If you’re searching for a new job you have your reasons, right? Before you get to the interview you need to do some prep work to be ready for certain types of questions. Being ready increases your confidence and your ability to communicate well during the interview. This allows you to make sure your “whole” self communicates well. When you are confident in your prep you can nail non-verbal communication as well (eye contact, posture, and facial expressions)
7 Common Types of Questions You Need To Prepare Your Answers To:
1. Why Are You Looking for a New Job? (Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?)
This seems like a simple question. Or is it? According to Pew Research, the top 5 reasons why employees left their jobs in 2021 were:
- Low or non-competitive pay
- They didn’t have opportunities to advance
- They felt disrespected at work (by a coworker or manager)
- Childcare issues or changes
- Not enough flexibility in their schedule
These probably don’t surprise you, and you may have experienced a combination of these factors. When an interviewer asks why you are looking for a new job, make sure, first, to be honest, but secondly, provide an answer that eventually keeps you in a positive light. Avoid bashing previous managers or coworkers. Choose the reasons that are most important to you and linked to the job you want! An example could be, “I’m looking for the next step in my career path, a new job that allows me to use my skills well, and one that allows me to gain new experiences.” Use this instead of saying, “My pay stunk, my boss wouldn’t let me try new things, and wouldn’t promote me to anything else.”
Related: Is Your Job Search Going as Planned?
2. Can You Please Walk Us Through Your Resume and Professional Experiences?
This is not a trick to find gaps in your resume and experiences! One of the most common things employers is people that are proactive and motivated. Explain your experiences in a way that built you into the person you are today and want to be tomorrow, professionally. Feel free to lightly sprinkle personal reasons (while avoiding oversharing or complaining about someone else). Connect skills and experiences you collected along the way that connect to the job you are interviewing for. Employers want to know that you are prepared to accomplish what needs to be done in the role.
Have a hard copy of your resume in front of you to remember things easier. You may get nervous during the interview and this helps to keep you on track. Making notes on your resume with some things you want to hit can be helpful too (just be careful not to read directly from the paper)
Related: What Skills Are You Developing for Your Career?
3. Be Prepared to Discuss Gaps in Your Resume
There are many reasons why there may be a gap in your employment. First, make sure you are honest. Employers and recruiters have tools to verify employment. Some of the most common reasons for gaps in employment are:
- Caring for a sick family member
- Childcare needs
- You were laid off or fired
- You moved to a new location
- Continued your education or training and focused on that instead
While employers should not be asking you if you have children, you can phrase this type of question in a general way without getting too specific. They most likely will not continue digging if you say “I was caring for a family member.” If you were laid off, this often is an easier topic to describe than if you were fired. If you were fired, you can definitely find a way to be honest. Consider an answer like this.
“My supervisor and I had different expectations for my role. I was let go because of that. Since then, I’ve been able to reflect on that and know that I’ve learned a lot from that experience.”
Going back to school is easier to explain, but make sure to connect that to why you’re interested or more qualified in the job you are interviewing for.
Related: How To Write a New Resume
4. What Are Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Always connect your answers back to the job. Keep this professional at all times!
Are you a strong communicator but know that you need to work on your collaboration skills? Say something like:
“I have a natural ability to connect with people and I’m working to develop my collaboration skills.”
You can also say something like
“I’ve found (indicating that you are self-aware!) that one of my weaknesses is in the area of …, and I’ve worked hard to learn much to compensate for that and develop that skill.”
Again this shows that you are proactive and self-aware.
Related: What Skills Sets Should I Spotlight in My Job Search?
5. Why do you want to work at this company?
Do your research! If you’ve done your research on the company and the position, this should be an easy question. Make a connection to their values, corporate responsibility, or something specific to the role and why it’s attractive to you. Were you referred by a friend who loves the company?
Related: 5 Pain Points You Can Overcome During Your Job Search
6. What’s Your Ideal Job?
As you answer this question, keep in mind that they are asking what your ideal job is now. Not 10 years from now. Focus on what you want to get and give to that job. “I want to lead a team”. “I want to work at a startup in the engineering field. I want to grow my accounting career and I’d like to work for a company with a strong sense of purpose that is involved in the community. If you’ve answered the previous question, this is a great opportunity to connect your two answers.
7. What are you looking for in terms of compensation?
While this can seem like a hard question to answer, it doesn’t need to be. Do your research. Look at what other companies are offering and what pay ranges are online (from reputable sites).
Know your worth and be ready to communicate what you are looking for.
Looking for a new job and want to elevate your career?
We have worked with many, many job seekers over the years. As a career partner, we are grateful to have partnered with professionals in contract roles and permanent placements. When you speak with one of our recruiters, it will be a conversation to know your needs and goals. The better you know the answers to the questions above, the easier it is to spot opportunities that are a good match for you and your career goals.
What makes The Panther Group the ideal career partner? We focus on what you want most from your career! Choose the flexibility of contract work, make smarter choices with contract-to-hire, or further your career in direct-hire roles.
It costs you nothing to find a job through The Panther Group! We elevate careers in the following industries and professions: Professional, Accounting & Finance, Engineering, Life Sciences, Information Technology, and Federal
To connect and build your career – call 855-899-JOBS (5627)