So you've made it past the initial application stage and you've been successful in gaining an interview! What now? In our series of "How to impress at your next job interview" posts we have some advice to help you make sure you put your best foot forward and nail that interview for your dream job!!
We have discussed the preparation that you need to undertake earlier than your interview day (see post here). Then we discussed the preparation that you need to put in just prior to the interview (see post here). Next we gave you some tips to help you during your interview (see post here) and last week the sorts of questions you WANT to ask the interviewer (see post here)! Today our final post is about the questions YOU should be prepared to answer!
For this post, it is a bit difficult for me to give you examples as the answers to these questions really are personal, BUT if you get stuck, please drop us a comment below and we'd love to be of assistance!
The one tip you need to ANSWER any question
The one tip I can give you is this: all your answers should aim to give practical examples. It is no good to just say you have experience or qualifications, you need to be able to give examples of where you have applied these skills and/or knowledge.
The questions you should be prepared to answer
In no particular order, these are the questions you should be able to answer without a pause!
- Your work history and experience,
- What knowledge, skills, training and experience you will bring that is relevant to this role (make sure you know your answers in relation to the skills required in the job description!),
- Your achievements, awards and rewards (this is especially so for job roles like sales),
- Highlights and successes in your career (it helps to think of a few examples of when you were really proud of yourself and your achievements!),
- The most difficult challenge/s you have had to deal with and how you resolved them,
- your strengths in line with the skillsets required (again, relate this to the criteria in the job spec),
- your strengths in your personality/traits.
- your weaknesses (BIG TIP: everyone has them, employers will be wary if you are not self aware here, BUT I always mention what I do to counter my weaknesses - I am not perfect, but I know what to work on!),
- What parts of your career you have enjoyed and what parts you've disliked (NB: if you are applying for a secretarial job, you really don't want to hate filing! The answer to this question helps an employer know if you are willing to step outside of the job spec and what area's you would not like to venture into!),
- your plans for the future, your ambitions and goals!
- why are you interested in this job and this company?
- what your communication skills are like (eg: do you prefer person to person or email, or are you adept at both?),
- how do you categorise your self management skills?
- what motivates you? (you should also know what de-motivates you, for me it is a boss who micro manages and is critical in a cruel way)
Thanks for joining us for our series on how to nail your interview - we hope the tips and advice help you to land your dream job! Just before we leave this topic there are a quick couple of final tips I want to leave you with:
Final Interview Advice
Follow up!! Seriously - in my experience, less than 10% of applicants follow up a job application. This follow up can actually make all the difference (especially when you think about the huge number of responses and interview data employers are usually weeding though and trying to find "the one" that stands out!). Some people suggest a thank you letter, I try to obtain an email address (usually from the receptionist, before the interview!!) AND THEN I also make a phone call within a day or two (or depending on when they have told you they will make a decision by).
Most people will advise you not to bring up salary at the first interview, or at least wait until the interviewer broaches the subject. Personally I think it is important - there is no point going through the motions to find that the pay they are offering is out of your acceptable range! I usually leave asking til late in the interview - there's no point asking if I don't have a good feeling about the job or indeed if I'm finding I'm not interested as the interview goes on! But one thing I always recommend is to let the employer give the first figure - don't let them browbeat you into giving a price, as you could well be short changing yourself!! Before you go to the interview, make sure you know what the market is paying for this role (remembering that if you have been at your previous employer for a while or out of work, the market price could be quite different to what you expect)! Make sure you also know in your head what is the minimum amount you need/want!Negotiation can come later - but it never hurts to find out where you stand straight up!
We'd love to hear how you go at your next interview - did these tips help you nail the job?
Let us know if you have any questions as we'd love to help!
Please feel free to re-post any of our interview tips and advice, but please ensure that you give us the credit and include a clickable link to us at www.jobezy.com.au