If you’ve been searching for a job for a while, going for interviews, but without success, then you should begin to look into what you’re doing wrong at the interview. How you answer interview questions can determine if you get hired or not.
What details do you give to each interview question? How do you present your answers? Are you answering correctly? While it’ll be great to know what questions to expect at an interview, the best you can do is prepare before hand. There are millions of other talented and skilled Nigerians searching for a job like you, and a few of them will be at your next interview venue. So, do a good job at preparing.
We’re here to help, and we’ve compiled 6 common and important interview questions and how to answer them.
1. Tell me a little about yourself?
This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. In answering this question, don’t give your complete employment or personal history. Instead give a pitch—one that’s concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.
2. What do you know about the company?
Any candidate can read and regurgitate the company’s ‘About’ page. So, when interviewers ask this, they aren’t necessarily trying to gauge whether you understand the mission, they want to know whether you care about it. Start with one line that shows you understand the company’s goals, using a couple of key words and phrases from the website, but then go on to make it personal. That is, why you’re drawn to be part of the company’s mission.
3. What are your strengths?
When answering this question, be accurate. Share your true strengths, not those you think the interviewer wants to hear; relevant strengths, those that are most targeted to this particular position; and specific, for example, instead of “people skills,” choose “persuasive communication” or “relationship building”. Then, follow up with an example of how you’ve demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.
4. What are your weaknesses?
Beyond identifying any major red flags, here, the interviewer is really trying to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So, “I can’t meet a deadline” is not an option and neither is “Nothing! I’m perfect!” Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve never been strong at public speaking, but you’ve recently volunteered to your church Sunday school to help you be more comfortable when addressing a crowd.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
When you’re asked this question, ensure you’re honest and specific about your future goals, but note the following: A hiring manager wants to know if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career, if you have ambition and the interview is not the first time you’re considering the question, and if the position aligns with your goals and growth. Your best bet is to think realistically about where this position could take you and answer along those lines.
6. Why are you leaving your current job?
This is a tough one, but one you can be sure you’ll be asked. Ensure you keep things positive—you have nothing to gain by being negative about your past employers. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that you’re eager to take on new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you than your current or last position.