Crack your video interview with this detailed guide

video interview job tips

Phone and video interviews are quite common nowadays. In the early stages of the selection process, they can be a useful tool for employers/recruiters to save time, effort and money.

For you, as a job seeker, the idea of a video interview might be exciting or downright terrifying.

Thankfully, the tips in this guide should help even the most nervous candidate feel more cool and collected during their next important video interview.


What Kind of Video Interviews are there?

Generally speaking, there are two primary types of video interviews that you might be required to perform: live video/Skype interviews, and pre-recorded interviews.

The preparation for each type of interview is different, so being educated on the qualities expected of you in each scenario is important.

When performing a Skype/live video interview, you will first and foremost need to be intimately familiar with the chat platform/program being used. If your connection starts being faulty halfway through the interview, you need to be calm enough to troubleshoot the program without seeming non tech-savvy.

In addition to being familiar with the program, you will want to make sure your Skype account is free of any unprofessional content.

When filming your own video interview, however, the prep and requirements are a little less in-the-moment. Usually, you will be given a link to a page that lists the file type/size requirements of the video, as well as the content it should contain, and the delivery format that is desirable.

Take note of every detail of these instructions carefully and ensure that you stick to the guidelines.

You will want to make sure the equipment you are using is of decent quality, and that your presentation is professional and suited to the job you’re applying for.


How Do I Give a Knockout Performance in a Video Interview?

Some of the biggest keys to a successful interview is non-verbal communication and physical presentation.

In a video interview, you are often able to have much more conscious control over these attributes, especially in ones you record yourself.

To help you prepare for a knockout performance, here are five tips that will make you come off as highly professional:

  1. Be Calm

Nothing harms your professional appearance like your emotions. If you cannot give off a calm and collected demeanor, you will seem like someone who might be difficult to work with.

Due to the uncertainty involved, most people are at least a bit nervous before/during an interview.

The best way to beat/reduce the nervousness is through practice and preparation.

Doing a small practice session a few hours before an interview can be a great way to control some of that nervous energy.

If you are doing a pre-recorded interview, do several takes, ultimately choosing the one where you appear the most confident and focused.

  1. Manage Your Overused Words, Tics and Gestures

We all have certain words that we use often (e.g. like, um, so).

While these may sound fine in person and during an actual conversation, they could be off-putting over video. Similarly you might have a habit of moving your hands around too much or twitching your nose every now and then.

Record yourself answering a few interview questions and take note of overused words and gestures/ticks.

Seeing yourself on video provides great feedback, which you can use to smoothen things out.

  1. Eye Contact is Important

Everyone knows that eye contact is key.

Without good eye contact, you will appear both disinterested, and awkward. Both of these reflect poorly on you.

Maintaining eye contact can be a bit tricky, especially over live video. To appear like you are making eye contact, move the window with the image of the other person, as close to your webcam as possible.

Doing this will feel more like a real conversation for you, since you’re looking at the person and will give them the impression of you maintaining good eye contact.

  1. Keep an Honest Smile

Similar to eye contact, smiling is of utmost importance and can help to build rapport during an interview.

You want to find a nice balance between friendly and normal, that never comes off as “too eager to please” or creepy.

Don’t be afraid to laugh either, but avoid laughing at every other comment that seems to be humorous.

Just be yourself. If something is funny, smile. If something is very funny, laugh.

  1. Be Conscious of Your Posture

When it comes to body language during an interview, in addition to smiling, make sure you sit straight up, without looking like you are forcing yourself to be stiff.

A nice mixture of relaxed and ready is the key to having good posture in an interview situation.

When pre-recording your own interview, it can be easy to judge your posture too harshly, so always make sure you have a trusted confidant give you an honest opinion on how you come across. (Getting general/overall feedback on a pre-recorded interview from a few people is good practice as well)


What About my Setup During the Video Interview?

  1. High-Quality Webcam

Never skimp on your webcam choice.

While you do not need a webcam meant for a professional, you want one that is clear, has good focusing abilities, and that deals well in all types of lighting.

Generally it’s better to use an external webcam.

  1. Do You Need a Headset?

Whether or not you will need a headset ultimately comes down to the audio quality of your setup.

If the webcams built-in camera or your own microphone can clearly pick up your voice without also including tons of distracting background noise, you do not need to invest in a headset.

However, if you cannot achieve this with your base setup, a nice quality headset is always recommended.

