CareerBuilder has recently conducted a survey from which the findings showed Student jobs for graduating college classes of 2013 made up a stronger job market compared to the past years’. For the fresh graduates or students wishing to get into internships, mastering the answers to interview questions for job applications comes very essential. Being prepared for the interview is half the battle. Some of the questions you are likely to face include:
Tell me more about yourself
This question often results in people reciting their resume back to the interviewer. Keep in mind, chances are fairly high your interviewer has read your resume and is trying to determine what makes you tick and what makes you a good choice over other applicants. Briefly touch upon your main hobbies but go above and beyond in this situation- tell them at least 1 goal that you are working toward either short term or long term (other than “getting the position with your company”).
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Regardless of which field you want to get into, whether nursing, engineering or graphic designing, this question will nearly always be posed. Whether you are applying for student jobs, management positions or intermediate positions, inevitably this will come up. This is often one of the questions that people struggle with during an interview for one primary reason: You don’t want to appear too big for your britches. Focus your answer on the role you are interviewing for and try to focus in on how you can achieve a level of success in that particular role. This can be an opportunity to state that you want to make an immediate impact, be a difference maker and be someone they can rely on.
What do you consider your greatest strength?
Many people struggle with this because it tends to put them in a position of blowing their own horn. The best way to deal with this type of question is to focus in on the needs of the company and point out where one strong part of your personality or skills will benefit the company. Have an example to back up any quality feature or personality trait that you state.
What do you consider your greatest weakness?
Another problem question since while we don’t like blowing our own horn, we also are not typically self-deprecating. However, all of us have some weakness. Look at this as an opportunity to address a situation that you could have handled differently. When presenting your weakness make sure you pose it in a manner that shows you are aware of the weakness and mention what steps you are taking to turn it around.
If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they be?
This question is often posed to new graduates or those who are in school. Some interviewers may give you a “word count” and suggest a three or five work description. The words you are looking for should include things like dedicated, team-player and passionate to name a few. Make sure you have a response for this possible question ahead of time.
Do you prefer working independently or in groups?
This question is a catch-22 because you want to portray yourself as a team player but do not want to sound like you are dependent on others to meet your goals. There is nothing wrong with pointing out that you can work equally well in either environment, but you will need to make at least 1 strong point and/or provide an example of why or how you have or can work in either situation.
Why are you the right person for the job?
Keep in mind when you are seeking for lucrative jobs, you are likely to be competing against a group of your peers. Don’t be afraid to highlight some of your strengths (that you gave examples to) to reiterate and remind the interviewer of your best qualities. You want to highlight your commitment to doing the best job you can. The answer to this question could be the difference between getting to the next step and getting a job offer and being summarily dismissed from consideration.
Regardless of whether you are on your first interview or are on one for a brand new career, job searches can be highly competitive. Keep this in mind as you prepare for your interview and be sure you have answers and are ready for the challenging questions you are sure to be asked during an interview.