your ability to ask for feedback.
What Are Your Salary Expectations?
It’s important to have an answer to this question, because if you don’t have one, you may be low-balled. Do your research, and come with a reasonable ask that is based on your experience. And, reference that experience when you make your ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve, but don’t be unreasonable. Hiring managers are used to these discussions, and whether you come with honest expectations, you both will gain better insight on if the job and its compensation is a good fit for you.