Interviewing can be a very daunting task. Many times you are walking into a completely new environment with brand new faces. You have less than an hour to truly express who you are and what you bring to the company. Use this quick guide below to help you ace the most common interview questions.
- Tell me about yourself.
My first reaction to this question has always been to go into my hobbies, where I’m from and other personal information. Instead the interviewer is asking about your professional life. They want to hear your professional background, a few of the greatest achievements in your career and the aspects that you think make you the perfect candidate for the job.
- What is your greatest weakness?
It’s important not to answer this question with any significant drawback that could eliminate you from the running for the job. Avoid saying that you don’t enjoy working on a team, have trouble adapting to change or that you are a slow learner. These qualities are generally desired by all hiring mangers. Instead, answer with a true weakness that won’t affect your performance on the job. If you are applying for the social media manager position, you could for example say that your website coding skills are lackluster but that you are currently enrolled in an online course to grow in that area.
- Why do you want to work here?
In the field of PR, this question is especially important. The interviewer is trying to get an idea of how much you know about the company and also to make sure you aren’t just doing this for the paycheck. Bring up the specific needs that you hope to fulfill for the company. Do your homework before the interview so that you are able to bring up specific events or campaigns from the past and be complimentary of them.
- What can you bring to the table or what makes you unique?
This is your time to shine. It is your opportunity to tell them why you are the most qualified for the position but also to bring up the factors about you that make you diverse. It could be your different point of view, specific skills or outside experiences. Have this answer ready because it could be one the most important questions that you answer. It allows you to set yourself apart from the other candidates and make yourself memorable.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Employers are asking this question wondering if you are likely to stay with the company or if you are a job hopper. It is best to answer this question semi-vaguely unless you do have a very set idea on where you will be. You can say that you hope to be well established in your career and be providing the company with the necessary skills and expertise to succeed. A great follow up question would be to ask where do they see the company in 5 years.
Although interviews can be intimidating, if you prepare enough you will be able to shine. Don’t forget to ask questions! Nearly 75% of Americans do not ask the employer any questions in an interview. The interviewer is trying to find out as much about you in that interview as you should be finding out about the company. Use this time to your advantage to find out if you are the right fit for the company.
Ally Rennoff is a member of the Professional Development Committee.