As soon as you confirm an interview, your mind starts racing. What will they ask me? I haven't been interviewed in 3 years and don't know what to say. This is my dream job, and I need to ace this interview. Think of the interview as a conversation between you and your friend.
Photo Description: Hiring Manager Interviewing Candidate
"Interviews are a conversation not a interroagation. As much as they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them to determine if the company is the right fit for your career goals and lifestyle." Nicole Picton, CHRP
Here are 3 difficult interview questions with the answers
1. Tell us a little more about yourself
Rarely does the hiring manager want to hear about where you were born and how many siblings you have. They want to know something career-related that isn't obvious from reading your resume, something you are passionate about. You should mention some recent education or training that shows you are upskilling and how it is relevant to the role. And tie it all together with a recent accomplishment. This way, you can start by making a good impression.
Example: "I am a Human Resources Business Partner focused on the future of work and digital transformation. I like to stay current on how technology is changing, how it will impact how we work, and how to hire, retain and train staff. In my current role, I support the executive management team, including the CEO, with culture development, employee relations and leadership coaching. Most recently, I developed a job-equity evaluation framework to allow for jobs to be classified appropriately. I recently started my journey to become a certified coach with the International Coaching Federation."
2. Why are you leaving your current job?/ Why should we hire you?
I don't like this question and never ask it to candidates. But just because I don't like something doesn't mean I'm not prepared to respond.
The real reason why the company should hire you is that they have a job to fill and also because you have the skills to do the job. Why are you leaving your current company? Likely because you want a promotion, are trying to transition into a new industry, increase your compensation, or leave a toxic work environment. Or a combination of all four. Avoid saying anything negative about your current or previous employer(s) at all costs. You also want to avoid "I am looking for a new challenge." which is the most common answer.
Try this instead:
"I am always looking for opportunities to develop my career. The duties and responsibilities in this role align with my interests, and I believe I am the right match for your organization. Over the last 3 years, I have focused on honing my skills on Xyz and based on the job description, here is how I plan to apply my skills to the role."
If you've connected with someone who currently works at the company you are interviewing, you can say this instead:
"I am always looking for opportunities to develop my career. The duties and responsibilities in this role align with my interests, and I believe I am the right match for your organization. After speaking with Person X, they mentioned you are working on launching (Insert What the company is launching). I have direct experience working on a similar product/campaign/program etc."
You want to transform a potentially difficult question into a positive one.
3. What is one of your weaknesses?/What do you dislike about your current role?
If the job you are interviewing for requires attention to detail, do not say attention to detail is one of your weaknesses. If you are applying to a more senior role, do not say you have difficulty making decisions.
"My role has evolved in the last three years with my current company. I've had the opportunity to take on new challenges and bring several projects across the finish line. One things that attracted me to the role with your company is that you have many streamlined processes that will free up my time to have a more strategic focus. Based on the job description, here are my initial thoughts on what I could work on."
What you don't enjoy in your current role is that they have very little automation, and it takes longer to do your job. Again, you want to answer in a positive light.
At the end of the day, the job interview is a conversation where you sell yourself, your knowledge, skills and abilities, experience and relevant accomplishments.
Are you looking for support for your next job interview? I'm happy to help.
To your continued success,
Nicole Picton, CHRP, CTMP