Looking for a new position can be challenging, so being prepared for interviews is very important. It is not enough to just have a strong resume anymore as you are competing with many other candidates whose resume are just as strong and therefore you must be well prepared for your interview to truly stand out.
It is no easy task to prepare for interviews, especially not knowing what types of questions the interviewer may ask you. Below are 4 very common questions that interviewers love to ask, the importance behind each question, and how best to address them with your best response:
1) Can you tell me more about yourself?
The goal of this question is to evaluate your communication skills and to gauge if your skills are suitable for the position that they are looking to fill. Interviewers are looking to see what your understanding is about the position and if you can relate any of you past experiences to it. Furthermore, they also want to get to know you from a personal level as well to see if you fit in with the rest of the team and the company culture.
You can prepare yourself with a professional summary that highlights your experience, responsibilities, and accomplishments in each of your roles. Be specific and give examples to demonstrate that you truly understand what is required for the position and is suitable for the job. And research ahead of time to see if you can learn anything about the company, not only to be able to relate to them, but it should be just as important to see if you truly match with them.
2) Why are you looking for a change?
Interviewers want to understand your motivations in looking for a new position, as everyone’s motivations are different. They want to understand the underlying reasons for you to look for a change and what it is that you’re looking for to see if it is something that the company can offer. If what you’re looking for is not something that their company or the position can offer, or the situation that you’re coming from will be the same as what their position offers, it may not be a good move.
It is important to be honest and transparent for interviewers. However, do not be negative and avoid criticizing your current or former employers even if it is a bad experience, working environment, or colleagues that you’re trying to get away from. Focus on what you’d like to find in your new position and employer and how that aligns with your goals.
3) What are your salary expectations?
When companies are looking for a new position, they already have a budget set for the position. While this question may be an uncomfortable question for many people, it is important aspect to see if you are a good fit for the position. Be truthful about your expectations as the goal of the question is to make sure that everyone is making good use of their time. If you’re not within the salary budget for the position, no matter how good of a match you are, it may not work out in the end.
Be honest about your salary expectation and don’t try to fit yourself into a range or offer a salary expectation that you’re not truly happy with. It could be that the company has a range below what you’re looking for, but you impress them so much that they were willing to offer you higher than what they’ve budgeted for. But if you had already told them a lower number just because you’re trying to fit into the range, you would not end up with what you want.
4) Are you actively looking or interviewing for a new position?
In most cases, when people are looking for a new job, it is expected that they are applying to and interviewing for multiple positions at the same time. Interviewers want to know where your interest lies, how interested you are in their company and position, how far in the interview process you are with other companies, and a general understanding of what kind of company and positions you’re looking for.
Being transparent about other interviews you have can have a few advantages. First, it builds trust between you and the interviewer. Second, it gives them a to better understand what you are looking for by hearing what other positions you’re interviewing for. Third, it let’s them know that you are sought after by other companies and that you may have options to choose from. Often, by you sharing this information, it helps speed up the interview process if the company is really interested in you and would like to secure you for their team before any companies does. Also, it can give you leverage when the time comes for negotiating the offer.
As you can see, it is best to answer interview questions honestly, clearly and in detail. It is important to prepare for each interview trying to highlight your skills and experience that would align with the position that you have applied for, and to position yourself knowing the value you bring so that you may stand out from the rest of the candidate pool.
Contact us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you find new opportunities for the next step in your career!