Most Common Job Interview Questions part 3

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — T. Harv Eker

11- What is your dream job?

Ideally, your response to the question should reference some elements of the job at hand. For example, if the position is a salesman job, you might say that your dream job would have a high level of interaction with customers. 

You can also focus on your ideal company culture and work environment. For instance, you might say you’re eager to work in a collaborative environment or to be a part of a passionate team. 

Another option is to frame your answer around the industry. For example, if you are applying for a job at an accounting company, you can mention your passion for numbers. 

12- When can you start?

The best way to answer is to be truthful and clear while providing the employer the earliest possible date that you could realistically and comfortably start the job.

If you’re currently employed, say you’re available to start after your notice period with your current employer ends. Never leave for a new position without giving your current employer proper notice.

If you’re unemployed, you still shouldn’t say you’re available to start the next day, just say you’d need one week to prepare yourself. Saying you’re able to start immediately implies that either this job is your first choice, or that your job search isn’t going very well. This can hurt your negotiating power if you receive a job offer.

After providing your answer, you can ask if that fits their timeline, and you can tell them that you’re willing to discuss and adjust based on their needs, for example, “I’m able to begin my next job two to three weeks after being offered a position. Does that fit with the timeframe you have in mind?”

13- Are you willing to relocate?

If the answer is yes, try focusing on what makes this role special to you and your attachment to its location or situation, you convince the interviewer that you’d fit right in, for example, “I’m really excited about this opportunity and feel I could provide great value in this role. I would definitely be open to relocation and look forward to learning more details around this.”

If you really want the job but struggle to commit to relocating, you have to figure out the best way to break that news to the interviewer without hurting your chances. You’ll need to express your conditions clearly before signing up for something you can’t follow through on later.

However, if you might be open to relocation but don’t love this job enough to move for it, it’s probably best you don’t get it and keep your options open for better opportunities in your area.

But if you actually really like the job but want (or need) a little leeway, consider taking the approach of learning yes, but with the caveat that if possible you’d like to stay where you are—or be compensated if you do move. This way, you set yourself up to discuss your options, should the hiring manager decide they like you enough to be flexible on relocation.

14- What do you like to do outside of work?

This is an interview question that can provide insight into how you’ll fit in with other members of the team; it can also provide insight into your personal priorities. Another purpose of this question, however, may be to gauge how you would react to the unexpected.

Don’t be tempted to fib and claim to enjoy hobbies you don’t. Focus on activities that indicate some sort of growth: skills you’re trying to learn, goals you’re trying to accomplish. Weave those in with personal details. For example, “Work and family accounts for a lot of my time. On the weekends, we like to get out to the beach or the park and enjoy nature. It’s a good way for us to reset before tackling the workweek, and a great way to get exercise. I also really like languages, so I’m using my commute time to learn German.”

15- What is your work style?

What interviewers are trying to understand is how well you’ll fit in with the current company culture. 

Keep your answer personal, humble, honest.

Give strict examples if you can but keep it brief. Take the qualities that you feel will make you stand out and put them into the answer instead. You can emphasize the qualities of your work that you appreciate as well.

There are a few traits that can be used to describe a person’s approach.

Cooperative workers do best when they are part of a group. They enjoy bouncing ideas off of others and incorporating feedback. Additionally, diplomacy and relationship-building are common skills for these professionals.

Independents tend to have a lot of self-discipline and may have strong research and problem-solving skills, allowing them to find their own answers when they encounter obstacles.

Another pairing is whether you consider yourself creative or logical. 

Creative types may be better equipped to find unique solutions to problems. They also tend to be thoughtful, highly emotionally aware, and very expressive.

A logical person may be more detail- or data-oriented. Strategic thinking could be a strength, as well as organization and planning.



WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

Free time: time when you do not have to work, study, etc., and can do what you want.

Unexpected: not expected or regarded as likely to happen.

Difference: a point or way in which people or things are not the same.

