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Ask These Questions At The End Of Your Interview To Land The Job

Ever feel at the end of an interview you’ve got NOTHING left to ask because the hiring manager just killed it and covered everything you had wanted to know? Well there are a couple questions that are super versatile and you should able to use them during any interview, not matter the industry or level.

1. How did you end up at this company?

This question lets the interviewer talk about themselves for a bit. Hearing about their history can help you get to common ground and help them remember you. People like talking about themselves and rarely get to, so let them talk your ear off and it might pay off.

2. What’s the culture like here?

Getting the answer to this question helps you learn if this company is your best fit. Maybe they really value working out and have a gym in the building. Or maybe they volunteer together as a team outside of work. These are factors that wouldn’t be included on the job description but could hinder your work life if you don’t love these types of activities.

3. What is your favorite thing about working here?

Maybe you’ll learn something you had no idea about before. The answer to this question should get you excited about the company. The answer could also tell you something about the other employees. If you don’t blend well with the team, it might not be the right fit.

4. How has your position changed over the time you’ve been here?

More than likely, you won’t be in the same position the entire time you’re at one company. Just like a career, a position can change as time goes on and evolve into something different. Learning what has happened with your future boss’s position can help you see what kind of alterations the company has made within a specific amount of time.

Whether you’re a planner and you figure out which questions to ask beforehand or you are more of an “on-the-spot” person, keep list handy for your next interview!

How You Answer This One Question Could Make or Break Your Job Interview

How You Answer This One Question Could Make Or Break Your Job Interview

“So, tell us about yourself…” This age old simple question can be the most difficult to answer, but it’s also one of the most important during a job interview. This question is asked often during interviews, or even networking events or out of the blue, so it’s important to have a clear career-related elevator pitch.

Breaking your answer into 3 parts will help you craft an organized, comprehensive, and concise response every time.

  1. Who are you?

“Hi, my name is [insert name] and I’m from [hometown].”

Here is where you could throw in any other personal information that you think is important and relevant. Keep it brief and focused. The example names your hometown because it might be something you have in common and never would have known. Finding common ground is key and sharing these small details can really be essential to successfully introducing yourself.

  1. What do you do?

“Currently I am a [position title] at [company] where I [daily activity]. Before this, I worked at [company] where I [daily activity].”

This is the part of the interview where you talk about the past and present. Always start with the present. Briefly explain your position showing that you know what you’re talking about. This makes you credible and shows why you matter within this new position/company. After covering your current life, explain what you were doing previously. If possible, highlight other relevant skills in previous positions. Most importantly in this step, be confident and sell yourself!

  1. Where are you going?

“My hope is to gain more experience in [activity] which is why I’m so excited for this opportunity to talk with you all.”

Similar to how you answer “where do you see yourself in 5 years,” be sure to close your answer by connecting to the company/position you are applying to. Explain why this skill is important to you and how it is something you are passionate about. This can be a skill you had previously and want to get back into, or something new that you’ve never tried before. Either way, it needs to be unique and meaningful to you. Let your personality shine through this last step of the job interview. The organization will notice this passion and thrive on the fact you care.

How To Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?” In A Job Interview

How To Answer "What Is Your Greatest Weakness?" In A Job Interview

“What is your greatest weakness?” is probably the most confusing question asked during a job interview… but it is asked almost every time. To tackle this question, you first need to understand why it is asked and how you should definitely NOT answer.

Why do employers ask it?

  1. This is one of those questions where the interviewer is not, in fact, looking for a specific answer, but rather to see how you go about answering.
  2. Overall, they are trying to take you out of your comfort zone to see if they can get to “the real you.”
  3. They want to see if you can keep your composure without spiraling into a tirade about your issues. Recognizing and answering the question, in any manner asked, will land you the job.

What NOT to answer:

  1. With a joke. Making a joke would indicate you are so uncomfortable with the question that you are trying to derail the conversation by using humor.
  2. With a weakness from your personal life. This isn’t a therapy session, so telling an interviewer about your personal life issues is the worst possible answer. Additionally, any answer that isn’t related to you professionally tells interviewers you can’t separate personal issues from the workplace.
  3. With a question. “Well, hey, what is truly is anyone’s greatest weakness?” “What is YOUR greatest weakness?” It is a stalling tactic that will shut the interview down and may come off as just rude.
  4. With a strength you are trying to pass as a weakness. This is the oldest trick in the book and it smells like bologna from a mile away. “Well, I am a perfectionist….”
  5. With a one-liner. “I smoke too much.” “I hate people.” This will either end the interview or they will keep asking until you give them more, and you want to air as few weaknesses as possible.

They may ask you the same thing in different forms, so have unique answers for each.

  1. What is your greatest weakness/What are your greatest weaknesses?
  2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
  3. In what area do you think there is room for improvement?
  4. If I were to call your current/previous employer/manager/team leader, what, if any, would they say are your greatest flaws/issues?
  5. What are things about yourself that you are currently working on/think could use improvement?

