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7 questions to prepare for job interview

Nowadays a job interview resembles a conversation between two intellectuals trying to outsmart each other. Oh, you’ve brought a CV? Good for you. But that is not enough now. Now you need to meet the ideals of the company, you must demonstrate certain qualities and even skills immediately during your job interview, you have to be smart enough to answer tricky questions and a lot more.

"There is nothing extraordinary when HR managers approach hiring more meticulously," - says Anna Shilova, managing director at UK GROUP consulting company, ex-HR consultant for the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Traffic Isobar, EuroPublicity, International Managers’ club Executive etc. "We employ not a paper with a track record, we employ a person who is going to work in a team, to translate the company's values, to contribute to the realization of its mission and, therefore, it is important to determine whether they share the philosophy and vision of the brand. To understand it we must ask a series of questions, which seem to be personal or even “irrelevant” (as some people declare).

Meanwhile, it is important to understand that these “personal” issues are actually directly relevant to the future work of the applicant, therefore, telling the whole life story from the cradle to sexual partners is not worth it. We ask about personal characteristics and life situations to reveal how you will behave in a particular team, how will you show yourself in specific business sectors, because each activity has its own peculiarities".

Here is some advice on how to answer those “personal” questions from your job interview.

1. "Tell Me About Yourself..."

Remember: no cradles or sexual partners. Not even “I grew up in a little town called…” Try to be work specific and tell the HR manager about your professional experiences. Make sure they will be at least partially related to the new job you are seeking. If you know some details about this company (its social life, events, innovations) you must use it: speak about your own social activity or event marketing skills (if you have any).

2. "What Is Your Greatest Weakness?"

The main trick here is to choose such a “weakness” which can also be a huge advantage. If you’re going to work in an innovation company the best “weakness” will be “too much creativity” (“sometimes I have such ideas which only several people can understand”). If you’re going to work in an event agency – your “weakness” may be“restlessness”. If you’re going to work with finances – “introversion” and “thoroughness”. And so on. HRs have a special term – “zone of proximal development”. It means that you can realise all your next steps concerning self-development during the next several years. A question about weaknesses is a good chance to speak about your future learning and progress. Just don’t say in your job interview that you have no weaknesses. It sounds silly.

3. "What Is Your Greatest Strength?"

Don’t start to enumerate, please! Pick out the most important skill: highlight a strength that is crucial to the position. The job description will help you to find that out. Be ready to illustrate your strength with a brief example or fact. And keep in mind that this question has much in common with another popular question: "What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?" Here you also need to pick an accomplishment that shows you have the qualities that the company puts value in.

4. "Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?"

While answering this question you don’t really have to tell the whole story. Of course, you can’t lie either. But still you must speak not about the situation at your previous company but about yourself: your personal progress, self-development (“I found myself seeking a bigger challenge”). Actually, you can prepare the same answer for two different questions: that one and another popular one – “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”. Just set real goals and don’t be shy to announce them.

5. "Why Should We Hire You?"

This is the most difficult question. You can answer it successfully only if you know exactly why the company is hiring someone for this position. What problem does the new employee have to solve? If you somehow get this information, you just need to show that you are the perfect candidate that can solve those problems. Otherwise try not to be too modest and tell your HR manager any of your success stories.

6. "Why Do You Want To Work For Us?"

That one is the easiest one because there are many “right” answers: you want to become an integral part of the company and grow along with it, or you want to be a part of the “family”, or you want to fulfill the needs of people… Just don’t be too passionate so one could think that you’ll burn out in a couple of months.

7. "Do You Have Any Questions For Me?"

Yes, you do! That’s your chance - a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show your knowledge and passion for the company or organization you are interviewing for. Always have a few questions prepared even if you don’t know much about the company. Just be curious and find out how you can help. And please have one question based around something you found during your company research phase. Yes-yes, company research. You’ve got it right.

Among other useful things like your appearance (business casual will be perfect) or your speech (don’t use negative phrasing too often) this is also very important: you MUST do company research before your job interview. You MUST find out every little detail you can to know what strengths and qualities this specific company is looking for. You MUST do all of this to be specific, to be unique and to become the only one this company needs.