Interviews are intimidating for nearly everyone. After all, one mistake could lie between you getting the job.
We go in with our perfectly rehearsed answers to everything we think the interviewer might ask. But of course, we can’t be prepared for everything — and there are some questions that are worse than others.
A survey conducted by recruitment website Totaljobs questioned 6,000 people looking for work. It produced three questions job seekers fear most. Here they are:
1. ‘Why should I hire you?’
This is a hard question to answer, because you’d think that the reasons would have become clear throughout the interview. Career website Monster advises you think of yourself as a product when this question comes up, and try to sell yourself.
This isn’t the time to talk about what you want — like the job. Instead, show what you can do for the company. For example, if the company is looking for someone to take control of a team, show what skills you have to do this effectively.
2. ‘Tell me about yourself’
What a gloriously vague question. Where do you start? Your hobbies? Where you grew up?
Unfortunately, this is often used as an ice-breaker question, so you better be prepared to tackle it straight away. The best thing to do is stay focused, according to Monster, and think about what you want the interview to remember when you leave. Start with your experiences and proven success, then move onto your skills, strengths, and abilities.
Start with your experiences and proven success, then move onto your skills, strengths, and abilities.
3. ‘What is your biggest weakness?’
Everyone hates this one, because there seems to be no good way to answer it. Every interviewer will see right through the cliché answers of “I’m a perfectionist” or “I’m always early!” and, of course, you don’t want to be too honest, like saying you struggle to get up in the morning
According to TargetJobs, this one can actually be a great opportunity to show you’re right for the job. You should really think about some of your shortcomings in the past and put a positive spin on them. For example, although you recognised a problem, you looked to combat it, such as going on a time-management course, or practising your public speaking.
You can also answer with a strength that is disguised as a weakness, but this is hard to do. For example: “I tend to get very passionate about my work, so I get frustrated if others don’t have the same enthusiasm.”
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