Often times the hardest questions to articulate a clear answer for are the ones about ourselves during an interview. If you are well-prepared for even the most common interview questions you are one step ahead of the competition.
Here are six questions you must be prepared to answer during your next interview.
- Why Don’t You Tell Me About Yourself?
Approach this question as it relates to the job for which you are applying. “Develop a 30-60 second personal branding statement that touches on your work history, your education, and briefly highlights your accomplishments. Practice this a bit — if you are going for a sales or client facing job, the employer wants to make sure you’re more than just a capable communicator,” writes Patricia Ericson at careerealism.com.
- What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
For this particular question, Ericson recommends providing tangible skills. Don’t waste your time or the employer’s with “I’m a really great team player,” or “I have excellent communication skills.” Instead, specifically describe your talents or skill set. For example: “While I was in a sales internship with ABC Company, I increased sales by 29% in March and had the highest sales in the department five months in a row.”
- Tell Me About Your Weaknesses
If there was a list of most-dreaded interview questions, this one just might sit at numero uno. A good tactic is to talk about a weakness you had and show how it has since worked to your benefit or what efforts you have made to improve. “There was as a time when I was impatient with co-workers who weren’t able to complete their work by the required deadline. I have come to realize that my personal standards and expectations are different from my co-workers and it is no longer an issue for me.” Stay away from personal qualities and stay focus on professional traits.
- Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
If your company downsized and you made it through seven rounds of downsizing and were one of the last to go, mention it. Focus on what you want out of your next job. “After two years, it was time to find a position where I could further hone my skills and continue to grow.”
- What Are You Looking For In Terms of Salary?
How to answer this question depends on where you are at in the interview process. If you are at the first interview you really don’t have a clear picture of what the position entails. You might try, “I don’t have enough information about the job yet; what are your expectations in the first 90 days? 6 months?” Another approach Ericson writes, is to ask if the employer has a range in mind for the position. As a last resort, you may decide to give the employer a broad range based on past salary, bonuses, and other benefits.”
- Why You? What Do You Bring To This Job That No One Else Does?
What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits and formulate an answer as it relates to their job requirements and clearly demonstrate how your expertise is a perfect match for their every need.
Preparation grows confidence. Be prepared before heading into the interview to formulate answers to these questions so you’re not going off the cuff.