This newsletter provides a section that we know will be useful to you in the all-too-important area of career development. It may be tips on resume building, interviewing, job transition, evaluating job offers, or any other topic that we know will bring value to you in your career development and/or job search. As always, we encourage you to forward this to others that you think may find this information useful as well as encourage them to sign up to the NERI newsletter. After all, next to your family, your health and your friends, your career and its progression should be a top priority.
Career Development Article for November
How to Answer Job Interview Questions
Here are eight of the most commonly asked (and basic) interviewing questions. Do yourself and the prospective employer a favor, and give them some thought before the interview occurs.
Why do you want this job?
Why do you want to leave your current job?
What are your personal and professional goals?
What do you like most about your current job?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What do you like least about your current job?
The last question is probably the hardest to answer: What do you like least about your current job?
I've found that rather than pointing out the faults of others (as in, "I can't stand the office politics," or, "My boss is a jerk"), it's best to place the burden on yourself ("I feel I'm ready to exercise a new set of professional muscles," or, "The type of technology I'm interested in isn't available to me now."). By answering in this manner, you'll avoid pointing the finger at someone else, or coming across as a whiner or complainer. It does no good to speak negatively about others.
I suggest you think through the answers to the eight questions above for two reasons.
First, it won't help your chances any to hem and haw over fundamental issues such as these. (The answers you give to these types of questions should be no-brainers.)
And second, the questions will help you evaluate your career choices before spending time and energy on an interview. If you don't feel comfortable with the answers you come up with, maybe the new job isn't right for you.
One way to answer the question might be, "I've held sales positions with three different instrumentation companies over a nine-year period. Where would you like me to start?"
Or, you might simply say, "Let me give you the short version first, and you can tell me where you want to go into more depth. I've had nine years experience in instrumentation product sales with three different companies, and held the titles of district, regional, and national sales manager. What aspect of my background would you like to concentrate on?"
By using this method, you telegraph to the interviewer that your thoughts are well organized, and that you want to understand the intent of the question before you travel too far in a direction neither of you wants to go. After you get the green light, you can spend your interviewing time discussing in detail the things that are important, not whatever happens to pop into your mind.
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