Communication is key in any interview situation, so make sure you can perform your interview without a million pauses for clarification.

  1. Use Up-to-Date Software

Without the proper up-to-date software, your webcam setup may not work with certain video chat platforms.

Always update your device software before your interview date.

  1. Lighting

Masked sure that you are sitting in a place with ample light and that the light around your face is evenly spread.

  1. Physical Appearance

This is perhaps the simplest tip on the list: look professional and well groomed.

If you wear clothes that are too distracting, you will hurt your ability to communicate effectively, so always keep it professional.

Always make sure you do not overdress/underdress, but instead dress appropriately for the job you are pursuing.

Some additional guidelines for video:

  • Don’t wear white: It tends to be too bright and distracting.
  • Avoid too much of black: Webcams often adjust to show the black levels properly, which can cause your face to look washed out.
  • Wear softer and solid colors, without too much contrast
  1. Check Your Background

Keep your background simple, clean, and non-distracting.

A plain wall is failsafe.

A good thumb rule to keep in mind, is to have the background at least 3 feet behind you.

  1. Internet Connection

Nothing hurts a video interview like a bad connection.

If you do not have a high-quality and stable connection in your home/workplace, you should find a quiet location where you can access a better connection.

Doing this will make or break your interview, so if you skip any step, make sure it is not this one.

  1. Always Test Your Setup Before Interviewing

Having a simple error that could’ve been avoided by a test run is embarrassing and unprofessional.

If you test equipment beforehand, the chances of you running into issues are significantly decreased. To ensure you are ready for a smooth interview, test everything at least twice on the day that you are performing the actual interview.

  1. Keep Free of Distractions

Minimize any distracting elements in your interview area. If you have pets/children, have someone take care of them while you perform your interview.

Additionally, make sure any alarms or other distracting potential sounds are disabled. Doing this will help assure that you can stay focused and professional throughout your video interview.

You should now be ready to take the video interview world by storm! Stay professional, prepared, and practiced and you will be sure to land the dream job you’re chasing!

How to dress for your job interview. Great tips on fit, colors, grooming and appropriateness

how to dress for a job interview

First impressions are important for pulling off a successful interview.

When you are chasing that dream job with benefits that are out of this world, you want to make sure you are doing it right.

One good way to ensure you impress and strike a chord with your interviewer is through the clothes you wear.

Here are a few factors are useful to consider, when  deciding what outfit you will wear.


Color

There are certain colors which employers tend to prefer and recommend.

Many employers suggest being conservative and wearing colors such as black, grey, blue and brown. These colors are safe and professional.

Orange denotes just the opposite and should be avoided during interviews.

The colors you wear can influence the way interviewers think about you. Different colors project different attributes/things:

  • Black – Confidence, Leadership, Exclusivity, Sophistication, Coldness
  • Blue – Team Player, Communicator, Trust, Calmness, Aloofness
  • Grey – Logical/Analytical, Dampness, Lack of energy
  • White – Organized, Clarity, Cleanness, Simplicity, Efficiency, Sterility, Coldness
  • Brown – Dependable, Warmth, Lack of sophistication
  • Red – Power, Warmth, Energy, Aggression, Defiance
  • Green – Harmony, Refreshing, Boredom
  • Yellow – Optimism, Confidence, Creativity, Anxiety, Fear, Irrationality

A good approach is to stick with neutral/safe colors and perhaps add a hint of other colors.


Fit & Grooming

Even the most perfectly constructed color combination will only take you so far.

If you want to impress a recruiter, you want to wear clothes that fit your body well and look dapper. Too tight or too loose and you give a negative impression straight away.

You also want to ensure that you’re well groomed.

For more tips on style, fit and grooming, check out these great sites -> Men, Women.

Also have a look at these ideas for interview outfits -> for men and women.


Appropriateness

You should always dress appropriately for the job you are seeking.

A laid back graphic designer job won’t want you in a full business suit, and vide-versa  for a super-serious political consultant job.

You want to dress for the job you want, so make sure your outfit shows that you understand the fashion sensibilities and needs of the job you are seeking.


Keep it Simple

Don’t overdo it with glaring patterns, crazy ties or too much bling/jewelry. Keep it simple so that the interview can focus on you, rather than be distracted by what you’re wearing.

“Why Do You Want To Work Here?” – 3 Tips To Crack This Interview Question

job interview - why do you want to work here

The art of the interview is an important thing to master before starting your job hunt.

