So graduations are approaching and many people are starting to freak out about finding that perfect job to launch them into adulthood. Don’t worry it will take about 3.5 years (half kidding). Unemployment can be a very stressful time because life seems so uncertain, especially when we have envisioned it to turn out a certain way. RELAX. The job search is hard but can be even more stressful if you aren’t prepared. Many people think they can sort of wing it but interviewers can tell when you aren’t genuine or are just making stuff up.
When I started on my journey for jobs I struggled in interviews a lot. I got nervous. I rambled. I forgot to wear deodorant…okay just once but don’t ever forget to do that. I began to research and actually study possible interview questions with answers and it drastically changed how I felt about myself in interviews and eventually landing me right in Las Vegas.
Tell Me About Yourself?
This question is your very first impression and probably counts the most. While this is an opportunity to share the amazing things about you, it isn’t the time to blab about your full-grown dog and hate of the Kardashians. Use this time to BRIEFLY give a history of your experience and what you feel like you can bring to the job. According to The Muse a ‘Present-Past-Future’ formula works great for organization:
“So, first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.”
Where Do You See Yourself In 3-5 Years?
Warning: DON’T say something unrelated to the company. If you are trying to be in public relations don’t say “Oh, probably an actress in a big movie role.” You want your answer to reflect your long term commitment to the company you hope to get hired at. This could go something like:
“In 3-5 years I see myself drastically improving in my field and establishing myself as a public relations professional in Iowa. I also see myself advancing throughout the company where I can eventually become an effective and results-driven leader.”
(Not you, though)
What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
Want to know the biggest mistake on this one? People try to BS the interviewer by giving a fake weakness that’s actually a strength. “Oh, I work really hard and it sometimes interferes with my interaction with others.” BS. BS. B-freaking-S. The company wants to know that you are a real person so it’s completely okay to give a real answer. Just make sure that you express how you will make up for that area and always give an example:
“I believe a weakness of mine is that I have not worked within the entertainment industry in particular, resulting in very few hands on experiences. However, I am a very quick learner and always ready for any professional challenge presented to me. For example, at my last job…”
What Is Your Experience In This Field?
So take a deep breath. You may have all the experience in the world or none at all and that’s okay. Your objective in this game is to show your dedication to learning and growing so remember that when answering this one. Your examples are truly key. So show how your non-related experience can contribute to their company:
“Although I don’t have much professional experience in athletic sports training I have committed to learning the craft through my college courses, extracurricular activities such as Respiratory Training Club, serving as president, and my internship at Methodist Hospital. These experiences taught me leadership and learning very quickly, something that fits with what you are looking for. For example…”
Why Should We Hire You?
Okay so you made it through the interview and you are almost done! When answering this question it is super important to be knowledgeable of the company’s goals and expectations for the position. This will help you illustrated how you will fit in perfectly to the team. And don’t be afraid to say you are the best, just make sure you can back it up with a bomb answer:
“I believe you should hire me because I feel that I am the best candidate for the position. In addition to aligning with your company’s goals of service and giving back to the community, I am driven, have X years of experience in the field and ___(list something they were looking for). For example…” This is your chance to really tell your success story of why you are a leader and a no-brainer for the position.
Feeling better about the interview? I hope so! Remember that examples are KEY so make sure to back up all your answers with a visual picture of your achievements. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions at the end. This shows that you are truly engaged and interested.
So go comb your hair, put on LOTS of deodorant and kill it! You got this.