Cooperative: involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal.

Cautious: careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.


PHRASAL VERBS

Check somebody/something out

“The company checks out all new employees.”

Figure something out

“I am going to figure out this math problem.”

Find out

“Did you find out why Jason got fired?”

Pay for something

“People earning low wages will find it difficult to pay for childcare.”

Sort something out

“We need to sort the bills out before the first of the month.”


IDIOMS 📒

The blue-eyed boy: a person who can do nothing wrong.

Work all the hours that God sends: work as much as possible.

Get off on the wrong foot: start off badly with someone.

Beat around the bush: not say exactly what you want.

Get your feet under the table: get settled in.




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Most Common Job Interview Questions Part 2

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” — Arthur Ashe

 

6- What are your salary expectations?

Working out the best way to answer this job interview question requires careful consideration – because you need to avoid sounding unrealistic while at the same time making sure that you do not seem indifferent.

The number one rule of answering this question is: Don’t say a specific number or even a narrow salary range that you’re targeting. Figure out your salary requirements ahead of time. Do your research on what similar roles pay by using sites like PayScale and reaching out to your network. Be sure to take your experience, education, skills, and personal needs into account, too.

Stay realistic and focused, taking into consideration your salary from your current or previous job. 

Tell them that you’re focused on finding the best-fitting role and that you don’t have a specific target salary in mind yet.

 

Let’s see some examples, 

 

“At this point in my job search, I’m focused on finding the position that’s the best fit for my skills and career. Once I’ve done that, I’m willing to consider an offer that you feel is fair for the role.”

 

“I’m currently earning a base salary of $55,000. I don’t have a specific number in mind that I’m targeting for this next position, though, and I’m willing to consider an offer that you feel is fair.”

 

“My priority in my job search is to find a position that’s a great fit and will allow me to continue learning and becoming more skilled, but I do not have a specific number in mind yet.  That said, I did some baseline research into salaries for this type of role here in Montevideo and found that the average seems to be in the US$ 50,000 to US$ 60,000 range, so if your job is within that range, I think it makes sense to keep talking.”

 

7- Where do you see yourself in five years?

An employer is usually looking for people who know how to find solutions to any problems. But, the main issue of this question is to understand how your career goals and ambitions fit with the company’s plans.

Be honest and specific about your future goals. Pick a work-related plan of where you’d like to be five years from now, and make sure it’s slightly challenging or ambitious-sounding. Make sure to share a goal that is related to the type of job you’re interviewing for. You want to sound like the experience you’ll gain in this job fits your long-term goals.

 

For example, 

“In 5 years, I hope to sharpen my skills in two specific areas of teaching: technology in the elementary classroom and social-emotional learning. I would love to become an expert in those areas so I can use technology as a literacy tool to create a more inclusive learning environment for elementary school children, mainly with those with TDAH.”

 

Wrong answer examples: 

“Though I am entry-level, I want to be CEO in five years.” or “There are so many talented people here. I just want to do a great job and see where my talents take me.”

 

8- What are your greatest strengths?

You have to reply explaining your strengths and how your skills can represent real added value for the company. You can answer using phrases like the ones below, remembering always to contextualize them. In other words, don’t rattle off a list of adjectives. Instead, pick one or a few specific qualities relevant to this position and illustrate them with examples. Stories are more memorable than generalizations. 

 

For example, “I’m what you call a ‘people person’, and I truly believe that it is this quality that has led to my success as a salesperson. I not only met but exceeded my sales targets every quarter for the four years I’ve worked in sales. In one memorable exchange, a client told me she picked our company for a big contract because I remembered that her son was sick the week before and took the time to ask about him. She said it showed that our company made client care one of our top priorities – which was true.”

 

9- How would you describe your ideal boss?

