Rule number one for interview questions is to be prepared. Lucky for you we are here to help. Here are 5 common interview questions and our guide on how to answer them.
* DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend going into interview questions with canned responses. In our experience it is easy for the interviewer to spot that you are using a canned response. The interviewer wants to learn about you, not understand how well you can memorize interview answers.
This may be the most classic of all interview questions, but people fail to prepare for it.
How to answer: Do not go into your entire personal or professional history. Instead hit the highlights that are applicable to the position you are applying for. Talk about 2-3 specific accomplishments that you want the interviewer to walk away remembering, end your answer talking about how your prior experience makes you well suited for the role. Odds are these will be the talking points they think about later as they review.
The interviewer is looking to see if you took the time to do your research. Most any candidate has the ability to read the companies “about us” page and regurgitate it during the interview, but many candidates simply do not take the time. This is a great way to set yourself apart.
How to answer: Start by giving a sentence or two about the mission of the company to show that you did take the time to research. Follow this up with keywords that are frequent in the about us page copy and end with a statement as to how you are drawn to the approach or solution highlighted.
Another common interview question and another opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.
How to answer: If you found out about the position through a referral or professional contact, name drop. Name dropping should be illegal in almost every place other than an interview. Follow up by sharing how excited you were when your contact told you about the position. If you found the position on a job board like Find.jobs talk about what in the job listing caught your eye and made you think you would be a fit for the role.
Companies want to hire people that are passionate about the job. You should be well prepared for this question as your answer is guaranteed to stand out with the interviewer over most other questions.
How to answer: Out of the gate you need to identify a couple key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., I love sales because I get to find solutions to complex problems…). Follow this up by sharing why you love the company (e.g., I have always been passionate about cyber security, you guys are doing a great job and I want to be part of it).
One of the more intimidating questions, but a great setup for you to sell yourself. This is your opportunity to pitch yourself openly to the hiring manager.
How to answer: Craft an answer that touches three key points: Let the hiring manager know that you can do the work and have the ability to deliver results, you will fit in with the culture and team and lastly that you will be a better hire over the other candidates. Incorporating these points into your answer will leave the hiring manager with answers to her/his most important questions.