Interview Questions: What Employers Should Want From Them and What Job Seekers Should Give (Part III)

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Over the past few days, we’ve discussed the top most common interview questions, their purpose for employers/interviewers, and what they mean for job seekers during and after an interview.

As we’ve mentioned throughout this series, it is essential to have an understanding of what these top interview questions entail. As an employer, that means maximizing the amount of crucial information needed to make an educated decision in regards to a candidate, and for job seekers, it means ensuring you are able to answer these questions honestly while still maintaining your credibility so that you can get hired.

In our last post, we gave you the fourth and third most common interview questions, so now it’s time to wrap up our series with the top two most common interview questions taken from Glassdoor.

Take a look below:

2. What are your weaknesses? (Alternatively: What are your weaknesses, how do you intend to fix them, and how have you conquered your past weaknesses?)

Employers: Asking about a candidates weaknesses is a great way to gauge their self-awareness. As an employer. you want people who are looking to continually improve themselves. Look for candidates who highlight their weaknesses as well as indicate an attempt at how they plan to fix them–a great sign that they take initiative. 

Job Seekers: Talking about your weakness can be tricky. While you don’t want to be completely self-deprecating, you also don’t want to come off as arrogant either. First, things first, know your weakness –nothing’s worse than saying “I don’t know.”

Stick to specifics and always provide detailed responses, such as a back-story to your past weaknesses and a back-story to how you’ve fixed them. Also, avoid giving examples of weaknesses that you believe to be strengths, as it may come off like you are avoiding the question (e.g. “I work too hard,” or “I am a perfectionist).

1. What are your strengths? 

Employers: Whether you ask this question early on or towards the end of the interview, take note of the consistency in their responses throughout.

What strengths they choose to concentrate on throughout the interview can also help you judge what qualities and characteristics they value most in themselves and others, which in turn helps you figure out if they are a good cultural fit. 

Job Seekers: The key to answering this question is specifics. Every strength that you discuss needs have a specific example to highlight. Show that it specifically relates to company’s culture and position you are applying for, and how it distinguishes you from the other candidates applying for the job.

Well, that wraps up our series on the top most common interview questions. Job seekers and employers, which questions do you look most forward to in an interview? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Interview Questions: What Employers Should Want From Them and What Job Seekers Should Give (Part II)

Interview Questions--What Employers Should Want From Them and What Job Seekers Should Give (Part II)

In yesterday’s post, we started talking about the most common interview questions.

As we mentioned then, these questions are meant to help employers make an educated decision in regards to hiring a potential candidate. Yesterday, we gave you the fifth most common interview question according to Glassdoor: “Why do you want to leave your current company?” For today, we are going to give you the fourth and third of our countdown. Take a look below:

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? (Alternatively: What are your short and long term goals?)

Employers: This is a great way to gauge where the candidate currently stands in their professional career and personal life. Look for a response that is detailed and shows initiative, strong planning/organization skills, and good work/life balance. These types of questions should also help you figure out how long they plan to stay with your company, should you hire them. 

Job Seekers: Before you step into any interview, you need to have a good idea of what your career and personal goals are. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is “I’m not quite sure,” or see you struggle to come up with a response, as it shows poor planning and lack of big-picture thinking. Also, stick to concrete and well-defined goals that are in your foreseeable future; the more realistic the goal, the better the outcome.

3. Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]? (Alternatively: Why have you applied for this particular job?)

Employers: Now is the time to really see how serious the candidate is about applying for the job. First, their response should show that they’ve done their homework about the company and the position–an indicator that they’re detail oriented–and two, it should give you idea of how well they’ll fit into the company culture. It’s a good sign if they can point out the qualities that make your company stand out, and its mission/goals.

Job Seekers: The key to successfully answering this question is taking your qualities, skills, and characteristics and relating them to the company’s culture and goals. Stick to specifics about how your personality and professional experience can directly enhance the company or the position you are applying. What you want to avoid though is over embellishing your credentials, because if you get hired and can’t deliver the “goods,” then the odds will be stacked up against you.

Job seekers: How would you answer these questions? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

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Interview Questions: What Employers Should Want From Them and What Job Seekers Should Give (Part I)

Interview Questions: What Employers Should Want From Them and What Job Seekers Should Give (Part I)

Whether you’re an employer or job seeker, you are probably no stranger to the various lists of top interview questions that pop up around the Internet.

Sometimes, however, even though we know what these questions are, we’re not entirely sure what exactly we are supposed to get out them.

As an employer, interviewing should mean maximizing the amount of crucial information needed to make an educated decision on whether or not you should hire a candidate. For job seekers, the process means ensuring that you are able to answer these questions honestly in order to get hired, while still maintaining your credibility.

Throughout this series, we’re going to break down the five most common interview questions according to Glassdoor, and giving you the employers’ perspective, as well as the job seekers’ perspective. Take a look below for the first question:

5. Why do you want to leave your current company? (Alternatively: What do you like/dislike about your current job/employer?)

Employers: For a question like this, you are looking for the motivating factors behind the candidate’s decision to apply for a position in your company. More often than not, this is a great way to gauge their character and see if they are suited for your company. Most importantly, you want look for a response that indicates that they desire to enhance your company, whether that means they’re go-getters, leaders, or looking for a challenge.

Job Seekers: The key is to be honest without being too frank with the interviewer. Avoid being too negative in your response, such as bad mouthing your former employer, as it may give the interviewer a bad impression. Instead, stick to discussing the positive changes to your career as you move forward from your current job, whether that has do with challenging yourself, a change in environment, newer/better experiences, more responsibility, etc.

Check back over the next few days as we go through the other most common interview questions.

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3 Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself In an Interview

Interviewing may seem like a no-brainer–you simply ask whatever comes to mind as the most relevant question to the position or your company.

But in reality, interviewing is much more than going off the cuff or worse, reading off of a list of generic interview questions. Interviewing requires you to keep up to date with the values and needs of the employees you are looking for, as not doing so can result in a bad hire, which can cause a lot of trouble for you and your company.

So to get you thinking about updating your interview questions, here are 3 questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to the interviewing process:

1. When was the last time you updated your interview questions?

First things first, if you aren’t asking yourself this question regularly, then you ought to start doing so.

Sure, some interview questions are classics, such as “What do you know about our company so far?,” or “What questions do you have for me?” But beyond that, your interview questions should be updated frequently. If you’re still looking at that word document for Gen X’s from Windows 95 or before, then it’s probably time you start considering questions for recruiting Millenials, or even the up and coming Generation Z.

2. Are you asking about social media and technology?

If your company is now heavily relying on technology or has the made the jump into social media, your interview questions should reflect that. Consider asking questions like:

You may even want to consider preparing yourself to answer a few of the interviewee’s questions about social media.

3. Are you asking for specifics?

Asking about specifics is certainly not new. But as your questions begin to get outdated, they also are likely becoming more generic as your company evolves.

Here’s what you can do:

Asking yourself these questions can do a lot to make sure that you are getting the right people and the best talent around. If you have any questions or comments, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’re always happy to hear from you!