Basic Interview Questions
In order to excel at your job interview, you need to prepare for the basic interview questions you will be asked. The basic interview questions are not time wasters or throw away questions. In order to prepare for the basic interview questions, you need to understand their purpose as well.
- "Where do you see yourself in five years?" If you do not care enough to plan for your career, then why should the company care? Sit down and determine if you want to be a manager in five years, if you plan on taking classes to move up to a higher paying job or if you just want to perform the best you can and maintain the position you are interviewing for. All those answers are valid, so long as you present them as a thought-out plan.
- "Why should I hire you?" Once again, if you are not going to sell the company on hiring you then the company will not be buying. You will get this question. So prepare an answer that highlights the areas of your background that fall in line with being a success for the position you are interviewing for. If there is something about your background that you feel gives you an advantage over other candidates, then mention it. But it needs to be something very special or it could backfire on you and cause the employer to determine that you are arrogant rather than confident.
- "How did you hear about this position?" If you have a due diligence process you use to find the right positions to apply to then lay it out for the hiring manager. If you know someone that works for the company and he thought you would be perfect for the job, then drop that name. If a current employee is willing to put his standing with management on the line for you, then that is a referral that speaks volumes about your abilities. If you just sent out resumes to random companies then, in all honesty, you should not have gone to the interview.
- "What do you know about the job?" This is your chance to show the hiring manager how much research and preparation you put into the interview. Be concise in your answer, but offer detailed information about the way the company does business, how the company compares to the competition and anything you know specifically about the position with that company.
- "How much money are you looking to make?" When this question comes up, and it will, you need to deflect it immediately and avoid giving any numbers. The company already knows your market value and what they are prepared to offer. Giving a high salary estimate will make you look greedy and giving a low one will make it look like you are not familiar with the industry. Tell the hiring manager that you would be more than happy to entertain any offer the company is willing to make. You can negotiate a salary once you have the job.