Interviewing: Common Questions & How to Answer Them | Lindsay Granger | Skillshare

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Interviewing: Common Questions & How to Answer Them

teacher avatar Lindsay Granger, Career Development Expert

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Common Qs

    • 3. Tell me about yourself.

    • 4. Why do you want to work for us?

    • 5. Why are you qualified for this job?

    • 6. What is your greatest weakness?

    • 7. Why should you be hired?

    • 8. Other Important Content Areas: Overview

    • 9. Other Important Content Areas: Part 1

    • 10. Other Important Content Areas: Part 2

    • 11. In closing...

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About This Class

Interviewing is just like any other skill - the more you do it, the better you get! Unfortunately, this usually means prolonging a job search. No one wants to do that! This course is designed to help you prepare for interviews by going over the questions and content areas that are commonly asked. This brief yet useful class (and accompanying workbook) will jumpstart your preparation by guiding you through the creation of strong examples that will help you when it matters most - in an interview! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Lindsay Granger

Career Development Expert


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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Dr Lindsay. Welcome to my course. Common interview questions and how to answer that. As this purposefully obvious title indicates, this course is a deep dive into the content areas that are commonly covered in behavioral interviews. This course is broken down into a bunch of short videos that you can easily jump around to the parts that you really need. Or you can watch it straight through to get an idea of the information that you may be asked about on your next interview. It's really up to you. Be sure to download the workbooks. You can brainstorm your own responses where your project you'll have to turn the notes to one of the common cues into an interview. Worthy response. Got it. Great. Now let's get going. 2. The Common Qs: part one. The common cues over the next few videos. We will do a deep dive into the following questions. Tell me about yourself. Why do you want to work for us? Why are you qualified for this job? What is your greatest weakness? Why should you be hired? Each one will go over. What? The question is actually asking how you should respond and how you can screw it up. My goal is for you to think deeply and come up with great examples they can use in interviews. Be sure to use the workbook for this. 3. Tell me about yourself. : The first question we will dig into is the universal opener. Tell me about yourself. You'll get a version of this question in every interview you ever go on, so it's good to have a strategy for it. This question tends to trip people out because it is so open ended that you could really take it anywhere. But you shouldn't. This strategy for this question is to keep your response in relation to the job you're interviewing for. If you mentally add the phrase in relation to this job to the end of the question, it will help you get into the right mindset to answer it. How to respond. Think about your past in relation to the present. How did you come to interview for that particular job at that particular company? Tell the interviewer about your first experiences with the fielder industry. What piqued your interest? Who influenced you? This question should humanize you, so personal details are not off limits. For example, if you want to be a lawyer because your mom is a lawyer, this is useful information to share, even if you want to be a lawyer because you were inspired about by Elle Woods and legally want sharing that, too, since it's riel. In either case, back it up with examples of how you've done your own information gathering about the field . This shows that your decision to enter at the field is an informed one, which is the entire point of this question. How to screw this out. Unsuccessful respondents tend to fall into two extremes to autobiographical or purely professional. It's OK to have personal details. If you start talking about the dog you had when you were five. Just stop. That's way too much information. On the flip side, it's not enough to give information related to school work. Don't list out everything on your resume because they know your resume instead. Provide personal contacts to your professional experiences and show the interviewer who you really are. 4. Why do you want to work for us?: The second question you'll go over is, Why do you want to work for us? This one is tricky because people tend to be more concerned about the job they're applying to than the company itself. I get it. It's called a job search, not a company search. But you have to consider the company because that swine determine how and the conditions under which your job is done. All companies have different cultures, values, professional development opportunities and priorities. It's up to you to know how the one you're interviewing for operates. Interviewers want to know why you think you are a good overall fit. To successfully answer this question, you need to one be able to articulate the unique aspects of the company that set them apart from their competitors and to show that you fit with the way they operate. Highlight the places where your skills and experiences would contribute to what they already do or what they're working on. How just threw this out? One. You don't have an answer. Please always have an answer to this question. To you give a very vague answer that makes it clear that you didn't do your research or you highlight assets of the company that have nothing to do with the position you're interviewing. For all of these responses show a lack of preparedness for the interview and a general disregard for the position and company as a whole. Applicants who display these characteristics are highly unlikely to get an offer. 