This is another question about finding the right fit – both from the company’s perspective and yours. Be honest in your answer, but try to be as positive as possible. Think back on what worked well for you in the past and what didn’t. What did previous bosses do that motivated you and helped you succeed and grow? Pick one or two things to focus on and consistently articulate them with positive framing (even if your preference comes from an experience where your manager behaved oppositely, phrase it as what you would want a manager to do). Focus more on high-level attributes, not stuff that’s in the weeds. If you can, give a positive example from a great boss as it’ll make your answer even stronger.

 

For example, “I like a manager who’s more hands-off when it comes to day-to-day responsibilities because I believe that a manager that empowers employees to do better and gives them the trust to problem solve on their own allows them to be more successful.”

 

Wrong answer examples,

“Actually, I “work well with any kind of person.”

“The most important attribute in a boss, in your opinion, is someone who only emails you in the mornings.”

“I want a boss who takes me out to drink to celebrate big achievements.”

 

10- Do you have any questions for us?

Asking questions shows interest in the position and shows employers that you’re looking for the right fit, not just any job. This will make them trust you more and want you more.

It also allows you to get a sense of the company atmosphere, where the company’s going, and if it’s the right fit for you.

You can ask about the responsibilities, training, the overall direction of the company, the biggest challenges for someone in this position, new projects, products, clients, or growth plans.

Don’t ask about salary, benefits, time off, or anything unrelated to the job offer. Wait for them to bring it up, or until you know, they want to offer you the position.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

Experience: (the process of getting) knowledge or skill from doing, seeing, or feeling things.

Take initiative: be the first to take action in a particular situation.

Candidate: a person who applies for a job.

Contribution: the part played by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance.

Personal development: any skill that you want to develop to improve yourself.



PHRASAL VERBS

Rely on

“I am someone you can rely on.”

Go ahead

‘May I start now?’ ‘Yes, go ahead.’

Think back

“When I think back on my youth, I wish I had studied harder.”

Get back 

“It’s too late. I need to get back to work.”

Depend on

“It depends on the job, but what I want to see is competency in your role.”



IDIOMS 📒

Baptism by fire: a difficult task given right after one has assumed new responsibilities.

Be in seventh heaven: extremely happy.

Be snowed under: be extremely busy with work or things to do.

You snooze, you lose: if you delay or are not alert, you will miss opportunities.

Whistle in the dark: To be unrealistically confident or brave; to talk about something of which one has little knowledge.

 

 

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Most common Job Interview questions part 1

“Opportunities don’t happen; you create them.” — Chris Grosser.

The goal of anticipating interview questions isn’t to memorize responses but rather to get comfortable talking about these topics. 

The key is to understand the purpose of the interview and how it fits into the hiring process.

Below, we’ve put together commonly-asked interview questions, including example answers to help you make a great first impression.

1- Tell me about yourself

This is probably the most common question used to start a job interview, and you’ll have to respond by giving personal information, details about your career, your skills, and your studies. It’s an open-ended question that can tempt you to share too much irrelevant information. So it’s essential to keep your answer focused on your career and abilities. The interviewer wants you to demonstrate your skills, job experience, future goals, and how you’ll fit in with the company culture. Prepare to say a few things about your accomplishments, strengths, and a quick summary of your career. Be sure to keep your answer brief with a 60 to 90-second answer.

 

Don’t answer: “I’m from Osaka. I have two brothers. I love to play the guitar. My favorite food in the world is sushi.” 

 

Better say: “I’m an electrical engineer with ten years of experience in car building. After earning my electrician’s certificate at ABC Tech, I apprenticed with Toyota Motor Corporation, and then they hired me as a journeyman electrician. In 2018, I earned my degree in electrical engineering at Waseda University.”

 

2- Why are you interested in this job? / Why are you interested in working at this company?

The employer wants to know why you think this job is a match for your career objectives. Impress the interviewer by researching about their organization beforehand. This will show genuine interest in the role and the organization.

Take the time to describe how your qualifications are a match for the job. Highlight your skills and experiences concerning the company you want to join. 

