Job Hunting Part 3: The Interview

Hello everyone and happy May 1st!

To celebrate international workers’ day we’re posting the long overdue final part of our job interview special. If you missed them here are the links for the first two parts:

Part 1

Part 2

Now we are ready to start. Scroll down for part 3!

 

The questions

Once you’re sitting down and the (hopefully great) initial impression has been made, now it’s time to answer some questions. We can divide these into 5 categories, depending on their nature:

 

1. Basic interview questions 

In many interviews, the first question you’ll be asked is “Tell me about yourself”. This is a great opportunity to explain who you are and the value you would bring to the company, albeit you don’t start telling them about your memories of day care or your school friends. Talk about your skills and interests, your achievements and your professional projection being humble and honest.

Other basic interview questions are:

  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Where would you like to be in your career in five years from now?
  • What’s your ideal company?
  • What attracted you to this company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you know about this industry?
  • What do you know about our company?

 

2. Behavioural questions

They are designed to learn about your professional life but also to analyse your personality. For example, if asked “What was the last project you headed up? What was the outcome?” the interviewers may be more interested in what image of yourself you’re portraying than in the project itself and if asked “can you describe a time when your work was criticised?” you are being assessed on your self-criticism, on how well you receive others’ opinion and whether you’re able to change your way when things are not going well.

Other behavioural questions are:

  • What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
  • What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
  • If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something you disagreed with, what would you do?
  • What’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years and how did you come to that decision?

 

3. Career development questions

This is the time when you should bring up professional experience and achievements relevant for the position you’re applying for as well as your future projection and ambitions. Some of the questions you may be asked are:

  • What are you looking for in terms of career development?
  • How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
  • What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?
  • If I were to ask your last supervisor about your training approach, your dedication or commitment, what would they say?

 

4. Salary related questions

This is a tricky area, should you be honest about how much you want to earn? Should you ask for a certain amount? Well, the answer depends on the job application and the description of it. If the salary was part of the job advert you already know what you are going to earn and, supposedly, you agree with that number or you wouldn’t be there. On the other hand, if the ad did not mention anything about salary, make sure you do your research and go to the interview with an estimate of how much people in your position earn. You may want to ask for more but you should offer a good reason for it.

Some questions you may be asked in this area are:

  • What salary are you seeking?
  • What’s your salary history?
  • If I were to give the salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?

 

5. Other questions

This is a miscellaneous category where the interviewers will find out additional information in any of the areas they feel thay need to and these are some questions to give you a general idea:

  • How would you describe your working style?
  • What would be your ideal working environment?
  • What do you look for in terms of culture – structured or entrepreneurial?
  • If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?
  • List five words that describe your character
  • What is your greatest fear?
  • What is your biggest regret and why?
  • Tell me one thing about yourself that you wouldn’t want me to know

 

After this, all we can do is go home and wait for that phone call or email giving us the answer. Just remember, not all companies reply and if you do not receive any notification from them in 4 weeks, it is understood that you have not been selected. That’s ok, just keep up the good work and you’ll get there! 😉

 

What’s your opinion of our job hunting special? Have you found it useful? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below!

Have a great May!

 

 

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