Interviews can be high stress, anxiety-driving situations, especially if it’s your first interview. Interview preparation always pays off. While we can’t know exactly what an employer will ask, here are 8 common interview questions along with advice on how to answer them. Remember to bring your questions too. There are strategic questions to ask in an interview to raise the employer's level of interest in you.
This is a question best answered with a prepared elevator pitch. It is important to know your value-add and labor assets to support your history. It is unnecessary to start at the beginning of your career. Tell the hiring manager the highlights.
This is a dangerous question. Never give a specifc dollar amount. It is better to feel out the conversation and ask the hiring manager if a range is already assigned. If no salary range is shared, it is ok to state that more information is needed to assess an appropriate salary range.
This also leads to being well prepared with your achievements and skills. A deep dive into your career experience is needed to answer this question. The response is not a one-size fits all.
It is important to avoid the word "weakness" in your response. Use "areas to improve upon." You could be serious and say you don't have any weaknesses that would impair your ability to do the job. On a funnier note, you can say "I cannot sing." Pick something that does not get you into trouble and would not tarnish your reputation or ability to complete the tasks outlined in the job opportunity.
This is a great space to explore your achievements. Most achievements are a result of a challenge or obstacle. Talk about a project you had and what you did (briefly) to fix or improve it.
You can address this question about stree exuded by others or your own stress. If speaking about working with others who are stressed, discuss your ability to communicate with team members to understand and empathize. If speaking about your own stress, it is easy to say that you take the time to understand why you are stressed and carefully address each issue contributing to the stress.
Be honest. If you are leaving, the best thing to say is that your core values no longer align with the company's values and therefore it is not a good fit. If a layoff was the reason, tell the truth. Explain downsizing, company was reorganizing, business was closing...whatever applies here.
Not many companies offering interview preparation cover this topic. Interview questions like this one gauge whether you can think analytically, handle ambiguity and communicate clearly. Before answering this question, spend a few minutes thinking about how to prepare a logical answer. "Knowing the Empire State Building is around 1,500 feet and 15 pennies make an inch, I'd calculate 15 x 12 x 1,500, resulting in 270,000 pennies for its height." Maybe you have similar questions to ask in an interview?? :)