Practicing For Your First Job Interview

Going through several practice interviews before the real thing will boost your chances of nailing your job interview. That’s because practicing enough will give you the poise to replace stumbling answers and awkward silence with confident responses that interviewers look for in candidates.

Here are some important interview questions to prepare for:

  • Can You Tell Me About Yourself? – You’ll want to give your interviewer some brief information on your background, education, skills, and achievements. Don’t get carried away by giving your complete life story or personal information that’s not to the job. Only provide the interviewer with information that relates to the job or demonstrates your enthusiasm to join the team.
  • Can You Tell Me About Your Work History? – If you have a limited or a non-existent work history, talk about experiences that taught you skills that can be applied to the job you’re interviewing for. This includes any school projects, volunteer work, NS, or internships you participated in.
  • What Are Your Strengths/Weaknesses? – When you speak about your strengths, make sure they are relevant to the skills the company is looking (ex. saying you’re a great networker when applying for a business development job). When talking about your weaknesses, choose something that’s not really negative (ex. saying you get frustrated when you don’t succeed). Expect to give specific examples of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Why Do You Want This Job? – The answer you give should highlight your absolute interest in the company’s products, goals, and success. It should also include how you like a good challenge and you’re excited about the prospect of “growing” with the company. You should NEVER make this answer about salary, benefits, or desperation for a job.
  • What Is the Most Difficult Situation You’ve Been In? – The interviewer is not asking this question just to know what your greatest problem was, but to get an answer on how you dealt with it and ultimately solved it. If you can answer with a problem/solution that’s related to the job, you’ll really nail this question!
  • What Career Goals Do You Have? – Interviewers use this question to gauge whether they’re interviewing a potential long-term employee, or someone who’ll leave after a year. Keep in mind that employers shy away from hiring employees who aren’t “committed” to working for them long-term.
  • What Do You Know About Our Company? – Giving a detailed, but brief answer about the company’s history, products, competition, and challenges is a great way to show your interviewer that you’re serious about working there. And if you can’t find information about the company, tell the interviewer information was limited and eagerly ask to know more about the company.