Knowing interview questions in advance can give you an opportunity to prepare your answers.
- There are standard interview questions you’ll likely run into
- Interesting answers aren’t always what they’re looking for
- Preparing in advance means you will likely stumble less over your answer
What Interview Questions Can You Expect?
Often when you’re introduced to the Human Resource consultant who will be interviewing you, you’ll make some general small talk. If you’re asked to tell a bit about yourself, do you answer with your prepared statement if you’re still in the hallway, walking towards the interview? The truth is that the interview has already started so you want to make sure you’re representing yourself professionally from the very beginning.
You can certainly expect, and should be aware that, your interviewer will want to know a bit more about you, will want to know about your work experiences, and will likely ask to hear why you’re leaving your old position. As you are ushered into the room for your interview you are still being observed. This is why you make sure your cell phone is off, you have a pen and notepad along with copies of your resume available, and that your suit or interview-attire is clean, pressed, and appropriate before you even go inside.
What Interview Questions Can You Prepare For?
Tell Me About Yourself
When your Human Resources interviewer or potential employer asks you about yourself, there are a couple of things that are possible. One is that they are just making small talk and don’t really care. But another is that they are really interested in what your answer will convey. Will you talk about your stamp collection? Mention a dispute with a former coworker? Brag about your Bitcoin prowess?
The single most important thing you can do in every instance is to keep things professional. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and get to know your interviewers better. But you should stay away from anything that smacks of talking badly about anyone or anything at your old place of work. After all, if you’re going to be looking in the same industry, it’s important to recognize that the world really is a small place. You don’t ever want to bad mouth anyone you worked with, no matter how unprofessional they may have been. You never know who used to work together and loves them, or who’s related by marriage to someone’s sister in law. It’s a small world, after all.
“Tell Me About Yourself” can be the the question that sets you off on a great interview process, or it can be a real stumbling block. Preparing your answer in advance can put your mind at ease. The answer you develop can also be tailored, should your interviewer ask you the same sort of thing but in a different way.
If you have an elevator pitch, make sure you practice it in advance. If you don’t have one, get one, and practice it. It’s basically the short, perfect answer to the “Tell Me About Yourself” prompt. The interviewer asks and you can calmly, smoothly, launch into your answer. Who you are, what you do best, and something specific that you can bring to your new company and role.
This may mean you have different pitches or answers for different positions you apply to. If you’re looking to be a graphic designer, you would concentrate on that. But it you’re also applying to be a copy writer, what you highlight will be very different. One would present your credentials with words and the other with images, and it’s important to ascertain what your role will be.
Telling about yourself is easiest when you know what you’re going for and what role you want to fill.