Candidates - Interviewing
Preparing for an interview requires several hours of your time, but is well worth the effort. You should begin with conducting research on the potential employer. Researching the company you are interviewing with is absolutely essential. The more informed you are, the better. This will allow you to focus your answers on issues that specifically impact that organization. This demonstrates that you are a serious candidate who is a good fit for their company.
You should be researching what they do, how they do it, and their financial standing; their expectations of potential employees in terms of skills, education, and previous experience; and finally, what they need that you can offer them.
There are some common interview questions that are almost always asked and you should be ready to give clear, concise answers to them. It is equally important that you ask your own good questions to determine if the company and role, not just the position, are a good fit for you.
Strategies for Common Interview Questions
“Tell me about yourself”
This is an open-ended question many interviewers ask. Depending on their answers, many interviewees may end up talking their way out of a job offer. Start off with one or two strength statements (your Wolftec recruiter will help you create these).
Ask the interviewer what specifically about your background they are interested in. If they don’t give you anything solid to work with, you should revert back to why you and this company would be a good fit, reflecting a few facts you learned from prior research on the firm.
Remember that this should be at maximum, a three-minute description.
If you are not aware of the exact job requirements, start off the interview by asking a question.
“It’s a pleasure to meet with you. Thank you for inviting me. I have admired ABC Company for years. If you don’t mind, I’d really appreciate some background information on what you’re hoping to accomplish in filling this position. That way I can focus on what I’ve done that may help you out.”
Whenever you answer questions, answer them in terms of the position you are applying for, consistently emphasizing what you can do for the company. Your answers should reflect why you would be an asset to the company, not what you think the company can do for you.
Good vs. Bad
The second you are asked to describe the attributes of anyone, anything, or any situation, be sure that you ask yourself, “How many good ones should I mention and then how many bad ones?” Listing more bad ones is the path you want to follow when the interviewer brings up a situation that is unethical or illegal and wants to know what you would do.
When asked about your most recent job or boss, make sure to answer with positive comments. Your answer will indicate how you may speak about the company you are interviewing for and your new boss if you get the job.
Also use this approach when asked how the job you are interviewing for fits your talents and goals, and how you fit the job. The same strategy should be implemented when it comes to balancing the opportunities in contrast to any obvious problems facing the industry and the company that you are interviewing with.
Of course, you will recognize deficits and problems. Before addressing them, make sure you analyze them and are able to give examples of realistic and creative strategies for dealing with them.
Questions to Ask Interviewers
- What might a typical workweek look like?
- How does this project/initiative/department fit into the overall short and long term business objectives?
- Is this a new position, or a replacement?
- (If replacement) Did the person leave or were they let go? Why?
- It’s a year from now. Let say that someone was really successful. What specifically would they have achieved?
- If that did happen, what might happen to that person’s career within (insert company name)?
- What does staff development mean to you?
- How important is staff development to you and the overall organization?
- Do you have a formal staff development programs that are currently being used?
- Do you have a mentoring program in place? Do you feel it has been successful?
- If I had a really good idea that I felt would help our project/initiative, yet was somewhat out of my scope, what would I do to make the suggestion known, and how would it be received internally?
- How would the people that work for you now characterize you? Or, describe your ideal worker?
- Every company has people that don’t fit in, aren’t respected, don’t get promoted. If you think about some of those people here, how would you describe them?
- Do you find that the people within the company/department tend to socialize outside of work?
- Is (insert company name) a very structured or unstructured company? Do you have flexible hours?
Impact on Company
- Can you tell me about someone in the organization who has been highly impactful?
- What would I need to do to exceed everyone’s expectations of what this position is going to be responsible for?