Having an impressive resume is your ticket to get an interview, and an interview is your ticket to get the job. How you answer your client/hiring manager in the process lies the success of getting hired. While you are preparing for the job interview, you might have a lot of possible questions in mind. And, by preparing possible answers to these questions, you will have greater chances to nail the interview and land the job you’ve wanted.
Here are the common interview questions and how to answer them.
- Tell me about yourself
This is usually the basic interview question that the client always asks first. When the client asks this, the client doesn’t ask for your personal life choices but, the client is asking about your work history and experiences. So basically, you are going to start with your previous professional job which is relevant to the position that you are applying for. Indicate the name of the company, position, years of service, responsibilities, and your achievements.
I am (name), I started off my freelancing career as a Social Media Manager for two years at ABC company. I am responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring the company’s Social Media strategy in order to increase brand awareness, improve marketing efforts and increase sales. During those years, I was able to create solid content which generates leads and increases sales by 50%.
- What are your key strengths?
When the client asks this interview question, take a look at first at the job description or responsibilities that the client is looking into. Ensure your strengths support the job description and set you apart as a candidate. Take your explanation from there so you can give a clear and concise answer. For example, if the client is looking for someone who can work with a team, start from there then provide record or evidence of your past experiences to give them a clear understanding.
I’m very collaborative and have always preferred to work in groups. In the project teams I’ve directed, members work with a variety of people and are motivated by diverse creative tasks. Since I began managing my current team, I’ve increased productivity by 15 percent and retention by 25 percent over three years.”
- What are your weaknesses?
Establishing an honest yet thoughtful perspective about yourself is what the client wants to assess when he is asking about your weaknesses. When you deal with this interview question, you still have to go through the job description and don’t cite weaknesses that are related to any required skills or qualifications. Just cite those relatively minor and fixable weaknesses. After stating your weakness, try to cite what solutions you can make to overcome them.
I think I have to improve on my delegation skills. I am too concerned about doing things perfectly right so I had this mindset that “If you do want to do things right, do it yourself” As a result, I accomplished a little and ended up stressing out myself trying to do things on my own. So, I attended several training on management skills and it opened my eyes to the reality that I have not done it right. I tried a different approach such as implementing weekly meetings to ask for updates which have to lead to greater efficiency and effective communication on both sides.
- How do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now?
One of the reasons why the client asks this interview question is they want to make sure if you actually want to be there in the long term. This question doesn’t require a very specific answer like you want to become a manager or rank your way up, becoming a CEO or working for yourself. They might think of it as a red flag and not consider you further in the process. Just keep your answer fairly general and stress your interest to be working long-term for the company.
In 3-5 years from now, I see myself as a true expert that has mastered my role as (job title). I immerse myself in trying to become the best version of myself and take part in the vision of the company. I want to make a great contribution not only in my department but I want to be able to extend my expertise and learnings to others in whatever possible way I can. I will do my very best to create a big contribution to your company.
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
Your greatest accomplishment has to highlight the big contribution to the company. What are you most proud of? What are your biggest ‘wins’ in the company? If you don’t have enough experience yet, pick an accomplishment that shows you have the qualities that the company puts value in and that are desirable for the position you’re interviewing for.
Just 3 months after being hired as a social media manager, I was able to grow the audience and leads by 50%. I develop relevant topics which generate more engagement on the site and turn the potential customers to clients. Thus, the sales of the company double compared to the previous months.
- Why should we hire you?
When you are asked for this question during the interview, the client wants to know 3 things: Do you have the skills to do the job? How is your attitude towards the job? Why do they give you the job? To answer this, give them concrete reason and evidence that you are a perfect fit for the position. First, read the job description and stress out the skills that the company really needs. Second, tell them the story about your work history and your job responsibility. Third, what makes you different from the rest. So despite not having enough experience in the field, you can still nail your interview depending on how you deliver it.
Based on your job description, I have noticed that you are looking for a skilled virtual assistant with good organizational and communication skills and can handle work under pressure. With the years of experience, I had as an executive assistant, I had already acquired enough skills necessary to handle the tasks of your company. I made travel arrangements, prepared and sent out email newsletters and collated prepared proposal materials. If the company requires me to undergo training for a certain project just to learn more, I would willingly attend to it excellently for personal growth and for the growth of the company as well.
Still, how you nail your interview depends not only on your responses but on how to confidently answer them. When you think you’ve done your best effort during an interview process, keep your faith that God will answer your prayer and eventually, you will land the job.