10 Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer
There are a lot of things you can’t prepare for in life, but the interview for a potential new job should not be one of them. Sure, you may not know all the questions your potential new employer may ask you, but if you focus on the answers to these ten questions, you’re well on your way to being prepared to answer any that may come your way.
1. Tell me about yourself. Don’t get caught stuttering or not knowing where to start. Think about this ahead of time. What would your employer need to know about you to understand as quickly as possible who you are? Pick certain qualities — maybe your love of collaboration or obsession with analytics — and define it more broadly. Perhaps you’re a people person who loves being on a team, or you’re someone who loves finding more efficient systems. Depending on the interview, you could make it personal, you love the New York Yankees more than life itself. Either way, come up with a short and sweet answer to this very standard question to give yourself a strong jumping off point.
2. Why do you want to work here? Do your research and look up the mission statement of the company. Try to understand its culture as well as you can ahead of time. Then, when this question comes up, pick out some key points that drew you in initially. Talk about what the company stands for that you might also stand for, or consider how you might make a difference by working at this particular company.
3. What happened in between jobs? If there is any downtime in between employment, make sure you know how to answer this question to set you up in the best light. You should never lie in an interview, but do highlight what you learned and how you grew during this unemployed phase. Take some time to think about how being unemployment or between jobs helped you become even more ready for this one.
4. What won’t I find on your resume? Your resume will list your accomplishments, but have a story or anecdote that highlights your skills and/or personality, too. Remembering and telling an anecdote about achievements you’ve had or solutions you’ve found is a great to give your future employer a 360 degree image of who you are.
5. Why do you think you’re the best for the job? Don’t be shy here! Really consider why you might be the perfect candidate for this job. A better way to think about this is: What does the company need right now and why are you the only person who can fulfill it in a very specific way? Go back to their mission statement or even things you’ve read about the company online or heard through word of mouth. Decide how you bring value to this company and their purpose and then don’t be afraid to say it.
6. What’s your greatest weaknesses? This is always a tough one. You don’t want to say the canned answer for your greatest weakness, aka “I’m a perfectionist. I just can’t help but be perfect.” That doesn’t ring true. Instead, talk about a true weakness, but then pivot and speak about how you have overcome that weakness. And use specifics. Maybe you used to be perpetually late, but you’ve found a morning routine that helps you combat getting slowed down in the morning. Use your weaknesses to show how you learn and grow from them.
7. How are you looking to grow? Speaking of growing, have a bigger vision for yourself than just this particular position and bring it to the table. Know where you’d like to be in five years with this company. Don’t just talk about positions to which you’d like to be promoted, but also the bigger reasons you want to grow: perhaps you see yourself growing in leadership and communication or learning new skills you think you can acquire at this job. Always bring it back to why this company and this moment are the perfect fit for you.
8. What management decisions did you disagree with at your last job? This can be a tricky question because you don’t want to sound catty when talking about management or superiors at your last job. You want to make sure you answer this with honesty and a lot of grace and humility. Perhaps point out what you’d do differently, but don’t forget to put it all in context. Make sure you don’t come across sounding like someone who would talk behind your future employer’s back.
9. How do you handle conflict? Think about a time you handled conflict, and, not only resolved the issue, but were able to help everyone around you grow. Employers know that conflict will inevitably arise. Make sure you give a great example of a time you took a conflict at work and brought people together or found a solution. Conflicts, failures or mistakes are all lessons. Tell a piece of your history that exemplifies that.
10. What makes you the right candidate for this job? Be honest and confident in this answer. Take parts of the interview or the research you’ve done on this company and highlight why this company and this position is the perfect fit for you. Demonstrate how you’re excited to learn in the role, but also feel you have tremendous value to bring. Be specific and enthusiastic.
Answering these questions is also a good idea when you’re even just thinking of applying for a job. Search our jobs here and see if you can answer these questions for any positions that pop out at you. Then send us your resume and let’s see if we can find a right fit. You’re closer to that next great job than you think!