The purpose of a job interview is for the employer to get and understanding of your skills, ability to excel in the position, and gauge your potential fit within the company. Companies try to ask questions that will reveal your true colors – most often in the form of some pretty tough interview questions. Here are four common interview questions you should be prepared to be asked, what the employer is trying to find out with them, and tips for answering these tough questions:
1. What skills are you lacking?
What they’re asking: This is basically a rephrasing of the well-known “What are your weaknesses?” Your response indicates your level of self-awareness and, if you do a good job, can also demonstrate that you’re interested in growing as a person.
A good answer: Whatever you do, don’t say that you don’t have one, because you’re either lying or you’re severely overestimating yourself. Avoid stating a weakness and leaving it at that. Instead, share something that you really do struggle with, like meeting deadlines, and make sure you explain the steps you’ve taken to improve.
2. When do you think that you’ll peak in your career?
What they’re asking: Am I going to hire you, spend the money and time to train you, only to have you leave for greener pastures? Or, worse, do you already feel like you’ve achieved all that you can and you’re content to coast.
A good answer: “I don’t think I ever will.” Explain that there’s always something more to learn, or that you’re a driven person and your career is important to you. Make sure that you communicate both your desire to learn and your excitement to do so at the company.
3. Why were you laid off?
What they’re asking: Job candidates that have dealt with lay offs are becoming more and more common. This question is often a round about way of determining if you were let go because of your own actions, or those of the company.
A good answer: Chances are that if you were laid off for actions of the company, you probably don’t know the exact reason why. Be honest about this, and follow up with why you know you were great at your job. Say something like, “I’m not entirely sure. My company let go a great deal of staff, and that’s all I know. I’m confident that I was a great employee however, because…” and then provide reasons why you excelled in your job. If you were laid off due to your own actions, be concise in your response and be respectful of your former employer in your answer.
4. Why should I hire you?
What they’re asking: This one is pretty straight-forward. Why are you a good candidate for this job?
A good answer: Don’t pause. Don’t clear your throat. Don’t say “um.” This is your chance to prove that you’re familiar with the skills required for the position, and that you have the qualifications and past achievements to excel at the job.
Do you want be prepared for even more tricky questions? Or are you looking for assistance in finding your next career opportunity? Contact Contemporary Staffing Solutions and we’ll set you up with a career specialist who can work with you to meet career goals. Call us today!