How To Interview
As you probably know by now, landing the job you want is not just about having the perfect resume. A great interview is also key to getting the hiring manager to see that you are the right person for the job. But is there a right or wrong way to answer all those questions interviewers feel they have to ask?
Lifed.com recently posted the top interview questions you are likely to hear, and their tips on some winning answers.
Q- Can you tell me about yourself?
A- This is not the time to tell your life story. Instead, pick out a few key highlights of your education and career which are relevant to the job, and help make it clear that you are the best candidate.
Q- Why should I hire you?
A- Review the job description in detail before your interview so you are prepared for this question. Then, be specific. Point out some of your biggest achievements, as well as skills and experience that could benefit the company should they hire you.
Q- Why did you leave your previous job?
A- Keep it positive! Instead of bemoaning your old job, talk about why you’re excited about this one. For example, if it’s a bigger company, mention the growth opportunities this change could offer you.
Q- Could you explain the gap in your resume?
A- Many people have gaps in their resumes. Be honest – it’s too easy for an employer to do a reference check and find out the truth. Perhaps you were laid off, or took time off for family/personal reasons, but explain that you used the time to re-evaluate your career goals, and find a job that you planned to stay with for a long time.
Q- What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
A- Again, think about the job you’re applying for now. Mention positive aspects of your previous job that will be a part of this new position, and negative aspects that won’t be.
Q- Have you ever worked with a difficult boss?
A- Spin this one into a positive as well. Describe the difficult boss as “challenging,” and discuss something you learned from this experience.
Q- What are 5 words your previous boss would use to describe you?
A- Provide exactly that, don’t ramble! Think about the job description and the adjectives used. Do any of these apply to you? Hopefully they do. If so, use them.
Q- What is your greatest strength? Weakness?
A- Again, think about the job description. Is there a quality needed that you possess? If so, talk about that as your strength, and be sure to provide an example from your work history. And if asked about your weakness, turn it into a positive. For example, if you have limited experience in a particular area, does this company offer training? That could be yet another reason you’re excited about the position.
Q- Where do you see yourself in five years?
A- This question is usually about the hiring manager making sure you aren’t going to take the job, and then leave in a month. So state your desire to stay with this company so you can learn and grow and advance your career.
Q- Can you describe your dream job?
A- This is another question where the hiring manager is looking to see if you are a good fit for the company. So think about the job description and also the company culture when you’re answering this one, and how those correspond to who you are and what you want. If you want to dream big, go ahead, but in this case the hiring manager just wants to be sure that you’ll be happy at the company for more than a few years.
Q- What salary are you looking for?
A- This is a tough one, because you don’t want to undervalue yourself, or price yourself out of the position. If you know how much you need to make, and have to give a number, go ahead with that. But the best answer is to turn it back on the interviewer: “What is the salary budgeted for this position? I’m sure we could negotiate something if I were offered the job.”
Q- What do you know about our company?
A- This is exactly what it sounds like. The interviewer wants to test you! He wants to make sure you did your research – which shows that you are really interested and serious about the position. So do your homework, and give a thorough but concise rundown of what you know.
Q- Why do you want to work here?
A- Another test question to see if you’re serious about this company or just looking for any job you can get. Do your research, and then give some specific reasons you’d be excited to be at this company in particular. Is it one of the top 10 in its field? Is it known for its philanthropic ventures? Find out what interests you in particular and talk about that.
Q- Where else have you applied?
A- The hiring manager will be happy to know that you’re serious about this industry, and aren’t just applying to any job you can get. So mention a few other companies, but don’t go into detail. You want the interviewer to know that you’re serious in your search, and also in your strong interest in this position in particular that you are interviewing for.
Q- Do you have any questions to ask me?
A- Again, show that you’ve done your homework and that you’re interested in this position. Ask questions such as when the company expects o extend an offer for the position. And what the first projects would be for the person who fills this role.
If you are going on an interview, most likely you will be asked some or all of the above questions. You might even be asked some other questions that you did not prepare for. But if you do your research, you will always be prepared. Hospital Dream Jobs is a great place to start. Know as much as you can about the job you are applying for, and the company you are interviewing with. So when you get to the interview, you can be confident that it's what you want, and that your skills and experience make you a great fit.
Do your homework, but most importantly, bring your confidence and passion, and you’ll nail that interview.