Avoiding mainstream Interview Habits
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Interviews can be nerve-racking but here is one way to calm down the nerves. Go into the interview thinking you are going to make this person’s day. The interviewer’s job is to make sure the position gets filled and all you need to do is show them you are a good fit for them. Remember, you are scoping them out as much as they are scoping you out.
In a situation where you can change the flow of the interview from questions and answers to an organic conversation between you and the interviewer, go for it. This will be an added advantage as it will leave a good impression.
But if the situation does not allow you to change the flow of the interview, remember to make it about what the company is looking for. Have your answers relevant to what the company is looking for.
To help you ace your interview, here are tips for the most common interview questions;
1. Tell me about yourself?
Briefly talk about your education and past experiences, your current job or what you are currently doing, and lastly your ambitions (what you want to do). For example, I’m from (place) and I graduated in (year) with a major in (your degree). After college/university, I now work in (company name and position) which I really enjoy doing. However, I have always been fascinated by (job description), and it’s always been a dream of mine to work as a (the role you are applying for).
2. What are your weaknesses?
Remember everyone has weaknesses, what sets us apart is what we do about our weaknesses. Here the interviewer is trying to see how self-aware you are about yourself and how you are productively working on your weaknesses. Subtly throw in your strengths into your answer. For example, “I tend to be detailed and meticulous so sometimes I feel like I take too much time in certain projects but I started to time myself in order to track the work I do”
3. Why should we hire you?
Focus on how you can bring value to the company and the role you applied for or simply make it relevant to the job description. You could also link the mission of the company to your values.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Sometimes, we have no idea where we see ourselves even after 1 year. But we usually have a rough idea of what we want to be in this lifetime. Using your general idea of the career path you want to take, break it down into what you are currently doing to acquire the skills necessary for your career path, show your interest and then highlight your commitment to the company. This will showcase that investing in you will bring the company added value in the long run.
5. What are your salary expectations?
The key point is to be prepared for this question. Some companies mention the pay range on the job ad, others do not. Where the company hasn’t advertised the pay range, look at the market pay of the role based on the level of experience, geographic location, size of the company, and sector. Compare your own experience and education to the minimum requirements of the job description. Some of the sources to research on the market price for different roles are payscale, paylab.com, career point, and glassdoor. This will help you gauge how much range to give when asked this. I would advise using your ideal salary as the start range, that way even if the company settles on the low end of the given range it still falls on your ideal salary.
6. Do you have any questions for me?
This question is one of the toughest ones. During my first interview, I chose to say no which worked against me as the interviewer was left with the impression that I was not that much interested in the role which wasn’t really the case. Since then, I prepare questions to ask the interviewer based on what the company does and I’m going to share 5 of them with you;
- Can you walk me through a typical day in the life of this role?
- What would you say is the culture of (company name)?
- What key accomplishments would you be looking for in the first 100 days?
-Where do you see the company in 5 years?
-What are the challenges I could face within 90 days of this role?
Pick any or you could ask anything that is important to you. P.S remember to allow the conversation to flow more organically.
The more interviews you go through, the more you polish your responses, and what better way than going through mock interviews, right? To get more prepared, join us and get unlimited mock interviews and mentorship.
Written by: Grace Mwarania
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