By Shawna Newman, October 9, 2018
When it comes to preparing for a job interview, there’s a lot more to consider than
the right outfit (although we recommend wearing something comfortable that makes you
feel confident). Our Career Services professionals want to give you an interview advantage with this list of 10 questions you’re likely
to be asked in your next interview.
Use this opportunity to highlight things that may not be on your resume. Have you been involved in an organization that has provided you with related experience? Is there a personal passion you feel especially committed to? This question gives you the chance to show your personality AND your skills, so don’t be afraid to show them who you really are!
When answering this question, think about what it is that you can bring to the job role, and what it is that you can do for your new employer. Although it’s important to acknowledge what you are looking to get out of a new job, focusing too much on what you want can be a deterrent for many interviewers.
The most important strategy for this question is to be honest (remember, they will do a reference check!), but also relate your current position to the position you are applying for. Use this opportunity to make a case for how your experience fits the job description of the position you are interviewing for.
The rule of thumb with this question is to not speak poorly of your current employer. Even if you're looking for a new role because you had a fallout with a co-worker, make sure this is not reflected in your answer. You should approach your answer by addressing all the opportunities this new position would give you to exercise your talents and grow your experience.
This is a great time to speak objectively about your strengths, but be careful not to come across as egotistical. Remember, your employer knows that everyone has areas to improve, so claiming that you’re a 10/10 is not the right strategy. Be honest, and back your answers up with examples!
A lot of people think this is a trick question, but it’s one you will be asked in almost every interview at every stage of your career. Approach it from a standpoint of where you would like to improve. For example, is there a software you are learning, or a foreign language you would like to become proficient in? This important thing is to demonstrate that you are willing to learn and develop new skills.
This is a great time to showcase all the research you have done on your potential employer. Think about ways to tie their company vision or values to your own, or reference a recent project of theirs that spoke to you professionally. Use this opportunity to paint a picture of what you would be like as an employee and how you would fit within their organization.
This question gives you the opportunity to discuss what you want your personal career path to look like. However, make sure you also present yourself as a team player. Candidates will too often answer this question by giving an aspirational 5-year plan that shows they do not imagine themselves staying with the employer long-term, and this can be off-putting to a hiring manager. Focus on what you would like to have learned and achieved in five years. For example, “I would like to have published my own research,” or “I imagine myself developing leadership skills and working in a mentorship role over incoming employees.”
This is another great opportunity to show your research and align your experience with the job role. It is also an opportunity to discuss what you imagine achieving if you were offered the position. For example, “I believe I am the best candidate because I have all the skills required, but also because I believe I can grow this role to incorporate additional responsibilities within six months.”
Always come prepared with questions that are relevant to the job, because there is
nothing worse than a candidate who asks no questions at the end. A good approach is
to ask about current initiatives or areas of focus for the department or company.
Show that you are interested in the entire organization, not just in the position
you are applying for.
Our Career Services staff recommends jotting down your responses to each question,
and practicing your reply prior to your interview so your reaction is like second
nature. If you really want to get ahead, set up some practice interviews using Career Services’ state-of-the-art Big Interview software. This free resource
helps job seekers practice interviewing and get feedback, and is just one of the free
features UCM’s Career Services office offers current UCM students and alumni.
Now tidy up that resume, dress to impress and smash that next job interview. Good luck!