Over the past few months, we have received messages from job seekers asking to provide information on how to answer specific interview questions. Since there is quite a bit to cover, I plan to take the next few weeks to write this article.
The job interview is perhaps one of the most stressful situations most would like to bypass, but difficult to avoid. The interviewer’s questions can act as the catalyst for your own fear; and the only way to get over the fear is to prepare.
So let’s start the interview by responding positively towards open ended questions. Here are some questions you can expect to start of an interview and how to answer them.
“What is you greatest weakness?”
This is probably the one of the most difficult questions anybody can face; especially because we hate talking about ourselves. It’s only human nature that we never like to share too much about ourselves, especially if it is negative. If faced with this question, try and avoid a weakness that is directly related to the job. Focus your attention on personal weaknesses that can easily be fixed and you are taking the right steps to want to fix them. For example, “I have a fear of public speaking and usually freeze up in front of a large audience. Since this has been a weakness of mine for quite awhile, I thought I would overcome this weakness by joining toastmasters”.
“What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you to make?”
We are faced with decisions everyday, but be careful about this question….don’t admit too much. Try use key profiles to answer this question: “Its not that I have much difficulty in making decisions, its just that some take more consideration than others depending on the situation and risks involved”. This is a trick question, so be sure that your response takes your boss and colleagues into consideration. For example, “I was planning to get away on vacation, but our department was under pressure, especially with a few people away or sick. By going away I would leave my team and managers in a bind, so I spoke to my family about the situation and decided to postpone the vacation until after the deadline was met”. In this example the individual demonstrated consideration, departmental concern and the company bottom line – This is Big.
“What are your feelings about your last employer?”
Always respond in a positive manner and keep your personal feeling to yourself whatever you may think. Refrain from a long answer to this one. Your answer should be “great” or “very good” then smile and wait for the next question. There is a strong belief by most employers that people who complain about past employers will only cause a problem for the new one as time goes on.
Join me next week for part 2 of answering job interview questions the right way. Until then, best of luck in your job interview.
Information provided by HR Difference.
Our HR team specializes in providing small and medium sized companies with cost-efficient and customized human resources consulting solutions and learning management systems to meet your need and budget. We also provide custom resume writing and telephone job interview coaching for job seekers.