Ahhh it’s interview day. YOUR day. Your time to shine. Two things you have to watch out for are a) Don’t get caught out by a tricky little interview answer that you forgot to plan for and b) Don’t forget to jot down 3 – 4 tailored questions that will help make your final decisions, should an opportunity to work for the company arise!
Use this genYOU guide to help you get set for the big day and remember – no matter what happens – all experiences are learning opportunities!
Here are SOME questions you should come prepared to answer (and tips on what to cover) –
1 // Tell me what you understand about our company and the role.
When answering this question the interviewer wants to hear more than a regurgitation of their “About Us” section on their website. You’ll want to show them that you understand the company’s position in the industry they work in, one or two of their main business objectives and how the role they are advertising fits within their business structure.
This might sound too in-depth but it’s pretty basic, and you’ll need to have a pretty solid understanding of these things before taken on any new role in a business.
2 // Why do you want this job?
Did you do your homework? You should already know the answer to this! Applicants who want to be hired by the company interviewing them will be passionate about the role and the business.
> Identify key factors that make the role a great fit for you (your skills + experience alignment)
> Identify the position and how it connects with your career trajectory
> Identify why working for the company excites you (i.e. current or past projects they’ve worked on)
3 // Can you give me 3 of your strengths and 3 of your weaknesses?
Ahhh an age-old favourite that has stood the test of time. It’s a basic one that most people fail to prepare for because they are too busy focussing on complex questions (that sometimes aren’t even asked). When answering this question you should be:
> Accurate (your best professional qualities and your weakest skills, avoid buzzwords)
> Specific (how do your strengths line up with the position, what tactics will you have in place to outweigh your weaknesses in this position)
> Give examples of when you used one of your strengths in a professional setting
4 // Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
When answering this question you should be honest and specific about your future goals … but bear in mind that your interviewer will want to know:
> That you’ve set realistic expectations for your career
> You have goals
> The position that they are advertising aligns with your goals and your career trajectory
5 // Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
This is a behavioural question i.e. anyone can seem nice in an interview is generally a low-reactive environment … a workplace can be considered a high-reactive environment (lots of emotional intelligence needed here folks).
You’ll want to detail how you handled a situation professional and productively, ideally closing with a logical ending (how you came to a resolution or compromise).
Ps. It’s okay if you haven’t worked in a ‘professional environment’ before. Your part-time or casual job, volunteer or intern position are all classified as ‘work’.