Let’s face it, interviews can be hard. Don’t you wish an employer would give you the list of questions they’re going to ask you before the big day? While we can’t tell you what you’ll be asked, we can share some interview tips we’ve heard from employers.
Sometimes, the most basic question can throw a candidate off. Some common questions include:
- Tell me about yourself. If you get this question, the employer doesn’t want to know your life story. They/them isn’t asking about your dog or how many siblings you have. Rather, they want to know about your experience and whether or not you can do the job at hand. Talk about your work experience, projects you’ve been involved in, your strengths and why you’re a good fit for the position and company.
- Why do you want to work here? Many employers have told us that students can’t answer this question. Make sure your answer is company specific. They don’t want to hear, “Because you’re a big company in Boston.” That doesn’t tell the employer anything about you. Once again, you need to be very targeted in your response. Pull key items from the job description and relate it to your experience. You’ve already done you homework on the company, now you need to connect the dots for the employer.
- Why should I hire you? You got the interview; therefore, the company is already interested in you. Prove to the employers that you have the skills that they are looking for. Show them what sets you apart from all of the other candidates by giving concrete examples.
It’s okay if you don’t know the answer to a question. Ask the employer to repeat the question. Breathe and take a minute to think. Collect your thoughts and then give your answer.
Finally, don’t forget to have two or three questions for the employer! Check out our advice on how to handle asking questions in an interview.
By this description, all of them seem to be the same question: employers asking about your experience relating to the job you applied. But all of the questions could be asked in a single interview, so am I supposed to reiterate the same thing three times? Employers may not like that either, it bores them I think.
Hi there. Thanks for reading our blog! These questions are just a few examples of what an interviewer might ask a candidate, certainly most interviewers ask a number of other questions more specific to the candidate’s experience. These questions focus instead on different aspects of a candidate’s value in broad terms and show the interviewer that the candidate can present themselves as more than just the specific education and experience they have. A candidate should answer these three questions, if they are asked, differently as they are each targeting a slightly different topic.
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