selection processes are characterised by the establishment of a dialogue framework in which the organisation obtains all the relevant information about the candidates in just a few minutes .
Because time is short and the consequences of poorly chosen people in charge of a role can be very costly, the professional who tries to know things about us in a job interview will devote all his efforts to asking the key questions so that we show ourselves as we are without being barely aware of it.
If you are reading this article because you are interested in finding work as soon as possible, we recommend that you take a look at these three practical texts with tips for this purpose:
- “Job Interviews: Top 10 Mistakes”
- “The 7 most valued attitudes in a job interview”
- “How to cope with a skills interview: 4 keys to getting the job”
The 10 most common questions asked in a job interview (and how to deal with them)
Beyond the specific characteristics of each organization, some of these key questions are common to many companies and
it is normal to appear at any selection interview . This means that, although the popularity of these questions is due to their usefulness and effectiveness in providing data about the candidates, people interested in a job also have an advantage: the possibility of being prepared when they hear them.
In this article we will focus precisely on these common questions in a job interview and the strategies to offer a good answer, providing all the information that we are expected to give in each case.
1. Could you tell me about yourself?
It’s time to offer
four strokes on oneself . The person in charge of interviewing you will not only be analysing the content of what you say, but also assessing your ability to express yourself and communicate relevant aspects about yourself in the face of a broad question. That is why it is important not to be nervous and to do everything possible to give a well thought out answer.
2. Have you held similar jobs before?
The conversation that will start from this question will be interspersed with comments about your CV, so try to be clear about which of your previous work experiences demanded from you skills or attitudes that you think will also be tested in the job you are applying for.
3. Do you know this organization?
Certainly, if the truth is that you don’t know anything about the company or organization you want to join, there is little you can do to get out of this question. However, if you have spent some time learning about the basic features of the site you want to start working for,
recalls that it is not enough to answer in the affirmative and list the aspects you remember about the site . Ideally, you should take the opportunity to express your interest in the organisation. For example, you can briefly comment on why you were looking for information or what you knew about the site before you considered entering the selection process.
4. What are you looking for in this job?
This is one of those questions where there is no good answer, so the best thing you can do is to anticipate the appearance of this topic in the job interview and rehearse the answer a little, which should be as clear as possible. Most companies are looking to know, among other things,
in what degree are you interested in monetary retribution and the achievement of objectives to know if you adapt well to the position you are opting for . On the latter will depend whether or not you are a source of conflict at work or experience burnout.
Incidentally, remember that emphasizing the importance of salary need not be underestimated in all job interviews, whatever the position. For low-skilled jobs, for example, it is not uncommon to employ people whose main motivation is salary.
5. What can you give us that other candidates do not?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and also one of the most important. You must face it as if you were going to provide a
brief headline about your experience or skills . The correct answer is one that talks about you in a practical sense, rather than in a personal or philosophical sense.
6. What are your salary expectations?
When the time comes for this question to be asked (which will happen unless the price is already fixed a priori),
it is best to limit yourself to answering plainly and unambiguously , as the opposite can be interpreted as a way of hiding your intentions.
7. Where do you see yourself in the future?
When asking this question, the person in charge of conducting the interview
aims to find out about your motivations and expectations for promotion or change of job . Be careful: it would be much better if you were ambitious, but within certain reasonable limits. Ideally, you should remain in the middle between conformity and overconfidence when it comes to evaluating your professional future.
8. What is your main strength?
The right thing to do is to respond with
a fortress that is very clearly related to the job and, if you can, you should give some examples to illustrate it. If you are applying for a position as an accountant, it is logical to emphasize your efficiency or reliability. If you are being interviewed for an advertising creative position, innovation, dynamism and creativity should be your main assets.
9. What are your main weaknesses?
It is common for the person interviewing you to ask you to list
three or four characteristics of yours that can be seen as weaknesses . The best thing you can do is to talk about these “weaknesses” by also commenting on what you can do to make them not a problem, or you can even say why you think this weakness has a positive aspect. For example:
- I’m young and don’t have much experience, but I think that can be positive in those tasks that require creativity and new points of view because I’m not used to a few ways of working.
- I don’t like talking on the phone too much, but in my previous job I lost my fear of it and now I’m doing well.
10. Do you have any questions?
At the end of an interview it is usual to leave a space for candidates to ask questions. At this point you can (in fact,
you should ) demonstrate your interest in the organization and the position , while at the same time obtaining relevant information to find out if you are interested in the position. At the same time, the recruiter will know more about you through the questions you ask and the areas in which you are interested.