Interview Tips: The 6 Questions You'll Need to Prepare to be Asked in any Job Interview
If you feel like interviews are incredibly stressful and overwhelming, know that you are not alone. These can be highly pressurized situations where you have to pitch yourself to a potential company and prove to them what your actual worth is.
The best way to tackle any interview is to fully prepare for it. Research commonly asked questions. Plan out your answers to be absolutely prepared. Find out what are the most difficult questions that are asked and find out how other people answer.
Practice, practice, practice.
In order to give you that little boost, we took a look at some of the tricker questions that are asked during interviews and how you should answer them. We chatted to some hiring managers about what they consider as good answers and what candidates should avoid completely when answering.
What is Your Biggest Weakness?
Let’s start with the most obvious one. We have all been asked this at some point, and yes, it is meant to take the wind straight out of your sails.
In fact, most hiring managers agree that they ask it to really put you on the spot and see how you deal with highly pressurized situations.
But what this question also does is find out how you can fix a situation. We all have flaws and pitfalls, no-one is immune. So, take some time in considering where you fall short in the workplace?
Do you like working alone? Are team projects the bane of your existence?
This is totally normal, and you can use this as your answer.
Answer example: I have always preferred to work alone and like to work independently. But, after a few years working in my previous position, I found that this was impacting my output. So, I took a conscious effort in working on myself to be able to work with people and have been taking part in teamwork exercises.
Which Part of the Job Sounds Challenging to You?
Let’s face it, hiring managers do want to see how truthful you have been on your application. Many people do exaggerate on their resumes (avoid this as much as possible, please) and they want to try and catch it before investing in a candidate.
Make sure you go over the tasks and responsibilities that are laid out in the job spec carefully and pinpoint where you could use some upskilling, or where you are not totally comfortable.
If they are asking you to use software or a platform that you are not totally comfortable with, mention that, and then go on to tell them how you are remedying the situation.
Answer example: I see that you have asked for InDesign skills, in the job spec. Even though I have some knowledge in it, I am not completely well versed in the programme. I am therefore taking a short course in it, to make sure I am totally competent to meet your expectations.
Tell Me About Your Dream Job
This question is really posed to make sure that you are not sitting at your desk dreaming about another career. Yes, we can all have the daydreams of winning the lotto, or travelling the world, but if your genuine passion is lying somewhere else, you will not be fully invested in the job.
If this is truly the case, ask yourself why you are not pursuing your dream.
But if a career in advertising, let’s say, is your dream, make it clear that this is the field you want to be in.
Answer example: I have always wanted to establish myself as an advertising giant. In a few years I want to start working my way up through the ranks to get to that top position, and I will do anything to reach that level.
What is a Difficult Position That You Have Found Yourself in, and how Did you Handle it?
This is a good test to see how you do under pressure, and if you can admit to facing challenges head on.
Everyone has faced a challenge at work, it's just about how you overcame the challenge that matters. Try and avoid situations where the problem was created by you, it doesn’t really come across too well to demonstrate that you created an issue that you needed to get out of.
Answer example: We found that our direct supervisor was going to be off ill for a few days and we had a really tight deadline to meet for one of our biggest clients. I worked out a plan to delegate all of the elements of the project to the team and, together we worked together to cover the supervisors portions. We all worked overtime and really put in a lot of effort to make the client happy.
What Critical Feedback Do You Most Hear?
This is similar to the what are your greatest weaknesses questions, but potential employers want to see whether you have self-awareness and whether you take in what employers are noting about your work ethic.
Consider your most recent review or meeting with your direct supervisor and pinpoint where they wanted you to make some improvements.
Answer example: I have been told that I take longer on some points in the project that require more detail and thought put into it. My supervisor mentioned that this impacted the deadline, so I pushed myself to work on the project after hours and have been working on streamlining my processes to fastrack them and get them done quicker.
Why Should We Hire You?
You need to know what you will be bringing into the organisation to answer this. What did you do in your previous position that really impacted the company? What value did you add? Did you contribute to bringing a large client on board, or did you increase site traffic with a great campaign.
Having a good insight into the company that you are interviewing for means that you will be able to explain to them how you can bring the same drive into their company.