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Traditional Job Interview Questions Part 2

Why Should We Hire You For This Job?

The reason they should hire you is because you're best person for the job because of your skills and competence and also because of the enthusiasm you will bring to the role. You can be assured that 90% of the candidates will start pitching their skills and achievements, but what makes you stand out more is your enthusiasm and passion for the role. When describing your skills and achievements, relate them to the job description and give reasons why you would add value to the business. When pitching yourself, remember the importance of body language. Sit up in your chair and be positive.

Tip: Prepare for the interview by taking the job description and write down the skills you bring to each description and examples of accomplishments and achievements. Having examples ready to go can really help you when answering this question.

Example answer: (applying for a sales position)

"With my 5 years of work experience I have developed, maintained and expanded customer relationships, positioned new products to drive sales growth and developed new marketing strategies to ensure sales targets are exceeded and market share increased. I have expertise in the implementation of account strategies, tactical sales and marketing plans. As you can see my sales records speak for themselves, and in my previous role I was awarded for consistently exceeding sales and profit targets. Most importantly, I am extremely passionate about what I do and have a love for sales."

Do You Work Well Under Pressure?

This is an easy question to answer if you have done your research and prepared for this question. (Tip – telling the employer that you crumble under pressure and burst into tears is not going to help you get the job). Although this is a closed question and can be answered with a one word answer, always provide an example of a time where you worked under pressure and how you rose above the pressure to succeed.

Tip: It may seem obvious, but keep the example work-related. I have interviewed a young man who told me that he kicked the winning goal with only one minute left on the clock. It may have been an example of working well under pressure, but what I was really asking for was a work-related answer.

How Do You Handle Change?

This is a classic interview question that always makes a candidate think! It is incredible the amount of times a candidate will say "I handle change well" before an awkward silence as they try to think about an example. Change is natural part of life and it is about adapting to change that makes you a stronger person. Choosing to embrace change is an opportunity for personal growth.

The best answer is that you embrace change rather than opposing change out of fear or routine. No matter what the job throws at you, you're able to handle it. Provide an example of where you were able to handle change and come out stronger as a result.

Briefly Describe Your Ideal Job?

This is a "curve ball" question. My ideal job would be earning a million dollars a week and only working about 3-4 hours a day. Perhaps my ideal job is playing first base for the New York Yankees. Either way, neither of these answers is right. The right answer to this question is to keep it in line with the characteristics of the job and company you are interviewing with. Concentrate on your strengths and what you best bring to the job. A sample answer would be along the lines of, "My ideal job is where I can utilize my key strengths including X, Y, and Z and as a valued member of the team make a positive and significant contribution."

What Makes You Want To Work Hard?

This is a good question from the interviewer's perspective, but also an easy question to answer if you're prepared. If we were to answer this question in a court room under oath a large percentage of people (myself included) would naturally say material rewards, higher salary, big bonus, perks etc. Luckily we are not in a court room. Focus more on being part of a successful team, adding value to the organisation and the satisfaction you derive from it.

How Would Your Co-Workers Describe You?

This is a time for you to show off the attributes that make you unique and further convince the interviewer that you are the right person for their organization. This question is designed for you to put forward your strengths, but remember there is a difference between pride in how you believe you're perceived and arrogance. Answers such as "My co-workers think I am wonderful" or "They think that I am the greatest thing since sliced bread" do not go down well in interviews. As per every good answer, provide examples of accomplishments you have achieved.

Power Words

Attentive, Direct, Committed, Conscientious, Dynamic, Hard Worker, Persistent, Methodical, Motivated, Objective, Tenacious, Sociable, Reliable, Resourceful, Respectful, Creative, Confident, Trustworthy

What Motivates You?

This is a great interview question and a question that every potential job seeker should ask themselves while preparing for the interview. The right answer is providing a mixture of what motivates you as a person and what motivates you about the job you are applying for. Remember to be specific and tailor your answer to the job you are applying for.

Question: Do you mention money or not?

Typically saying that money or benefits motivates you is not the response a hiring manager is looking for. But as per always, the rules change depending on what industry you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a sales role that offers high commission, being motivated to succeed and earn greater commission is definitely a motivation. Rather than just saying money motivates me (which is not advised), tell the interviewer that you are motivated to sell and succeed and enjoy working in an environment where the more you put in, the more you can gain in return.

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

It goes without saying that everyone wants to make as much money as possible. The best way to answer this question is by researching the market value of the job you are applying for. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to salary expectations because if you are looking for a role that pays 60,000 but the role will only pay 40,000, it won't be long before you begin to lose interest in the role and start searching all over again for a new job. Show the hiring manager that you have thoroughly researched the role and have an understanding of how much the role pays. Many people try to avoid giving the interviewer a straight answer when answering this question as not to "rock the boat".

The Worst Answer is a "Desperate Answer".

Example Question: What are your salary expectations for this job?

Example Answer: "I'm easy – whatever you guys are willing to pay."

A Good Answer is a "Researched Answer"

Example Question: What are your salary expectations for this job?

Example Answer: "From my research, I know that the salary range for this position is between $60,000 and $70,000 – having worked in the industry for 5 years I feel that my value would fit into this range".

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