Without the ability to succinctly and effectively answer the many questions you will be presented with, you will find it difficult to land that dream job.

Of all the questions you will be asked, however, perhaps none is more common than this one: “Why do you want to work at our company?”

Knowing how to answer this question is quite important, since you are being asked several different questions at once.

To make sure you impress your interviewer, try packing some of these points into your answer.

  1. Talk About What First Made You Interested in the Company

Before you get into showing off your knowledge of the company’s current goals and services, try showing off what interested you in the company in the first place.

Talk about how you first heard about them, what you liked about them and how you’ve been following their development.

This shows that you’re not there just because you want a job, but that you genuinely like and want to work with the company.

  1. Discuss Fit

Describe some characteristics of the company (such as culture, type of people that work there, established/interesting practices) and mention why that’s a good fit for your personality/preferences.

You can also throw in a few quick reasons why you and the job/role are made for each other.

A good fit with the culture, people and role, gives signals to the employer that you will blend in well and stay around for a while.

  1. Lay Out a Game Plan

Share your knowledge of the current state of the company and give your insight into how you can help the company achieve its future goals.

Simply stating what you can provide to the company isn’t enough, your interviewer wants specific examples of how your time at the company may go. Keep focused on discussing what you plan on doing once hired, and then talk about how you plan on navigating your future at the company.

Once you do this, the interviewer will see that not only are you skilled and passionate, but that you have long-term critical thinking skills.

5 signs that your job interview went well

job interview went well

Interviews can be nerve-wracking and anxiety filled, but with the right mindset you can be more confident in yourself both before and after you have performed your interview.

Knowing what signs to look for to determine how well you did in the interview is a great way to help reduce that anxiety post-interview.

To help you determine your potential future at the company you interviewed with, here are 5 signs to look for when thinking about whether or not your interview went well.

  1. Non-Verbal Communication Was Positive

Body language is key to understanding how a person felt about their interaction with you.

If your interviewer seemed relaxed, happy, and communicated these feelings through their body language, you can be confident that they enjoyed interviewing you for the position.

To help them feel comfortable and positive about your potential for the position, try throwing out positive body language and non-verbal communication from your side as well.

  1. You Were Kept Over the Scheduled Timeslot for the Interview

If you are being kept over the originally scheduled time slot for the interview, you can be assured that you at least gained the attention of the interviewer.

Nobody will waste their time by keeping a poor candidate around for longer than necessary, so if you went over time pat yourself on the back!

  1. You Were Given a Chance to Perform a Q&A On Your Interviewer

Proper Q&A opportunities are usually only given to candidates who are being considered as potential hires.

If you are not qualified or desirable, the interviewer will often not lead you on with such an opportunity.

Let yourself take advantage of this Q&A session by prying into every nook and cranny of the employment opportunity, it will make you look passionate and intelligent.

  1. You Felt a Personal Connection With Your Interviewer

If you felt a personal connection with your interviewer, it likely means that you were both giving out good vibes and feeling something positive about your future with the company.

Leaving a good impression is always encouraged, so always try to achieve this step while selling yourself to an interviewer.

  1. The Interviewer Asked You About Your Role in the Company’s Future

This one is basically a sign of serious consideration for the position you’re interviewing for, if nothing else.

If you are given the opportunity to lay out your plan for moving forward with the company, the interviewer is likely judging your interest in the role, as well as goals, ambitions, and thought process.

Once again, pat yourself on the back if this happens in your interview, because you nailed it!

Questions you’ll be glad you asked during an interview

questions to ask interviewers

Interviews are an important time for you to impress a potential employer with your extensive knowledge of an industry or excellent people skills.

However, interviews are not only valuable for the employer to learn more, but are also useful for determining whether or not a job is right for you.

To get a fill for a company in an interview, there are questions you can ask to successfully get an idea of what will be expected of you, what opportunities for advancement exist and what it’s like to work there.

Here are some useful questions to ask during an interview, broken up into different relevant sections:


Questions about the Company’s Future/Goals

  • What does the company see as being its primary goals, and how does the team help achieve these goals?
  • Where do you see the company being in the next five years?
  • What excites you the most about the potential future of this company?
  • What are the current plans for growing the company’s brand and products?

