Preparing for your interview - Questions


We've been busy lately doing our Career Builder Series workshops.  The last one we just finished was Interview Preparation.  And if you missed it, don't worry.  We're going to share one of the biggest tips to help you get ready for your interview.  Ready?  Ok - it all comes down to two sets of questions.

First:  You want to anticipate all the questions an employer might ask you.
Second: You also want to prepare really good questions for you to ask the employer.
It's that simple.  But if you find you need some inspiration, we are going to share some of the most popular, as well as some of our favorites with you.

Questions an employer might ask you (and how to answer them):
Q: Tell me about yourself?
A: Keep this simple. Don't focus much on your personal self, but rather a brief overview of where you are currently in your career, note anything of importance in how you got to where you are, and then looking ahead to the future - where you want to take your career and why this role is a good fit.

Q: Why do you want to work here? 
A: This is an important one.  Do not answer with "Because I need a job".  This question hits on the reason you want to be at this company or in this job specifically.  Employers want to know you are really invested in them (and hopefully no other employer.  So make sure you have a great answer to this question.

Q: What makes you a great fit for this job?
A: Before you answer this one, make sure you've done your research.  Research what the company values, what their mission is, what their culture is like, as well as the job requirements and qualifications.  You want to show that not only do you have the skills to do the job, but that you fit in with the company.

Q: Do you have any questions for us?
A: Make sure you come in prepared with a resounding "Yes".  If you don't have any questions at all, it gives the impression that you aren't interested or invested in this job or company.  And remember, this is as much about you interviewing the company to make sure this is the right fit for you.  Which is a great segue into:

Strong questions you should be asking in an interview:
Q: Could you walk me through what a typical day in this role is like?
This starts to dive into the specific insights about this role.  Are there functions of this job you may not like. Are you working fairly autonomously, or with very involved management. 

Q: Can you tell me about the team I'll be working with?
Similar to the above question, this will give you some valuable insights into the people you'll be working with closely, about the culture, the team dynamics and the management style.

Q: Can you show me examples of projects I'd be working on?
Again, this is getting into the nitty gritty of what you'll be doing, and allows you to dig in a few layers below the sugar coating to see if in fact it will be a good fit (before you learn the hard way).

Q: What are the performance expectations and measurements for this role (Over the next 3, 6, 12 months)?
So many people don't inquire about this until they are already in the job.  Just showing up to work and doing what you see as your best, may not align with what the employer wants to see.  You don't want to find yourself at your annual review under performing in the eyes of your boss.

Q: What's your favorite thing about working here?
This will give you really valuable insights into the inner workings of this company's culture.  Make sure to also read between the lines too. You can generally tell when others are enthusiastic about where they work, which many times says more than what they are actually saying.

All of these questions are just the tip of the ice burg.  There are scores of other questions that can and should be asked. The biggest bit of advice we can leave you with is this:
Go in to your interview genuinely curious.  Remind yourself that it is important for you as well to make sure this will be the right fit, so ask whatever questions you need to in order to be able to answer that.  And lastly, treat the interview more like a friendly conversation vs an inquisition, and the ask questions as you go through the discussion.  This will make the entire experience more natural for both you and your interviewer.

Interested in learning more?  Checkout the full workshop online!