The difference between being hired and being rejected is in how you answer those tricky questions we all fear. The interview stage is for you to prove that you’re the best person for the position. Everything you say is a chance to market yourself effectively.
So what are some of the toughest questions to answer? Being aware of them will allow you to rehearse, giving you peace of mind that you’re ready for anything your interviewer throws your way. Here are some questions you should expect and prep for.

1. Tell me about yourself.
This may come across as a friendly ice-breaker, but it’s not the time to recite your whole life story. What the employer is actually interested in is your working style, if you’re right for the organisation and if you’ll fit in with the culture.
Your best response:
Tailor your answers to what you know about the company. If you know the role requires a lot of teamwork, then mention how you thrive when collaborating with others.
This would also be a good point to mention your core skills, your interests, and what you enjoy about the career path you’ve taken.

2. What is your biggest weakness?
Your instinct might be to claim that you’re perfect, but this will make you come across as overconfident and cocky. Be honest about your weaknesses.

Your best response:
Choose a responsibility from the job description you feel you could improve on, and then say what actions you’re currently taking to develop the skill.
Not comfortable with Microsoft Office? Mention that you’ve been researching online courses for the program.
Taking a negative question and creating a positive response demonstrates your ability to plan and improve.

3. Why are you looking to move jobs?
Don’t fall into the trap of bad-mouthing your current employer. This reflects poorly on your professionalism. It will make your interviewer question what you might say about them down the road if you decide to leave.
Your best response:
Keep your answer short and sweet. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your current or last role, talk about what makes you the perfect fit for this position. If you say: “I want more of a challenge,” be prepared to answer their follow-up questions. They might ask you:
• Why didn’t you approach your current employers about not being challenged enough?
• What would a new challenge look like for you at this stage in your career?

4. Why do you want this job?
Ask yourself: Is the salary attractive? Are you interested in the position? Does the culture appeal to you? Are there opportunities for growth? Honesty is the best policy.
Your best response:
Avoid answers like: “Because I would be good at it.” This could come across as defensive and not well thought-out. Incorporate your skill set into your answer, and outline how your experience will help the organization. Don’t be afraid to mention how this job will benefit you – does it give you more responsibility? Does it fit with your career goals? Create an answer that demonstrates how hiring you would be good for you and the business.

5. Do you have any questions?
Your interview isn’t just about you impressing your interviewers, it’s also about if the role and organization is a good fit for you. Take some time to prepare your questions in advance. Identify what would influence your decision to take the job, and ask questions based on that. Here are a few examples:
• What are the team dynamics like?
• What are you like to work for?
• What are the key competencies you’re looking for in an employee?
• Do you have any reservations about my skills or experience?

The interview process doesn’t have to be a scary experience. If you’re prepared to answer the tough questions, you’ll be able to show the employer how you can add value to their organization.

We’ve already shared how you can dress for success, prepped you for different interview styles, and advised you on how to create your best interview responses.

But what else you can do?

In Part 4 of this series, we’ll outline the little touches that will help you stand out from the competition and raise your chances of getting hired.

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