Job-Centric Questions

  • What is a typical day like at the company/department?
  • How likely are the main responsibilities associated with my job to change in the next year or so?
  • What do you find leads to success in this company?
  • What obstacles will I face in my position, if hired?
  • Am I filling a new role for the company, or one that has existed before?
  • What immediate projects and tasks will I be taking on, if hired?
  • What skills are you looking to fill with the candidate that you hire?

Performance Related Questions

  • What sort of performance do you expect from me in the first year of being hired?
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • What are the most important goals I should aim for within my first 3 months of employment if hired?

Work Culture Related Questions

  • What sort of places does the team usually go to for lunch?
  • How would you describe the team and company culture here?
  • Do people normally develop bonds outside of the office environment?
  • What is the biggest company change that has occurred since you’ve been working here?
  • What was the last team event that happened?
  • Are there any office traditions that exist in this workplace?
  • What is the main difference between this work environment and ones you have been a part of in the past?

Questions for the Interviewer

  • What brought you to work for this company? In what ways is it different from other companies you have worked with?
  • How long have you been working for this company?
  • Have you changed positions within this company since being hired?
  • What is your favorite thing about working for this company?

Questions Regarding Training and/or Professional Development

  • What training programs or assignments will I need to complete once being hired?
  • What opportunities for professional development and advancement exist?
  • If there was a person in this position before me, where are they in the company now?

Questions about Team Members

  • Who will be my direct superior who I will report to?
  • Can you possibly tell me more about the people I’ll be working with and supervising? Can I meet them?
  • Will more people be employed in my department within the next year?
  • Which other departments work very closely with the team I’ll be joining?

Closing Questions

  • What steps will I need to take after the interview process?
  • Will any other information on my part be helpful in your hiring decision?
  • Do you have any concerns about my background or skills?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Where do you see yourself in five years? job interview question

Interviews can be stressful due to their make or break results.

Being properly prepared for not only industry specific questions, but general interview questions as well, is of utmost importance.

Some seemingly simple questions may seem like time fillers, however, they are often anything but placeholders. Knowing how to properly answer these not-really-filler-at-all questions can help you ace an interview and snag the job you’re chasing.

One of the important questions that falls into this category is “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

When an interviewer presents this question, they are gauging many important attributes of the candidate. Providing the wrong information at this stage of the interview can potentially disqualify you as a candidate.

Overall, this question has been designed to weed out candidates who are simply looking for a job instead of an actual career. Additionally, it helps the interviewer understand if the candidate has a healthy sense of ambition that is both productive and realistic.

Training and hiring employees is no cheap task. For many companies, a candidate who is not looking to stay with a company for a while, is simply not an option. It takes time to properly integrate an employee into a work environment in a way that actually benefits the workflow.

Loyalty, work ethic and a well-balanced sense of professional growth are all factors an employer will see as extremely valuable. If you give the right answer to this question, you can convince the interviewer that you have all three of these qualities.

When answering “Where do you see yourself in five years,” simply focus on providing these seven things within your answer:

  1. The feeling that your response has been carefully and thoughtfully constructed.
  2. A focus on realistic promotion goals.
  3. A sense of drive that is both healthy and realistic.
  4. How there is a good fit between your career goals and what the company has to offer.
  5. How the company culture, environment and values, match your preferences/characteristics.
  6. That you plan on being loyal to the company and committing to their business.
  7. That you are excited about fulfilling the position.

Writing down your answers and then practicing delivering them out loud, can be a great way to prep yourself for a big interview.

Preparing yourself for this question and other common interview questions will help you ace your interview while also giving you a break from some of the more grueling industry-specific research you will need to present.

How to answer the ‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’ job interview question

how to answer what are your weaknesses

Interviews are one of the obstacles you will need to overcome when trying to obtain your dream job.

Simply making it to this stage proves that a company has a potential interest in you as a candidate, so never squander this opportunity by not preparing yourself properly.

While you will most certainly need to focus heavily on prep for industry/company specific questions, you should never ignore the preparation for more common questions an interviewer will be sure to bring up.

One of these common questions is “What are your weaknesses?” and knowing the answer to it is important. Due to how common this question is, you can be almost certain that you will have it asked of you.

Knowing how to effectively and attractively answer this question in a way that makes you look like a strong candidate is essential to nailing the interview. Thankfully, here are three types of approaches you can base your response on, to ensure a home run:


1) Talk About A Challenge You Overcame

This question provides you with a great opportunity to sell yourself as someone who can deal with setbacks and take the proper initiative to solve problems. Think back to a previous employee experience where you helped deal with an obstacle that came about due to a weakness, but that you were ultimately able to solve.

