How to Prepare for Tough Interview Questions
Many of us dread being interviewed. Keeping up a smile and answering what seems to be endless questions trying to demonstrate our technical knowledge can be daunting. You have to be prepared. How do you prepare for difficult questions? First recognize that the most difficult question is the one you didn’t prepare for. Do your research, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and write down every question you expect to be asked. Then practice answering these questions. After that practice some more. Practice until you are comfortable, not robotic. What if she throws you a curve ball? That is bound to happen, now that you are prepared for all of the other tough questions your mind is freed up to concentrate on the monkey wrench hurled your way.
Every interview is unique, and you will have to research what questions you think you’ll be asked. Below are a few sample questions and how to respond.
Tell me about yourself.
This question seems easy enough, it is not an invitation for a verbal biography of every detail of your life since grade school. Your answer should be no longer than a couple of minutes. Start by providing a small amount of personal information. Then shift the focus to your professional background. This shouldn’t sound like you are quoting your resume. Be relaxed and always offer succinct examples to back up your description. Think of this as your personal elevator pitch.
Why is there a gap in your work history?
Remember the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy.”? That goes for interviews too. You have a gap in your work history. Perhaps you were unemployed during a difficult economy, or you took time off to go back to school. Whatever the reason, answer the question honestly, and offer examples of what you did during your time off to improve your skills.
What is your biggest weakness?
You knew we were going to include this question. Here’s the deal. Regardless of what you have heard it is never a good idea to portray a strength as a weakness. There is no hiring manager on the planet who would think this is a good answer, “My greatest weakness is impatience; I am always forging ahead to hit my goals as quickly as possible.”
You should answer this question honestly. Point out a true weakness, how that has affected your career in the past, what you have done to work on it, and how you are dealing with it currently. For example, “I’ve had problems managing scheduling at my current job. I saw that this was causing me to occasionally miss deadlines. I tried out several apps and found that ABC app is a good tool for me. I’m still working on this weakness, I’m glad that I have not missed any critical deadlines in the past quarter.”
Why did you leave your last job?
Often candidates go to an overly simple answer here such as, “I’m looking for opportunities for advancement.” This is an opportunity to give the hiring manager a deeper answer that highlights your accomplishments. A more fitting response might be, “As you can see during my 7 years at XYX Inc. I earned 5 promotions and ultimately managed the Eastern Region. My career goal is to be in an EVP position. XYZ doesn’t have a position like that available. Having reached the highest position available to me, I decided to look elsewhere.”
Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us us today.