5. Why are you qualified for this job?: the third question will go into is Why are you qualified for this job? Chances are good that if you're being interviewed for a job, the employer thinks that you're qualified to do it, otherwise they wouldn't waste. The resource is to interview you, and employers desire to see why you think you're qualified stems from their desire to hear it from you. They want to see if your explanation of your qualifications differs from theirs. How do you respond? Response could either confirm their ideas of you or raise questions as to your motivations for applying to their job. So you need to be strategic with whatever experiences you choose. Include any off the resume details that are particularly relevant to the job. Dig deep into your reasoning so that even if it's different from the interviewers ideas, it works to contribute to their beliefs about your qualifications, as opposed to distract from them. Countess grew up. Since you can't read the interviewer's mind, it's hard to know if your answers will coincide with theirs. Therefore, as long as you back up your assertions with followed examples, you should be OK. 6. What is your greatest weakness?: the fourth question will go into is this classic interview killer. What is your greatest weakness? This is everyone's least favorite question, and for good reason. It's our interviews, put people in the mindset of selling themselves and spending everything positively, and this question asked you to do the opposite, at least on the surface. In reality, the interviewer wants to know how you're working to address whatever you think is a professional flaw. How to respond, just like Andy. Tell me about yourself. Question this questions unsaid Part is in relation to this job. Which of your weaknesses would make this particular position challenging to perform. This is where you need to be strategic as your weakness should not be an essential function of the job. If it is, then you're probably applying to the wrong thing. Think about the weaknesses that you're willing to talk about and cross reference them with the job description. This process should help you figure out which ones to avoid if asked this tricky question. This question also has another unset part, which is and how are you working on it? This is the part that most people forget and why this question is perceived as a way to make applicants speak negatively about themselves. If you just float a flaw out there without addressing what you're doing to fix it, the interviewer will be left with a bad taste in their mouth because it looks like you're okay with that floor. Since you're not doing anything about it, be sure to talk about the steps you're taking to turn the weakness into a strength and reassure the interviewer that it won't be an issue on the job. How to screw this up. I'm already discussed to wrong ways to answer this question, one not giving corrective steps and to giving a weakness that is directly related to a key function of the job. Other is to say that you don't have any weaknesses or that you can't think of anything right now. Never say that you don't have a weakness. It makes you look like you lack self awareness, which is definitely a weakness 7. Why should you be hired?: the fifth and final common cue is the typical interview closer. Why should you be hired? This question is typically the last one that interviewers ask, so it represents your last chance to sell your qualifications for the position. While you have hopefully done this throughout the rest of the interview, now is the time to highlight the key points and leave the interviewer with no doubts. When preparing your response to this question, it is helpful to revisit the job description at whatever researchers you took to ensure you're focused on the right things. Think about the strongest points that you could mention in your recap and write them down so that you don't forget why you're under the stress of the interview. Stick to 3 to 5 so that you don't find yourself monologue ing at the very end. You can absolutely mention examples that you haven't had the chance to discuss in the rest of the interview. Just make sure they're relevant to the position of what you guys have discussed. Now just screw this up. If you feel you're missing something, don't use your time to apologize for not having certain qualifications. Don't remind the interviewers of your shortcomings as this. Is that the last message you want them to receive? Rather, play up the strengths that you have in relation to the position and emphasized to your interviewers your ability to learn quickly. 8. Other Important Content Areas: Overview: welcome to part two of common interview questions and how to answer them. This is where we will go over important content area. There are other things to think about. Outside of the common cues, the next two videos will touch on the following content. Areas that are important to prepare to be asked about team were leadership obstacles and failures dealing with difficult people in situations, problem solving, career goals, interests and hobbies and industry. Resource is there will also be sample questions so that you can practice each area. Keep in mind that they probably won't be the exact ones over here in an interview, but they could provide guidance for examples to prepare, I put them in in order to show how content areas may be framed in an interview. 9. Other Important Content Areas: Part 1: this first part of a constant Areas section will go over information about teamwork, leadership obstacles and failures, and dealing with difficult people and situation. Employers love interpersonal skills like teamwork, but will rarely train new employees to gain them. Therefore, they asked questions about it to see how the interviewee has sent with non individual projects in the past. When coming up with a response to this, you want to talk more about your interactions with colleagues or classmates than about the project itself. I've seen many instances where respondents get bogged down with providing irrelevant details about what the team was working on rather than discussing their work within the team or by just enough contacts for the interviewers to know what you were doing. But remember that they don't really care about that part. You want to know about how you interact with others, so give them that sample. Questions about teamwork are Tell me about a time you were a member of a successful team. Describe a project where you had to collaborate across teams or departments. What was your worst experience as a member of a team? Leadership leadership experiences are important. Too many employers because they illustrate a number of soft skills that are important to success on the job. For example, if you're in the type of leader who delegates work based on the team member strengths, then chances are good that you're the type of coworker who builds up those around you. On the contrary, if your leadership style is my way or the highway that a potential employer may assume that you're not the easiest person to work with. As such, you should be prepared to highlight the aspects of your leadership experiences that positively illustrate how you work with others. Sample questions about leadership are describe an experience that illustrates your leadership style. What was the last project you lead and what was the outcome? What did you learn from your least successful leadership? Experience, obstacles and failures? Employers like to know about times of failure or when you overcame a professional obstacle because they give them an idea about your character. By