Example Answer: “Once I took off more than I could chew at my engineering internship. While I nearly let myself become overwhelmed to the point of no return, I eventually got into contact with a boss and arranged to share the workload with a fellow intern. This showed that I was honest, realistic, and dedicated to ensuring the quality of my work. The project turned out much better than it would have if I had simply tried to manage the situation in a less effective manner.”

Ending this question by associating yourself with a positive quality is useful, as it shows you can be realistic within a team environment and can realize your faults to an advantage.

Never deny having weaknesses

Trying to build yourself as having no limitations will only make you look foolish and as if you are adverse to progress in your skills. Employees will often need to go through difficult training or adjustment periods, and answering this question in a way that suggests you have no weaknesses might make the interviewer assume you are resistant to further development and workplace training.


2) Highlight a Skill You are Still Working On

Take this opportunity to present a skill you have not yet mastered, but are working on adding to your utility belt.

Choosing an industry specific skill for this answer is the best way to approach the question. Approaching the question this way shows that you understand your current limitations but are constantly working to overcome them in a realistic and dedicated manner.

Example Answer: “While studying video editing I was mainly focused on classical cutting styles, so I did not put as much time in learning side skills like VFX creation. However, since graduating I have been working on self-teaching these skills, and they have proven very useful in tasks I never realized would be relevant to the programs!”

Avoid Saying that You’re a “Perfectionist”

Saying that you are a “perfectionist” or that you “work too hard” shows that you are avoiding the question altogether and not giving a sincere and thoughtful response. Talking about improvements you have been able to make, and having a bit of humility, will ultimately provide a much better answer for a job interview.


3) Talk About a Weakness that Doesn’t Affect Your Ability to Perform the Job

Find a weakness that does not present a major barrier to success in the position you are seeking.

For example, if you were looking to enter a Junior Copywriter position at an ad firm, you could speak about your how to want to improve your ability to ask/get other people to do some work.

Since you are joining at a relatively junior position this will not affect your chances too much, but you should also add in a comment that shows you are eager to learn to improve in that area by watching your superiors.

Example Answer: “I have no experience communicating orders and tasks to people in a lower position than I am, but I am excited to get the opportunity to learn these skills from talented head copywriters at this company!”

Effectively and honestly communicating your weaknesses to your interviewer shows that you have the ability to self-improve in your potential new position.

Ultimately, this quality will prove attractive to a potential employer, and the job interview question “What are your weaknesses,” will provide a cue for you to show them your worth.

“Why Should We Hire You?” – Here’s how to nail this interview question

why should we hire you interview question

Interviewers are tasked with filling a position with just the right person.

This person will ideally need to hit the ground running, being able to align themselves with the organisation’s culture and get things done.

It may seem the interviewer has an easier job than you, the interviewee.  However, he or she has to sift through several applicants, all competing for the same job.  Often, the only tool at their disposal is a series of carefully chosen questions.

Of all the questions an interviewer may ask, one question is especially important.

This question applies to almost every job interview.  It is an extremely popular question to ask because it can show the interviewer how prepared you were for the interview.

Job applicants often trip up at the question because it puts them on the spot and they aren’t sure of what a good response is.

So how would you answer it?  What is the best answer for the interview question “Why Should We Hire You?”

Here are a few options for how you can approach the question.


Show how you are the ‘pain pill’ they’ve been looking for

Right from the start, most companies are hiring because they are experiencing problems.  They determined that the best way to solve their problem is to hire someone.

Try to ascertain why they feel an addition to their organization is the best way to resolve their issue.

By doing this, you may figure out the best ways you can help them.  Show this to them by outlining, in detail, what you can do for them and how it will solve their immediate and most pressing issues.


How much research and thought have you put into this?

You can steal the thunder of the moment by showing how well prepared you are.

Research the company and the role as thoroughly as possible. In addition to reading about them, go a step further and talk to current/ex employees.

Then highlight points from your research to demonstrate why you and the company/role are a good fit for each other. This will go a long way towards showing how your goals are aligned, how interested you are to work for them, and also how dedicated you are.


Compare their investment vs. Your investment.

When you work for someone, you are investing your time, efforts, and talents in them.

When they hire you, they are making an investment as well.

Show them two things.

