There are some interview questions that you can almost always count on being asked. Knowing the question is coming is only half the battle. You need to be prepared to answer the question in the most positive light. You don’t want to look like you’ve never thought about the question, but you don’t want a canned response either. The first thing you need to do is read and re-read the job description. Without being deceitful, you can paint yourself as the ideal job candidate based on their requirements. For example:
What Makes You the Best Candidate for the Position?
Keep in mind, always, that there are certain things the interviewer wants to hear, and if you’ve done your homework, you know what they are. The skills and abilities they want are listed on the job description. All you have to do is match your skills to their stated desires. Be honest, but make yourself look desirable by describing yourself as they would describe their ideal candidate.
What are Your Weaknesses?
Be careful here. You may be aware of some personal qualities that could use some work, but the interviewer wants to know about professional weaknesses. You can’t say you’re perfect, and if, say, you’re applying for an accountant position, you can’t admit that you’re not good with numbers. You could, however, admit to being uncomfortable with public speaking. You want to minimize your weaknesses by keeping them as far away from the job’s core requirements as possible.
Tell Me About Your Most Significant Accomplishment.
Here, the interviewer wants to know two things about you. They want to hear that you’ve accomplished a difficult task successfully, and they want to hear you recount the situation in an organized, articulate fashion. You know what your most significant accomplishment is. You’re proud of it. Rehearse telling the story from beginning to end, with emphasis on your contribution to the solution.
Why are You Leaving Your Current Employer?
Stay positive, even if you’re leaving because you feel you’re overworked and underpaid. Potential employers don’t want to hire some one who will bring negativity and dissatisfaction. If that’s what you show them, that’s what they’ll see, and they’ll keep looking. Instead, stay positive. Mention the lack of advancement opportunities at your current company, or your desire to choose a different or more fulfilling career path, such as the one being discussed.
Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
This is their final question, and you want to look prepared. A first interview is not the time to ask about salary or vacation or their benefits package. It is okay to ask if this is a new position, and if not, what happened to the previous employee. Ask what goals they hope will be accomplished by the person hired, and if there’s a timetable. It’s perfectly fine to ask them if they know when they’ll be making a decision. In general, if you’ve studied the job description, taken an accurate inventory of your skills and accomplishments, and removed any negativity from you answers, you should do fine. Remember that they have a copy of your resume in front of them, so don’t just reiterate what’s in your resume. Now is your chance to fill in the blanks and convince them you’re the ideal candidate.