Your walk is evenly paced, but your palms are sweaty. Your knees are steady, but your heart rate increases. Your exterior is calm, but your mind is racing. You are heading into a job interview, and you know exactly what they will do:
They will ask you questions.
In order to reflect the best responses you can give in the most pertinent interview questions, here we will consider the reasons behind them.
1) Tell me more about yourself?
Intention: To check your communication skill and how you can present yourself.
Here is a chance for your to impress the standard of your expertise. For example, if elaborating about experience working in the field, illustrate with examples and talk about the portfolio of projects that you have run.
Showcase your depth of involvement in one or two of them. Anyone can have the title of Project IC, but the level of expertise and professionalism within your CV is what the interviewers are looking for.
2) What are your weaknesses?
Intention: To test for self-awareness and willingness to learn.
Interviewers throw this question in near the end, usually only if they are serious about hiring you. But don’t take that as a given (not yet!).
What you have to do here is work through a real weakness that you have/had. Examine yourself and tell them about how you are working to make an improvement.
3) Why should I hire you?
Intention: To obtain a sense of your confidence.
It’s imperative for your employers to know how firmly you will stand behind yourself. Because that is always a good indication of how firmly they can expect you to stand behind their firm. Work this angle: confident, but not cocky.
4) What do you expect to be doing five years from now?
Intention: The interviewer is looking for evidence of career goals and ambitions.
Shoot for the skies, but keep your responses within the institution. This is also a test for employee loyalty. If they sense that you are a job jumper, they will be that much less likely to hire you.
5) Why do you want to work for us?
Intention: Interviewers want to know whether the candidate has done background research on the company.
This is your chance to show how much you’ve read up on the department/firm that you are interviewing to work with. Discuss the strengths of the team, opportunities to learn, grow and improve yourself. Employers love employees that are always on an upward learning curve – productivity improvements mean bigger dollars and better value! Also, it could get you a raise (more on that in our upcoming article: Bargaining for Pay).
Your answer are not merely about how articulate you are and how well you respond to questions under pressure. Your answers will show how you think.
Take the time to understand what the interviewer is actually looking for when asking these questions. It will help you craft answers more effectively. Answers that will land you your dream job.