One, display what you can do for them.  Spell how how you have the perfect mix of skills for the role.

Next, tell them what the company can do for you. Show them how the company can help you develop professionally and take your career in the right direction.

You may stand out above your competition by illustrating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Best way to answer when your interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself”

how to answer tell me about yourself interview question

Preparing for an interview can be an art form.

Every little detail of the information you choose to give or withhold from the employer, will likely have a large impact on how they see you. Knowing what professional and personal information to prepare will help you have an effective strategy for approaching any question.

Many “warm-up” questions are used by interviewers to judge a person’s character. While these are often formalities, one of these warm up questions should lead to you communicating a proper professional introduction.

The question is “tell me about yourself,” and how you answer it could either prep you for a great interview or leave the interviewer feeling less than optimistic about your potential as a candidate.

The biggest mistake candidates make when asked “tell me about yourself,” is actually telling the interviewer too much about your personal self. While some brief remarks about your person can be useful and charming, taking this question as a cue to ramble on about your hometown, loved ones or hobbies will be sure to put your interviewer in a bored state. Just consider how you might feel if you asked a potential employee “tell me about yourself” and they wasted your time with a 20-minute irrelevant story about their prized dog FiFi.

Instead of going this direction, try using this question as an opportunity for summarizing your past career history, accomplishments, and future career goals.

Breaking this answer down into a pre-prepared, three-section gem, can help you increase your chances of landing your dream job. With a well-thought out and prepared answer to this question, the interviewer will be able to focus their questions toward you more effectively, which will help them realize your worth as a potential employee.


Section 1

The first section of this pre-prepared stunner of an answer should be a concise, one-sentence account of your current career history.

For example, if you are a fledgling software engineer who has only recently been working professionally in your field, your sentence may be constructed as follows: “Although I am relatively new within the software engineering and development field, I have already interned for a major company and worked in a strong entry-level position with my last employer.”

Of course, this sentence will be adjusted for your own personal past, but you get the idea.


Section 2

Next you will want to go into a sentence or two describing your most impressive career accomplishment thus far.

Make sure not to ramble on about the accomplishment, however, and always make sure the accomplishment you choose is relevant to the position you are seeking. Additionally, if you feel your choice can not be effectively summed up in one or two sentences, you may want to reconsider which story you go with.

Continuing with the software engineer example, your sentence might read something like this: “Recently, I was able to overcome a difficult programming obstacle that was holding back a project my company was working on. Even seasoned employees were having trouble cracking this difficult task, but with the innovative training I received during my education, I was able to find a solution that fit our goals.”


Section 3

Finally, you must complete your answer to “tell me about yourself,” with a statement of future career goals and how the position you are seeking can help you achieve them.

Showing a dedication to both your workplace and your personal goals is an attractive quality that employers seek, so adding this element to your answer is important.

Alike section 2, this third section should be roughly one or two sentences long. Preparing this section to flow naturally with the other two sections is important.

Here is a good example of a properly constructed third section: “Right now I am seeking to land a stable and challenging position within an environment that can benefit from the innovative programming approach I bring to the table. I feel this company provides that and gives me an opportunity to grow inside of a respected and equally innovative environment.”

Getting hired is often as much about effectively self-promoting as it is about actual skillset and experience. By prepping your answer to the “tell me about yourself” question in the manner outlined in this article, you can quickly and effectively provide both of these elements within a few sentences.

Gaining the respect, attention, and interest of your interviewer or hiring manager is essential to succeeding in your initial interview. If you deliver this answer and others correctly, you will be sure to land a second interview or even the dream job itself!

40 most asked interview questions

most asked common interview questions

If you’ve never been stumped by an interview question before, consider yourself lucky.

For the vast majority of job seekers, interviews can be a very stressful time, and nothing ruins the experience like being on the wrong side of a “gotcha” question.

One of the best ways you can reduce the chance of being surprised by an interviewer’s questions is to do some research ahead of time and practice answering the most common interview questions you are likely to see.

After extensive analysis of thousands of interviews, the folks at Glassdoor arrived at a list of the top 40 questions asked in interviews.

Read through the list, and practice answering these common interview questions in front of a mirror or with a friend, and you will be prepared to land the job you want.