How to answer:

  1. First state the weakness(es).
  2. Follow it up with a story. Every weakness should be one that, within a professional setting, you learned from. Please note, this should be different from a strength that you are passing off as a weakness. Saying you are a perfectionist is not a weakness, however, saying that you often question yourself and overthink project outcomes is.
  3. State that you are happy that you are aware of it and know how to handle it.

EXAMPLE:

“Hm, that’s a tough one. I suppose I find that I am often way too much of a people pleaser and therefore hyper-focus on making every party happy instead of using my own best judgment.

About a year ago, we were given a project which had to be completed within a week. At the onset, I spent a full day ping-ponging back and forth from different managers to creative etc, just trying to get everyone on the same page and placate everyone.

Finally, on the morning of the second day, I sat down and looked over what everyone wanted and pulled out what was needed. It was sort of a revelation, and from then on I have really worked to cater to the ‘needs’ firstly and to use my own professional judgment to add in everything else after. Consequently, we delivered on time, making my boss really happy with the results.”

Lists of weaknesses that can be applied with a positive result:

  1. Being overly critical of yourself (NOT a perfectionist)
  2. Wanting to please everyone
  3. Being unfamiliar with all the newest trends or products(software, blogs, social media platforms, etc.)
  4. Inexperience

Finally, like all interview questions, try to tailor your answers to fit whatever company you are applying to. For example, if you are applying to IBM as a software developer, inattention to details is not something you should say. Likewise, the story should be one that relates to the industry of the company you are applying to if you can.

Good luck and feel free to visit our other blogs for more great interview tips!

How To Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” In A Job Interview

How To Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" During A Job Interview

One of the most dreaded parts of an interview is the question, “Tell me a bit about yourself.” Usually, most people are professionally prepared for any other question, yet the vagueness of this question leaves many unsure of what kind of information to give, and how much. As most of us know, this is usually the first thing asked, and it can set the tone of the entire interview. Understanding the reasoning behind the question and using the below tips can enable you to control the outcome of the meeting from the get go.

Why do they ask this anyway?

  1. They want to gauge your confidence in the interview. Not only will this tell them how prepared and equipped you are for this interview and possible position, but it will also show them how you perform “on the spot”.
  2. It enables them to understand what you deem important, and how you structure your answers in relevance to the position. Your answer will show them whether you really grasp what is needed skill wise, time wise, ability wise, and background wise to be a good fit for the position you are applying for.
  3. People skills are key to most positions. Your reaction to this will indicate how well you do in social situations. For jobs where you may deal with clients, customers, or investors, this question is tantamount to the interviewer’s understanding of your social skills.

Before we get into how to answer, you need to know what not to do.

Here are some of the most common mistakes:

  1. DO NOT get very personal; This is not the time to hash out your life story, where you are from how many dogs you have or your marital status. The hiring manager doesn’t care unless your hobbies relate directly to your position or experience. For example, if you are applying for a park ranger then hiking would be something to bring up.
  2. DO NOT become a robot. We all prepare these answers in advance, but a rehearsed list of events or important things about yourself is exactly what they don’t want. “In 2015, I made a robot. And in 2016 I won top Robotics Engineer. Then in 2017, I got a raise…”, that sounds like you memorized a check list.
  3. DO NOT answer it with a question. “A bit about myself?” “What would you like to know?” “Can YOU tell me about yourself?” This answer shows a lack of confidence and unpreparedness, ranking at probably the worst way to respond.
  4. DO NOT run through your resume verbally. They read it. They know all of that already.

Great, then how DO you answer?

  1. Do your research and find out what the company is all about. Then, answer the interview questions based on your research. That means that if you are applying for a job at a software company, you should probably know a lot about software. You want to tell them what about you will make you fit in with their software organization.
  2. Talk directly about the qualifications you have that match their specific job position. This is trickier then it seems as each position is different. Review the job description and answer this question in a way that makes you seem uniquely qualified. For example, if you are applying to become a graphic designer for a modern art museum, simply saying “I have a BA in design” wouldn’t be enough. However, discussing your involvement and love of the modern art scene and how it has been a major influence in your graphic art would be great.
  3. Keep it concise. No one likes a run-on answer which either comes off as bragging or worse, like you are trying to fill in an empty background.
  4. Break it into 3 segments:
    1. General qualifications that make you a great fit.
    2. 1-2 specific experiences that showcase those qualifications.
    3. Your current desires in a position (DO NOT TALK ABOUT SALARY HERE) and your desire to “grow roots”.

While you should most certainly have this prepared before going in, always be prepared for variations of this question. You may also be asked at unexpected times, even be asked before you are sitting down to throw you off. If you have done your research and are comfortable with the preformatted answer you will do great! Don’t let this tricky interview question stump you! Good luck.