Never, ever ask about money or benefits in the initial interview. Leave this for later, unless the interviewer brings it up.
- What are the main responsibilities and key objective of the role?
- What would a typical week or day in this position look /feel like?
- Why is the role vacant? Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
- What is the company’s management style?
- What are the prospects for career advancement?
- Would you like names of referees?
- If I receive a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
- What can I tell you about my qualifications and experience?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
- Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
Before the interview ends, there are some questions you might consider asking, if you don’t want to leave control of next steps in the hands of the employer.
If you have decided this is the job for you, you must ask for it .People don’t like to say no to someone who asks directly for something. The worst that can happen is they say “No”, or “we need time to consider “.
- Can you offer me this job?
- Do you want me to come back for interview?
- When may I expect to hear from you?
- Might I ask when would be the latest I can expect to hear from you?
- Can I contact you after that date?
If you don’t feel it went well, or the interviewer has indicated it is unlikely you will be recalled, then ask-
- Given my skills and experience is there any other position you would consider me for?
- Can you think of anyone else who might be interested in hiring me?
We will look at more example interview questions in another lesson. These two questions though, are the ones that most people find extremely difficult to handle.
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
Let’s consider some responses
What is your greatest strength?
I have exceeded my sales target every quarter and have not missed a bonus target since I started with my current employer.
When I’m working on a project, I don’t want just to meet deadlines. I aim to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
My time management skills are excellent and I’m organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve potentially difficult situations.
What is your greatest weakness?
There are a couple of ways of dealing with this. You can
- Mention skills that aren’t critical for the job.
- Talk about skills you have improved on.
- Turn a negative into a positive.
Lets consider each of these tactics.
Skills that aren’t critical for the job
Analyse the key skills and strengths required for the position and then come up with an actual weakness which is not essential for success in that job.
For example if you are applying for a nursing job, you might say that you are not particularly good at conducting group presentations.
In this case it will be critical to emphasise your strength in one to one communication with patients while providing an example of your difficulty with presentations to large groups.
Skills You Have Improved
Discuss skills that you have improved upon during your previous job, so you are showing the interviewer that you can make improvements, when necessary.
You can have an anecdote that illustrates your initial level of functioning and then discuss the steps you have taken to improve this area and then reference your current, improved level of skill.
If you use this strategy do not mention anything that you improved upon that is critical for the job for which you are interviewing. You don’t want your qualifications for the job to be put into question.
Turn a Negative into a PositiveFor example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.