It is certainly worth spending some time to not only research the position in detail, but prepare confident answers to some of the common questions you might be asked in the interview.
Researching the Company – do your homework
On of the most common mistakes is insufficient research on the company you are interviewing with. Not doing your homework before the interview will make you look like you are not serious and could cost you the job. Sufficient research gives you extra confidence in an interview and an opportunity to really stand out from the other candidates.
You might want to research the following:
- Size of organization
- Brief History of the company
- General information about services & products
- Company ethos or mission statement
- Major competitors
It is also a good idea to ask your recruitment consultant about the position and company in detail before the interview.
Common Interview Questions
Here is a list of common interview questions with a guide on how to prepare your answers.
Tell me a bit about yourself?
As this is usually an opening question and one where you will ultimately give your first impression, it is a key question. Feel free to follow the structure of your resume giving a brief rundown of your highest qualifications and employment history. Be sure to list any relevant achievements you’ve picked up along the way but keep it brief, as the interviewer will ask for more information as required.
What do you feel are your strengths?
Here is a great example of a question where some preparation can really help. It is advised to choose the top 3 attributes that you think will get you the job (based on your research) and expand upon them with examples of how you have put them into practice – computer languages, management skills, or business strategy.
What do you feel are your weaknesses if any?
This is another question where preparation can make all the difference. In this case, you should choose some skills or abilities that you feel need work, but that you have already made positive steps to improve. For example, you might talk about your weakest computer language pointing out how you have spent extra time outside work hours to improve it.
Why did you leave your previous company?
Be prepared to discuss reasons why you left previous jobs, but do so in both an honest and positive way. If you left for a better opportunity or if you left involuntarily, you need to present this in the best positive light.
Why are you the right person for this position? What sets you apart from the other candidates?
You should refer back to the job description in order to tailor this answer to what they are looking for. Your answer might describe your unique characteristics or strong technical skills related to the position and should be backed up with specific examples of actual achievements from your employment history.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
This question provides you an opportunity to show the potential employer that you have ambition and a drive to get where you want to be. So, it is best to talk about your shorter goals as steps towards a longer lifetime career goal. Talk about this current job opportunity in the context of the achieving your ultimate goal making sure to keep it related to the job you are interviewing for.
Why do you want to work here?
In this case, the interviewer will need to see that you have already given this considerable thought. If you are genuine, and have prepared for the interview you should already have lots of information about the company and position to draw from. All you need to do is tie your goals and ambitions to those of the company and illustrate how much you want to work for them.
What are your salary expectations?
The best way to prepare for this is to do your homework on the current job market and the position at hand. What is the market value of someone with your skills? Has the employer provided a guideline salary? Try not to give any specific numbers as this might work against your negotiations further on, but you might mention you are looking for the about the same as what they are offering (if known). Potential employers will understand if you don’t want to discuss this until you are offered the position.