  1. What are some of your biggest strengths?
  2. What are your biggest weaknesses?
  3. What makes you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  5. What reasons do you have to leave your current company?
  6. Why were you unemployed, or why was there a gap in your employment, between [insert date] and [insert date]?
  7. What unique things can you offer us?
  8. If we asked your former manager where you could improve, what are three things they would tell us?
  9. Are you open to relocating?
  10. Are you willing and able to travel?
  11. What is one accomplishment you are very proud of?
  12. Tell us about a time when you made a mistake.
  13. What’s your dream job or field?
  14. How and where did you hear about this position?
  15. What would you look to see accomplished in the first 30/60/90 days of employment?
  16. Tell us about your resume.
  17. Tell us about your educational background and experience?
  18. Tell us about yourself.
  19. Tell us about a tough situation, and how you dealt with it.
  20. Tell us why we should hire you?
  21. What are some reasons why you are looking for a new job?
  22. Are you open to working holidays and weekends if needed?
  23. Imagine you had an angry customer. Tell us how you would deal with them.
  24. What are your salary requirements and requests?
  25. Tell us about a situation in which you went above and beyond for a project or assignment.
  26. Who do you see as are our competitors?
  27. What is your number one biggest failure?
  28. Tell us about something that motivates you?
  29. Tell us about your availability.
  30. Who’s your mentor? Who’s someone you look up to?
  31. What would you do if you disagreed with your boss? Tell us about a time that you did.
  32. Tell us about how you handle pressure.
  33. What’s the name of our CEO/president? Who are some big/popular figures in our company?
  34. What are some of your professional goals?
  35. What are some of the things that make you get up in the morning?
  36. If your subordinates were to talk about you or describe you, what might they say?
  37. Tell us about your former boss’s strengths and weaknesses.
  38. If I called up your boss and asked for some of your weaknesses, what might they tell me?
  39. Would you call yourself a follower, or a leader?
  40. What’s the title of the last book you read for pleasure?

What other interview questions have you faced on more than one occasion?  Help your fellow job seekers prepare for their next big interview by sharing common interview questions in the comments below!

Prepare Yourself for Job Interview Curve Balls

curve ball job interview questions

As you head out to be interviewed for the job you always wanted, you feel the excitement in the air.

The time has finally arrived to secure the job you deserve.

You are confident knowing that you did thorough research on the company and the people it employs.

And you have talking points in mind regarding, the keywords found on the company website, indicating the priorities and goals of the company.

Everything you anticipate proves to be true while on the interview. The office ambiance meets expectations, and the conversation is lively, thought provoking, and encourages belief that you are about to be hired.


The Question Dilemma


Just as comfort sets in, oh no, shock waves take over as you hear the question asked of you: “Would you rather drive an ice cream truck or be a kamikaze pilot?”

What? Is the hiring manager kidding? What does this have to do with the job?

Unfortunately, for many, the question has much to do with the job. The stranger the question, the greater the insight it provides into how you will approach the position, IF hired. “IF” is the operative word that needs to be turned into a positive.

The right approach to the question will give you the distinct advantage over the other applicants. Be aware that selling oneself during interviews is a necessity and, therefore, familiarity with sales strategy is important.


Purpose


The purpose of curve ball questions is to determine if the candidate possesses creative thought and approach to the position in question.

The ability to back up your choice with sound reasoning and benefits included, as they apply to the job in question, is what is really being asked.

Speaking to reasoning and benefits behind the answer is where the sales strategy comes into play. A sound answer provides a “Yes” checkmark on your behalf.

Understandably, those new to this line of questioning will be thrown off their game. Some applicants resort to showing their frustration, but that only serves to defeat their ultimate purpose for being on the interview.


Connect the Dots


Mindset focused on positive and creative thinking becomes the name of the game.

Take a deep breath and smile while quickly reflecting on the type of job to which you are applying.

Momentarily, consider whether the position will require creativity, adherence to rules, or taking risks. Connect the answer to the role of the position.


Choice Relating to the Job


For example, let’s suppose the applicant is applying to be a business development account manager.

Initially, the thought of being an ice cream truck driver sounds like fun as one delivers treats to children in the neighborhood. But in reality, and after a while, it would become boring for the personality type. There is no adventure, variation, or risk involved, just straightforward delivering of treats, day after day.

On the other hand, the applicant doesn’t want to risk her life for any job.

But, business development requires calling on executives with far more experience, interrupting people at work, and trying to secure business where it it might be seemingly impossible.

To a large degree, the job is about being persistent, think-skinned and also taking risk.


