Interviews are tough. You’re fighting to make the best possible impression on the potential employer, while also answering questions intelligently and asking questions that will give you the information you need to make an informed decision if a job offer is extended. If the interview is scheduled on an otherwise busy day or you needed to travel some distance to attend, stress can add another layer of concern.
With so many factors to juggle during each interview, it pays to be prepared for the tough questions. Here are five interview questions that regularly trip up job applicants – and how best to address them.
“What would your previous employers want to change about you?”
This question is tough because it asks you to admit an area of weakness – the last thing most interviewees want to do. Answering this question well, however, demonstrates to a potential employer that you not only know what your own weaknesses are, but that you are willing to work to improve them.
To prepare for this question, think about your weaknesses at work and how you can fix them. Choose a skill that is not directly related to your position, but one you can work around. If you’ve already worked to fix a particular weakness, talk about how you have learned from doing so.
“What are you most proud of in your career?”
Hesitating in response to this question indicates that you haven’t thought about it or have little in your career to be proud of – both of which can be fatal mistakes. Instead, decide before the interview what you are most proud of. If the hiring manager doesn’t ask this question, take the opportunity to talk about it when asked questions like “is there anything else we should know about you?”
“What has prevented you from progressing in your career as quickly as you would have liked?”
This question implies that you’re not where you “should” be in your career and that it might be someone else’s fault. However, neither of these things may be true; in many cases, the hiring manager asks this question to see how you respond to those implied “facts.”
Don’t take the bait by insisting your weaknesses or setbacks are someone else’s fault. Instead, focus on your achievements and goals, and discuss what you have learned from the progress of your career so far.
“What do you think management can do to help you function more effectively?”
A hiring manager who asks this question wants to know what your attitudes are toward work and management. Offer a constructive, yet effective response. For instance, you may identify a quality like open communication that helps you work, or you may share a story of a time a particular management approach helped you do your job well.
“Why should we hire you?”
Although this question seems to allow you to talk about nearly any strength, don’t simply ramble. Instead, prepare by examining the key functions of the job and the company’s goals and values. In your answer, demonstrate your ability to perform these key functions and your commitment to and understanding of these values.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters will help you find the job you’re looking for and make the best possible impression in interviews. Contact us to learn more or browse our top job opportunities in Minneapolis today!