For many, attending a job interview can be a daunting experience. Maintaining a confident demeanour while answering interview questions deftly is never easy, and the questions interviewers ask often have deeper layers of meaning.
To help you ace your job interview, we list down five common questions along with how to answer them smartly.
1) What are your strengths?
What they really mean: Which of your strengths can make a difference to our business?
It is important to link your strengths to what the interviewer is looking for in the ideal candidate. Study the job description and consider which of your qualities, knowledge, and professional skills are most relevant.
From there, it becomes simply a matter of highlighting these strengths. However, remember that empty claims mean nothing. Be sure to back up each of your strengths with a convincing story or work experience.
2) What are your weaknesses?
What they really mean: Do you have any weaknesses that could be a problem?
This is a tricky question. We all have weaknesses and trying to state otherwise could hurt your credibility. Instead, talk about a weakness that you have already conquered.
For example, you might have had a habit of completing tasks without notifying your supervisors. Now, you remind yourself to send them an email once every week to keep them in the loop.
3) Where do you see yourself in five years?
What they really mean: Is this job just a stepping stone for you?
Your answer to this question helps interviewers decipher if you are likely to stay in the job for long or planning to change jobs at the drop of a hat. The best way to answer this question is to mention a more senior position in the company as your goal. This communicates to the interviewer that you plan to dedicate yourself to the company for a longer time.
4) What interests you about this job?
What they really mean: Why did you apply for this job?
Interviewers raise this question to see if you have thought through your job application. They are looking to hear if your reasons are tied in with what they desire in a candidate.
Perhaps, the company is planning to hire a sales manager to expand its business in a new market. You could share that you are eager to leverage your experience and skills to take on the challenge. This demonstrates to the interviewer that you could be the right person to fulfil the requirements of the position.
5) Why did you leave your previous company?
What they really mean: Do you have any attitude problems?
Sometimes, interviewers pose this question to understand if you had been involved in any kind of conflict in your previous job. No matter the reason, never criticise your previous employer as it might reflect negatively on you. Instead, focus on the positive outcomes that you are planning to achieve after leaving your previous job, such as opportunities to further advance your career.
Bring Your ‘A’ Game
With these handy tips, you should be better prepared and equipped to answer questions during your interview. You can then focus on communicating in a confident manner, giving your interviewer the reassurance that you will be able to live up to the expectations of the position.
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