Honing in on the Perfect Answers to Tough Interview Questions
When your recruiter mentions wanting to prep for the interview, what they're wanting to do is go over some of the common interview questions to better prepare you and give you the best chance of getting the job! Many companies ask these questions (or similar) in an effort to gage what you would bring and how you would fit into the company culture. Below are some examples to help you ace your next interview when asked these common interview questions!
What do you know about the organization?
This is going to be the number one common interview question asked whenever you apply for a job. Make sure to do research on the company prior to the interview. You'll want to know the general industry the company works in, what kind of work they do, what they might be most known for, and ideally a piece of news / blog information they have released about any projects they may have done.
This will show you care about the role and aren't just blindly applying to a bunch of roles. You can also work with your recruiter on compiling notes of key information about the company prior to the initial interview and gain some additional insight about what kind of technologies / skills are most important for the role.
Why are you looking for a new role?
When responding to this question, be sure to be respectful of your current / previous employers as it one of the first red flags that an employer will look for when asking this question. Instead of saying how miserable you are at your current role, try saying how you found yourself wanting to learn new skills and daydreaming for better opportunities in your career to find a better, more challenging role where your contributions and successes can be celebrated. Try to keep this short and generally positive, gearing your answer towards personal growth.
Tell me about yourself...
When a manager asks about yourself, don't answer about how you love to hike or LARP in your free-time. They want to hear information about how your previous skills and personality can help aid in the success in the business overall.
What is your greatest weakness?
While this one may be challenging to pinpoint, it's important to consider this question before the initial interview as it is a very common question to ask candidates to gauge how well they will transition into the work culture. Some weaknesses might include: have a hard time delegating tasks (don't say this if for a management role), impatience with overdue projects, trouble asking others for help, fear of public speaking, lack of confidence in a new environment, or maybe a trouble saying "no". All of these are good examples, but you also must follow up with actionable tasks you've been completing to help conquer / address this weakness. An example might be: "My greatest weakness is that I have always had a hard time speaking in public and with confrontation. In recent months, I've been working with the local Toastmaster's club in attending bi-weekly meetings / events to practice my public speaking, interpersonal and leadership skills."
Where do you want to be in the next 5 years?
Normally, this is how an interviewer will figure out if you're a good fit for the company long term or are going to be looking for the "next best thing" always. This also shows if your personal desires align with the future desires / goals of the company as well. So how do you answer this question? "Over the next few years, I hope to develop my skills further and gain experience in ____, ____, and ____ (curate the blanks towards the goals of the company / what kind of projects or work they are doing).