showing that you persevere through a difficult experience at work and providing examples of how you got through it, you can show that you're able to get through whatever obstacles that could face you in the position you're interviewing for the keys. Answering these types of questions is to make sure that one it is a professional obstacle as opposed to a personal one, and to you focus on the skills that you used to overcome it. Sample questions about obstacles and failures include. Describe a professional failure. Tell me about a recent obstacle that you have to overcome. Talk about a time when you have to bring a project back on track, dealing with difficult people and situations. No workplaces, Rambos and sunshine all the time, and employers want to make sure that you could deal with that. Providing them with examples of how you've dealt with difficult personalities in the past is useful in highlighting her interpersonal skills and showing how you've learned and grown from the situation in thinking about euro spots. Don't get caught up with trying to paint yourself in a positive light. Playing the victim isn't the best angle for this one, as you need to be an adult and take ownership of your actions. Honesty and growth are the keys to effectively answering this question, saying that you've never dealt with a difficult person or situation is the exact wrong way to approach this question. No job is a coup by a drum circle every day, so don't act like you're above the fry. Some sample questions about difficult people and situations are describe a time when you had a conflict with a co worker or supervisor. How do you deal with colleagues who do not pull their weight? What are your strategies for dealing with difficult science? 10. Other Important Content Areas: Part 2: this second part of the content area section will go over information about problem solving rear bulls interests and hobbies and industry. Resource is problem solving Employers want to know about your problem solving skills because chances air huge that you'll have to do that in their position. This question could be tricky because your response could highlight other aspects of your work style and interpersonal habit and preparing for this response. Use any research you did and make sure you're heading on something that the company values . For example, if there are deadline driven environment, it would help your case if you provide details on a time sensitive situation. As far as questions go, this one is super flexible, so use it to sell yourself in other areas as well. Sample questions about problems All they are describe a time when you had to complete a complex problem from start to finish. Tell me about a situation where you saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it. What resource is do you turn to when you have a difficult task to come? Career goals Interviewers uses information to get a sense of where you want your career to go and see if your desire trajectory fits with aware the company is going or hoping to go having a solid thought out response that shows how the position you're interviewing for that's within your overall plan is the key to this response. Even if your plan isn't 100% flushed out, you have to show that you're thinking long term about your career and taking your future seriously. Saying that you want to still be in that same position. Sounds bad because very few people stay in the same spot for that long. Same company. Sure same job. Usually know both of these responses. Send the same message to the interviewer. You don't know what you want, and if you don't know what you want, you're probably not really into this job. Sample questions about career bulls are Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 to 10 years? How does this position it into your career? Bulls? Why do you want this Job interests and hobbies? Questions about time spent out of work are ways and interviewers can get a better sense of who you are as a person. How you would spend your time if employment were not a necessity gives them an idea of your priorities, likes and values. It is unlikely that employment decisions will be based on this information, but your responses could color the way your interviewer see you. Your response to this question could easily reveal information that is illegal for interviewers who ask. So be careful and how you respond. If you're concerned that revealing your religion or culture could negatively impact your employment prospects, then steer clear of any answer that could reveal those things. Likewise, if you believe that your status is apparent, partner and or spouse could be red flags and don't bring up your family. The safe way to answer this question is of an innocuous hobby or random dream. Career sample questions about interests and hobbies are What do you do for fun? What are your nonprofessional plans for the future? How do you de stress from a rough day or industry resource is If you're using your own time to remain current with the trends in your industry, it is a clear indication that you're invested in developing a career. Providing information in this area will show the interviewer that you're in it for the long haul, since commitment to the field illustrate to the employer that you want their job for the right reasons. The easy way to answer this question is to say whatever resource is you used to say current on the field, you could be keyword specific Google alerts, newspapers, books, blobs, Lincoln influencers, etcetera. Please list them out along with their frequency with which you access. These resource is Be sure to Onley discussed ones that you were up to date on. If whatever you mentioned, it's something that is popular in the industry or even just with the interviewer. You may be asked about a recent topic or story, so be careful and be prepared to discuss anything. Sample questions about industry Resource is our How do you stay on top of current trends in the field? What resource is help you do your job better? What publications do you recommend to people who are interested in our industry? 11. In closing... : and we're done. Be sure to use the space provided in the workbook to dig deeply into the questions in topic areas that you can formulate an interview or narrative that works best for you. Not all of them will be touched on in every interview, but these content points are useful for making sure that you are prepared for anything within reason. Draft out talking points instead of a script so that you don't sound too rehearsed. In an actual interview. Remember, your project is toe upload either a written or recorded version of a real interview response based on your notes from the workbook. I look forward to reviewing your work. Thank you for watching. Be sure to check out my other horses and my website for more job search assistance.