It’s true- no two interviews are the same. However, it is safe to say that there are some very basic questions that are asked in variation at any job or internship interview. Here are the top 5 questions asked by interviewers, and the most effective ways to answer them.
1. What are your strengths?
This one may sound easy, but saying you’re great at chemistry won’t land you a job as a social media intern. Basically, your strengths should apply to the position that you are well…applying for. If you are applying for a position as a social media specialist and you are good at networking, boom, there you go. Just make sure you have facts to back up your strengths. Have a number for every skill you possess. If you are good at networking, how many followers do you have on twitter, how much social media influence do you have? Give your interviewer something tangible, don’t expect them to take you at your word.
2. What are your weaknesses?
This one is a bit more tricky. Essentially, you have to find a way to turn your weaknesses into strengths in the eyes of your interviewer. So for example, when I applied to a secretarial position, I said that I often get bogged down in details. A secretary’s job is details, so while this may be a weakness in another position, it bodes well for a secretary.
3. What brought you to this point?
In my opinion, this is the most important question an interviewer asks. This is where you sell yourself. Where you tell your story. This is where you practice in front of the mirror. Come up with a compelling story. A cohesive and intriguing tale that pinpoints each of your accomplishments while explaining how exactly you got to this point. So yeah, it matters.
4. What can you bring to this company?
This one is a big deal as well. If you can’t bring anything to a company, then why on earth would they hire you? Have an answer ready for this. And think hard about it. Try and come up with something that the company does not currently have, but needs. For example, if it is an international currency firm and you have spent a lot of time abroad, tell them why that will benefit them. It’s all about what you can do for them and why you are indispensable.
5. What do you like to do?
That’s right, this question actually matters. As companies have evolved, employers have realized that every office has a culture. If you do not fit into that culture it could be a deal breaker. So research the company you are applying to and emphasize your interests that pertain to them. If it’s an environmental conservation agency and you hike, there ya go. This question may seem a little fluffy, but it could actually make or break you.
So again, you may not be asked all of these questions verbatim, but you will be asked some variation of them. These 5 questions are a great way for you to begin thinking about how you want to present yourself in an interview, and most importantly, how to rock it.