Ace Your Job Interview By Preparing

It’s a new year and companies are ready to hire new talent. Companies post new job openings, resumes are sent in, and a few candidates are lucky enough to land an interview.

Now is the time to be excited, right? Or possibly feel nervous, hopeful, and sick to your stomach? You may not know exactly what lies ahead in the interview room, but you certainly can prepare yourself for common interview questions. Below is a list of common interview questions you can expect and tips on how to answer them.

1. Tell me about yourself?

It is unusual to have an interview and not receive this question. Prepare a small statement in advance that briefly touches on your education, any special awards, and a short work history. Emphasize your most current job and the relevant tasks you had in that position. End by tying these skills into the position you are currently applying for. This will show your interviewer that you have something to offer and give you opportunity expand on your skills further into the interview.

2. What are your strengths/weaknesses?

Strengths are generally easier to describe to your interviewer. This is your time to shine. Use examples to describe your strengths. Everyone will come in and declare that they are the greatest communicators/prioritizers/multi-taskers but unless you can specify exactly how you are the greatest then you will not stand out. Play up the skills and qualifications you have that your interviewer is looking for.

Weaknesses can be a little tricky. Use a real weakness; something you are actively working on. Give examples on how you are taking steps to overcome this weakness or learn a new skill. However, make sure your weakness is not something that is a requirement for the job. Although the potential position may help you overcome your weakness, it should more importantly help you expand on the skills you already have.

3. Describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it?

When facing this question, make sure you describe the situation, your actions, and the results. And naturally, use a situation with a positive result. If your challenge was completing a project within a short deadline, describe what actions you took to stay organized, on task, and complete the project on time. Interviewers want to know the results of your actions, so make sure to state how the project met or exceeded expectations.

4. Why do you want this job?

Answering the question with “I want more money” or “I want better benefits” won’t cut it. Show that you are passionate about the position. Describe the opportunities that would be available to you should you land the job. For example, describe what you envision yourself doing with the position and where you want to be down the road. Perhaps it is advancing from an Assistant Account Executive to a Senior Account Executive. Potential employers want to know that you are committed to staying with the position and growing with the company.

It’s hard to face the unknown, and hopefully these tips will help you prepare for your interview. Good luck, and remember to have questions for your interviewers!

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