A True Story and Solution


This situation is a true story and question was actually asked of a job seeker (Charlene).

Given Charlene was applying to be the business development account manager, she answered that her preference was to be a kamikaze pilot. Her reasoning directly related to the job.

The reality was Charlene would have to deal with the unknown, day after day, trying to sell a cutting-edge product to a clientele that did not yet exist. Risk was plentiful and she was excited to take it on. So with pride, Charlene announced to the hiring manager, “Kamikaze pilot” to be her answer.

Within 24 hours Charlene was hired. The first day on the job, she heard her new sales manager say, “I don’t know whether to be thrilled to pieces you are on my time, or scared to death of you!”

Studies Reveal 7 Tips that Will Help You During Your Next Interview

job interview tips research studies

As you know, landing the job has a lot more to do than with just having the right resume. Not only do hiring managers look at your skills and employment history, they also want to make sure you’re a good match for the company culture. And the most common way hiring manager to do that, is through job interviews.

After researchers conducted numerous studies on the topic of job interviews, certain trends began to emerge. And when you learn the tips from these findings, you’ll be ahead of the competition during your next interview.


Set the Tone

In a job interview, first impressions are even more important than when you meet your in-laws for the first time. And numerous research studies show that the first impression is the most important part of the job interview.

When you learn to set the tone and shape your first impression, you can influence the outcome of the entire interview.

You can enhance your first impression by rehearsing a few lines about why you are the right person for the job. Research shows that this will influence the structure of the hiring manger’s memories around the session.


Feel Confident

Research clearly shows that people who felt powerful during an interview performed better. In one study, researchers primed a group of people with powerful images and the judges significantly preferred the power-primed candidates.

Another technique introduced by Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy called the “power pose,” can actually increase feelings of confidence in less than 2-minutes.

Whenever you’re about to enter a job interview, find a private place to practice a “power pose” Cuddy suggests. This pose involves making yourself bigger with your feet apart and stretching your arms up in a V-shape. If held for just two minutes, levels of testosterone have been seen to increase, along with a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol.

Here is another technique to summon confidence when you need it.


Cultivate Similarities to the Interviewer

Multiple studies have found that the key to acing a job interview and being liked by the hiring manager is being similar to them.

After careful study, it was found that the single most common mechanism utilized in the hiring decision was a candidate’s “similarity to her interviewer.”

With this in mind, enter your next job interview with an observant mind. Pick up on the cues the interviewer is giving off to you. Do they value education? Or real work experience? Do they have an outgoing persona? Or are they calm and reserved?

Identify these traits in your interviewer and mimic them slightly. You can also mimic body language which has been shown to build rapport. If they lean forward, you can as well. If they cross their legs, you can too.


Timing Your Interview

Although this might be out of your control, it has been shown that interviews conducted under certain circumstances actually have better results.

For example, research indicates that an interview goes better when it is held earlier in the day, the weather is sunny, and when you’re interviewed on a different day than your strongest competition.


Negotiate Salary the Right Way

The research on negotiations is deep and powerful. But the biggest factor to sealing the deal on a big offer is one thing according to Harvard’s MBA school. “They need to like you.”

According to Prof. Deepak Malhotra, the key to getting a higher salary and a better job offer is that they need to like you. And if you do things that make them like you less, you’re going to be less likely to get what you want. And second, the hiring company has to believe that you deserve it.

Therefore, the key to negotiating salary begins long before the job offer is made. You must build rapport with the interviewer and get them to like you. By using the other tips in this post, you can do that quite effectively.


Give a Strong Handshake

During a job interview, your handshake means a lot. In the few seconds it takes to give a handshake, a lot of information is conveyed and you can learn a lot about a person.

According to researchers at the University of Iowa, a strong handshake was even more important than other aspects of a job interview. The research has shown that the handshake is even more important than conscientiousness, agreeableness, or emotional stability.

The quality of the handshake has also been shown to be related to the quality of an interviewer’s recommendation.


Ask the Right Questions

When the interviewer inevitably asks you “do you have any questions for us?” they’re giving you an opportunity to really demonstrate your strength.

Not only does this section of the interview give you an opportunity to learn more about the role and the company but it also gives you an opportunity to impress the interviewer with insightful questions.


Preparing for Your Next Interview

As you prepare for your next job interview, incorporate these 7 tips and use research to your advantage. Not only will you be more likely to land the job by using these tips, you’ll also potentially receive a higher offer.