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10 Prep Questions to Help You Nail the Interview

Successful woman with arms up celebratingAs the candidate, it may not feel like hiring managers are trying to fill positions. The recruitment process can be a long winded one comprised of multiple interviews and lots of waiting. Because of this, it is worth doing it right the first go around. Sometimes, that means answering and asking the tough questions. 

Let's be real for a minute. The interview process can be stressful one; even for the most seasoned of professionals. There are so many thoughts racing through your head leading up to the interview. What do I say about myself? What don't I say? How transparent should I be about my strengths? My weaknesses? But, finding the right balance to nail the interview doesn't have to be as complicated as you think. 

Think about it. Every business – from start-up through to established enterprise – has a hiring need. By understanding the challenges of the organization, you are taking the first step to securing your place at XYZ Company. As the interviewee, there is a lot to prepare for, but approaching your interview from the perspective of the interviewer, or hiring manager could give you that edge to stand out from the competition.


10 common interview questions used by hiring managers

By thinking like the interviewer, you'll up your chances of nailing the interview. Here are 10 common interview questions used by hiring managers to source the right employee for the job. 

1. What do you know about the company?

This is one of the most common interview questions and with good reason. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who have really researched the company, and provide information from deep within the website or brochure. If a candidate hasn’t done any research about your company, how serious can they be about the role?

2. What attracted you to the job and the company?

This question will help your interviewer identify whether or not you will be able to produce the kind of results expected. The key is to answer honestly. The perfect candidate will have a well-rounded argument as to why they were attracted to the business and the role. Make sure you are passionate about the job, or it will show. 

3. What can you bring to the business?

It's time to show your interviewer what they’re made of. Suitable candidates will do more than just say why they fit the job description. They will give more than the standard interview answers. Be prepared with specific examples and industry knowledge.  

4. What are your career aspirations?

Employers aren't naive to think their employees will stay with the company forever. It is a good idea to identify your career aspirations and paint the picture for how you'd fit with the company long-term. Suggest long-terms goal that align with the company's vision. 

5. Give an example of a time when you displayed a (job specific) skill

This is the one questions that every interviewee dreads. To start, make sure the example is relevant to your industry. Some commonly used examples are ones that focus on team work, customer service, and working as an individual.

Before the interview, think about examples where you can showcase these skills along with your unique personality. This will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Also, don’t be afraid of failure either. If you can demonstrate how you were able to assess and analyze your mistakes, it shows professionalism and growth.


6. What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

This is the true test of honesty. Employers want to hire a human being. Admitting areas of improvement can go a long way. Consider what strengths you'd want a person in this role to have and demonstrate with examples how you embody these qualifications. Sell yourself, but remember, no one is perfect.


7. How would you solve this (job specific) problem/task?

If it’s good enough for Google, it should be for you. The search engine giant is famous for asking some pretty tough questions, and asking candidates to complete tasks. Depending on the role, be prepared to participate in a group or individual exercise during the interview. 

Keep in mind, it is usually about seeing how you would handle the job you'd ultimately be responsible for carrying out. Stay calm, and remember, if you are struggling in the interview, it might not be the best position for you. 


8. What has been your biggest career accomplishment to date?

This question is used to establish how driven you are. Did you overcome a problem to reach this accomplishment? Or, was it something that came easy to you? Why was it such an accomplishment, what made it matter so much?

Ideal candidates will speak of accomplishments that really meant something to them. The details of the story and task may not be relevant for the company, but it gives the hiring manager insight into how you would fit in with the business.


9. What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your career so far?

This is another valuable question to gauge how well you'd fit in with the company. It’s not necessarily about the lessons learned; more about what you consider to be of value. This kind of question helps the interviewer see what makes the candidate tick.Do they share the same values as the company? Will they fit in with the existing team? Are they a hard worker? Or, is there likely to be a clash of interests that will impact productivity?


10. Why should we give you the job?

Again, this is perhaps the most asked question in interviews. Despite this, it’s the one that loses most people the job.

Hiring managers don’t want to hear that someone is desperate for the job, or the money. You want to come across as being passionate about the career prospects and the company. Ideal candidates should be looking to grow and improve themselves, as well as boost the business.


One last question to pose to your interviewer is, "Do you have any concerns about hiring me?" Yikes! I know, but remember they are looking for the right employee; which is a challenge in itself. Take this moment to address any remaining concerns, and you'll be sure to nail the interview. 


About the Author: This guest post has been supplied by Outcomes UK, a specialist interim management recruitment company. 

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