Tough Questions, Confident Answers

How many times have you left a job interview, replaying questions you were asked and answers you gave only to come up with a far superior answer after all is said and done? 

Regardless of how prepared you may have felt going into the interview, it’s hard not to second guess yourself while waiting to hear what the outcome will be. We’ve ALL had those moments of thinking, “If only I’d said this instead!”  Alleviate that unprepared feeling (and the horrible anxiety that usually accompanies it!) by checking out some of the questions below, which are pretty standard during the course of any given interview.

1) Where do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Employers want to know that you’re the type of person who has long term goals, not just personally, but professionally as well. 

Best Answer: “Hopefully, I’ll be working with this organization. Hopefully hard work, learning and mastering new skills would put in a good, solid job.”

2) What Do You Consider To Be Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?

No one is perfect. Employers don’t actually expect you to be perfect, but the ideal candidate for any job should be self aware enough to know how to appropriately combat those shortcomings.  

Best Answer: Strengths- “I’m positive, hardworking and like learning new things. I work well with all different types of people and can get along with just about anyone. I’m productive, punctual, a great multitasker and a good listener.”

Weakness- (Try choosing a skill that isn’t mandatory to the position you’re applying for) Say that you aren’t great at public speaking if you’re applying for a more “behind the scenes” position. If applying for a clerical position, feel free to note that math isn’t your strong point.

You could also choose something that you’ve already improved on and note how you did so. “Sometimes I may not remember if someone asked me to complete a task for them, so I got myself into the habit of writing a daily checklist for myself to ensure that all of my daily tasks are completed.” Or perhaps, “My typing skills weren’t the strongest in my last position, so I ended up taking a typing class. It turned out to be more fun than I’d anticipated, I was able to make some great connections and improved my skills!”

3) How Would You Describe Yourself?

Employers want to know exactly who they’re possibly going to be working with. Feel free to be honest, but steer clear of giving too much information.

Best Answer: I believe that I’m a positive, likeable, hard worker. I tend to thrive in a team environment where we all pitch in to complete projects and offer new ideas- you never know what you can learn from someone until you’re working together.”

4) Why Should I Hire You?

Employers and Hiring Managers often appreciate a candidate who they can be blunt with and cut to the chase- after all, time is precious and people in those types of positions often don’t have much of it!

Best Answer: “I’m a hard worker, a thorough employee who pays attention to detail, I have great customer service skills and I’m extremely reliable.”

5) How Do You Work Under Pressure?

Lets be honest- work can often be stressful, and depending on the type of job you are applying for, employers want to know that you’re not going to freak out over being handed a last minute deadline, or cave when the pressure is really on. If you’re not someone who can handle a high stress or high pressure job, then you need to be upfront about that. (Perhaps this is one of the skills that you could improve on!)

Best Answer: If you aren’t the type of person who handles stress well, then its important to be transparent about that. Yes, it may hurt your chances for landing said job, but if you’re not someone who can handle being in that environment, then it isn’t the right fit anyway!

However, if you tend to multitask well and thrive in a high pressure environment, then definitely play up those strengths! ie: “I work well under pressure. I’m not the type of person to get flustered easily, I just try to prioritize effectively and do what I can to ensure I complete tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible.”