It is exciting to get the job interview you always wanted! Regardless of the level of the roles you are applying for, you are often competing against several candidates that could have similar qualifications, so you must take every opportunity to make a positive impression throughout the hiring process. We are sharing below genetic commonly asked questions for various levels, to prepare you properly for an interview - the key is to communicate your eligibility and interest in the position you are applying for.
Could you tell me about yourself?
This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s very important as a first impression. There is no need to give the complete background, but prepare a story or a pitch, one that’s concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Talk a little bit about your current role, a relevant incident that made you keen on the profession you are pursuing and follow up by discussing your education. Then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant including education and academic training; combined with your work experience, make you a great fit for the job. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.
Tell us about our company.
Even though this is a common question for almost all interviews, your answer can outstand other candidates if you could add a pinch of knowledge when answering this question. Do your homework, research the job and their products or services, and any online article they might have. If the company is an IT solution provider: Dive deep into the products they offer to their customers, study and try using the product if it is available. All interviewers would appreciate when candidates take the time to research the product or services from a business standpoint. Study their competitors and compare; gather information about their audience or customers. The most impressive step is to build research with your own expertise, provide feedback about the product—specifically for changes that you’d make.
What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?
Here’s an opening to talk about something that makes you a great fit for this role. Pick a few specific qualities that are relevant to this position you are interviewing for and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. When you discuss weaknesses, look for examples of how you would turn a negative into a positive. Everyone has shortcomings, but interviewers often want to look for candidates who are seeking opportunities to grow.
Have you ever had difficulty working with a Manager?
Pay extra attention when answering this question, you don't want to come across as a difficult employee to work with. Even if your previous manager was not the best, you don't need to say so. Discuss the strengths your past supervisors had and how they helped you succeed, even if they are demanding. Prepare a specific example in which previous managers excelled in this capacity so that you can focus on positive rather than negative interactions in your answer.
How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
Interviewers want to make sure that you won’t have a meltdown when the pressure becomes intense and deadlines are looming. Share an instance when you remained calm under pressure. You could indicate that you’ve started a mindfulness practice or other activities which help you better deal with stress.
Why are you looking for a job? Or, why are you looking for a different job?
Focus on the positives and be specific and transparent. The best way to respond to questions about why you're moving on depends on the reason you are job searching. If you're seeking a better opportunity, it's fine to say so. If you were fired or otherwise terminated, you'll want to be careful when you answer the question. If you were fired, it's better to state the reason and be honest, your previous employer may be able to disclose the reason for your termination during a reference check down the road.
How do you stay organized?
Think of a couple of tools that you normally use to keep yourself organized, make sure you’d be able to handle the workload and share these gauges with your interviewer. Describe a specific system or method you’ve used and try to tie it to the role you’re interviewing for, and explain how it benefited you and your team. Just make sure your answer is succinct and, well, organized.
Let’s talk about your management style.
The best managers are strong but flexible, and that’s exactly what you want to show in your answer. Share a couple of your best managerial moments, when you coached your team, provided honest feedback and the situation where you helped an underperforming teammate to grow. If your role requires very strong leadership and management skills, make sure you do some readings before going into the interview. “The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded” by Michael D. Watkins is a great read.
Tell me about a conflict within your team you faced and how you dealt with it.
This question is important to ace because it helps an interviewer understand how you deal with conflict within your team. Prepare ahead with a specific example to avoid the awkward moment of silence while you try to think of an example. Explain what happened and how you resolved the issue in a professional manner, and try to end the story with a happy note about how you reached a resolution.
What would the first 30 days in this position look like for you?
This question helps an interviewer to understand what you will get done in your first month, to three months in the position–and how you answer it will signal whether or not you're the right manager for the job. Start by mentioning what information you would need to get started and what would help you transition into the new role. Then focus on your best skills and how you would apply those to this position right away. It is important to study the job description carefully before the interview to prepare a 30 days to 60 days plan for the role.
If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to reach out to any of us here at DNA Recruit Partners. Our team is happy to assist you with market insights, learning and development advices, and career consultation.
Book for a free consultation today!