1. What are your best skills?
Not even a second of hesitation can take place when answering this question. You must be prepared to rattle-off your
top key skill assets one after another with confidence and clarity. After which, continue on with examples of how you have demonstrated some of your skills on the job. And, of course, all the while, your answers should work in sync with what you know to be the company’s core values.
2. What is your major weakness?
Going into the interview, be pre- pared with one or two weaknesses that the employer can easily view as a strength (i.e.: sometimes I bring work home with me do to over the weekends). And, before you answer the question, hesitate for a moment as if to ponder.
3. Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
The ideal answer is one of flexibility. Be honest, but do so without losing sight of how much interaction or lack there of, there is with colleagues at the job you seek. Particularly, if there is a specific job posi- tion you are interviewing for or want.
4. What are your career goals & future plans?
The interviewer wants to know if your plans and the company’s goals are compatible. Be sure to infer that you are ambitious and proactive, but most importantly ANSWER THE QUESTION. If you beat around the bush it will be perceived as confusing, hence, you will be perceived as being unsure of what you want. After you answer the question, talk about your ongoing desire to continually learn, grow and improve upon your value and job performance. Lastly, be as specific as possible about how you plan to act on meeting your goals.
5. Do you have hobbies or play any sports?
The interviewer may be looking for evidence of your job skills outside of your professional experience. For example: a hobby such as chess demonstrates analytical skill; reading, music, and painting exhibit creativity; individual sports show determina- tion and stamina; while, group sport activities indicate you are comfortable working as part of a team.
The interviewer might also be curious as to whether you have a life outside of work. Employees who have creative or athletic out- lets for their stress are often healthier, happier and more productive.
6. What salary are you expecting?
This is a question you must use a great deal of care in answering, because you only get one chance to set the stage on what you cost. The rule of thumb is to defer the question back to the inter- viewer, for example, “I would like to first know what you plan on paying the best candidate?” Let the employer make the first offer.
Incidentally, it is vital that going into the interview you be prepared with what the current salary range is for the position/ profession at hand. Research online, inquire around and peruse job postings to see what comparable positions are paying. Also be aware of the types of benefits, vacation time, etc. you deserve, given your experience and the job level you are seeking.
WHEN THE INTERVIEWER SAYS ...
“That’s all the questions I have for today.”
This is the time to summarize the reasons you would be a value/benefit to the company and to make it clear that you understand the job requirements and responsibilities. Lastly, do not forget to ask what the next step is.
To download the full National Urban League Employment Guide, click here.