Preparation builds performance. 7 questions to address that will give you answers for many more.
As with all presentations, the key to confidence and success at interview is preparation. The questions below are not necessarily going to be asked in these formats, but they represent what an interviewer wants to know. Develop a response to each of these, they represent a multitude of questions that might be asked and give yourself a great start.
Tell me about yourself?
An open ended question that is asked in a variety of ways and sometimes runs as a thread throughout an interview. Prepare a brief chronological history of where you have worked and what you achieved in measureable outcomes. Keep it to about two minutes. Highlighting tangible results, demonstrates accountability and ownership. Keeping it brief but interesting, generates curiosity from the interviewer.
What do you know about our organisation?
Make sure you have prepared properly for the interview and can discuss products, services, people, and history. Avoid using the company website trap, there are plenty of places to get information. When working with a search consultant, expect a brief, but rather than just read it, explore the brief with the consultant. Engage the interviewer in your feedback by threading in questions about who you are aware of.
What do you look for in a job?
If you have a career plan this will take care of this question. Context your answer in terms of your realistic future job needs. Reflect on the type of organisation culture that you like to work in and share that with the interviewer. Describe the type of tasks that you really enjoy doing, back it up with some brief examples of prior delivery. Thread through questions for the interviewer, what purpose do they see this role as having?
How long would it take you to contribute?
Use this question as an opportunity to state your past accomplishments and to demonstrate how your skills relate to their specific requirements. Draw on examples of past work which demonstrate that you have been able to solve problems or create value for your employers. Every interviewer wants you to show that you can deliver results and will go beyond the basic requirements of the job. Be prepared to highlight errors you have made in the past and demonstrate what you have learned from them.
Why are you leaving your current role?
Is this the right role for you and why? Employers do not want to under or over hire in to a key role. What is missing from your current position that the new one provides? Focus on increased responsibilities, new skills, meaningful change of environment, interest in the company's purpose and how it aligns with your own purpose. Consider career progression and new challenges and stay positive at all times. If there is a lack of alignment, this is the time to find out.
Outline achievements in your current role?
Give your answers in terms of measurable results and not broad descriptions. Describe the before and after positions in each case and identify the specific initiatives that your identified and drove to achieve the result. Share mistakes that you made and what you did to recover and also again what you have learned. What are you most proud of and why?
How well do you work under pressure?
Questions like these are best answered with a specific example from recent working history. It helps if you can relate these to the new organisation too. When someone asks you a question looking for an example of your past experience, use “I” and not “We” statements. The latter suggests you were on the periphery, rather than at the centre of the task or outcome.