Thomas Edison once said – “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” If you put the work in, you give yourself a better chance of success. With interviews, putting the work in means preparation.
Being well prepared is the only way to go into an interview situation. Go in without adequate preparation and you’re wasting both your time and the interviewer’s time because, the chances are, someone else will be better prepared and you’ll likely be unsuccessful.
Competition for good jobs is high; so any extra work you put in before the interview could be the difference maker. Here are a few of the most commonly asked interview questions; try to prepare your own natural answers to these kinds of questions. Memorize your answers as best you can, but don’t deliver them like a monologue!
- “Tell me about yourself” – In an interview situation this really means ‘talk to me briefly about who you are from a professional point of view.’ There’s a reason that interviewers pose this at the start of an interview and you need to be prepared. Read our earlier blog post on this exact point…
- “Why do you want to work for us?” - Never answer ‘the money’! Make sure that your passion and excitement for the job comes through. This positive energy can transfer to the interviewer and change the mood in the room.
- “What are your biggest strengths?” - Make sure your answers are relevant to the position and are in a professional context. Don’t just roll off a list of single words, because you’ll probably be asked to justify your answers with examples.
- “Tell me about a time when…” – Be relevant and engaging. For example, “Tell me about a time when you displayed initiative…’ Answer honestly with how you once had to deal with a difficult patient or family member, or how you had to respond to an emergency situation.
- “What do you know about our company?” – This is why research and preparation needs to be company specific. Don’t recite employee numbers or locations; the interviewer probably knows that stuff. Talk about the company ethos, the type of work they do – demonstrate why your skills are a good fit and that you have done some reading.
- “Tell me about your experience.” – If you’re entering a new career, you’ll probably need to fall back on your externship and Carrington experience. Refer to any voluntary work you’ve also done in the field, and how you’re excited to build on that experience. You are likely interviewing for an entry-level position, so don’t be fazed by this question.
- “What questions do you have for me?” - The best job interviews aren’t interrogations, they’re conversations. Consider asking why the position is open? How will success be measured? Do you have reservations about my fit for the role? (This will give you the chance to tackle any doubts while still in the room). Also ask when they expect to make a hiring decision?
Remember that the same question can be asked in a variety of ways; if you have prepared well enough you should be able to mold your answers to the exact question asked, and that can significantly improve your performance when you’re sitting in the hot seat.