UPDATED with my first VLOG post - let me know in the comments what you think - the audio will be better moving forward once I get my new microphone...
Great article from CareerBuilder's Matthew Tarpey on how to answer 5 tough interview questions. Ah, yes, the interview questions everyone dreads...
Tell me about yourself? - I love the advice to have that 30-second elevator pitch about you. Do any of you have one at the ready? You know the one - imagine you are in the elevator with your company's CEO - what would you want to tell him / her? It also applies to the interview -what are the most important things about you that you think your potential future employer should know? Make it interesting, memorable and NOT a laundry list. Share your elevator pitches in the comments below, please.
Why should we hire you? - Really good question - you have to show you know the company and their needs with your answer here - this is the best way to differentiate yourself from the other people who just say "Well, because I am really good at being a XYZ employee and I can help your company grow" - this is too general. Have your research done, know as much about the job as you can possibly know and then walk in and answer this question as specifically as possible. "Well your division needs help launching three new products in this area and my background has proven expertise on this and ..." Well, you get the idea.
Why are you leaving your last company? - Please, bite your tongue on this question if you are even thinking of saying it is because your boss is a jerk or you hate your colleagues or anything that is negative! Yes, we know in real life, sometimes people hate their jobs and move on because of that reason but the interview with your perspective new employer is not the place to mention any of that! Save it for your therapist or your friends who act as therapists :). You are leaving because you are ready for a new challenge and a new opportunity or something else positive, please.
What are your salary expectations? - This is tricky, especially for women. We are notoriously bad at negotiating salary (on average - not all women, but for some of us, it is hard to ask for what we think we deserve). I was always taught by my mentors that the first person to mention a number loses but this is not always possible to avoid especially if you are asked point blank what salary you want. Salary is tricky because most people do not have the knowledge of how a company compensates their employees when they walk in to an interview. Be prepared, know your averages for the title and the responsibilities (there are reports you can find online on salaries based on location, title, etc). So know what your number is and when asked to share it, please do so. But have your research done so you can ask for a reasonable salary - do not underpay yourself but just as important do not overvalue the position because then you can lose out on a potential great opportunity.
The case study question - I once had an interview at McKinsey Consulting after I came back from Italy with my MBA and it was a disaster. If you are not prepared for the case study question or just the impossible question (e.g., how many grains of sand are there on a beach), you will not be able to complete this type of interview successfully. You must think on your feet, be able to do math calculations in your head and think outside of the box. Practice, practice, practice. The interest is definitely in HOW you answer and showing confidence, not arrogance. Just try to be unruffled with the question -to think it through and answer logically and creatively is the best advice ever.
Great article. What do you think on the article and my take on it? Share in the comments what your dreaded interview questions are or what your strategies are to answer them. Happy Hunting!
Career Builder How to Answer 5 Tough Interview Questions
Lisa Vento Nielsen