It’s important to focus on how your abilities and experience can benefit the company and position. You need to sell yourself as a business-of-one who can provide a service better than the competition. And, it’s in no way a chance to mention the benefits or salary or day-to-day tasks. 

 

Don’t answer: “Actually, this job pays really well!”  or “I’ve been unemployed for a long time, so I really need to get a job.” 

 

Better say: “I’m very interested in the Sales Manager job. As you mentioned in the job listing, I’d be responsible for designing and implementing a strategic sales plan that expands the company’s customer base and ensures its strong presence. Also managing recruiting, objectives setting, coaching, and performance monitoring of sales representatives. I was responsible for all three functions in my most recent position as Sales Manager Assistant at Kontoor Brands Company. I recruited over 100 employees and led training for all new staff members in a department of 50 people in that role. I’m interested in this job because it would allow me to use my previous experience while continuing to develop my expertise in new areas of responsibility.”

 

3- Why are you leaving your current job / Why did you leave your last job?

Your response will say a lot about what you’re looking for in an employer, so answer this question honestly and objectively. Focus on a positive reason such as career growth and challenge. 



Don’t answer: “The last company I worked for was a hell hole. I would do my best to never work for any bigoted employer.”



Better say: “I had been with the organization for several years and wanted to experience a new environment to continue growing.”

Wrong answer example: “The targets set at work were not realistic and hard to achieve.” 

 

If you were fired, tell the truth but also be strategic in your response. Avoid any answers that reflect poorly on you. Make sure you never badmouth your former employer. Take responsibility, and don’t sound bitter or angry about the past. Show the interviewer what you learned and what steps you’ve taken to ensure this never happens again. Your best bet is to keep your answer short. Every situation is unique, so be sure to tailor your response to fit your circumstances.

 

Or say, “Actually I left involuntarily, the job wasn’t working out, so my boss and I agreed that it was time for me to move on to a position that would show a better return for both of us. So, I’m available and ready to work.”

 

4- Why should we hire you?

Your answer to this question should be a concise sales pitch that explains what you have to offer the employer. 

Review the job description before the interview. Make a list of the requirements for the position, including personality traits, skills, and qualifications. Then, make a list of the qualities you have that fit those requirements. Select five to seven strengths that correspond closely to the job requirements, and use these as the core for your answer. It’s also vital to deliver specific examples. The more concrete examples you can give, the better you will showcase your value to the hiring manager.

 

Don’t answer: “I desperately need this job. I am an honest, hardworking, and responsible person. Also, I have a sick mom to support.” 

 

Better say: “I am a superb consultative salesperson, never failing to surpass my quotas and break prior personal sales records because I truly enjoy working with customers. I increased their sales numbers by 24% at my previous company by integrating social media into their sales strategies. I will bring that innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to your company, and your success will be my top priority.”

 

5- What are your weaknesses?

Knowing your limitations and being willing to discuss them can portray honesty and a willingness to work on these limitations. When answering this question, focus on weaknesses that can be solved by implementing specific actions. 



Don`t answer: “I am talkative, and that distracts me from work.”

 

Better say: “one of my weaknesses is my nervousness when it comes to public speaking. However, I have found that practicing breathwork and rehearsing my speech beforehand significantly helps reduce this nervousness.”

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

 

WORDS

Self-assurance: confidence in one’s abilities or character.

Mistake: an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.

Weakness: the state or condition of lacking strength.

Avoid: keep away from or stop oneself from doing (something).

Interviewer: a person who interviews someone, especially as a job.



PHRASAL VERBS

Fit in “I think that I could see myself fitting in this company.”

Reach out “I reached out to you because I saw your job posting in the newspaper.”

Get into “How did you get into this kind of work?”

Follow through with “My boss told me he thinks I’m good at following through with long-term goals.”

Keep up “Well done, Charles. Keep up the great work!”

 

IDIOMS 📒

Like riding a bike: something that you never forget how to do.

Bad taste in one’s mouth: a feeling that something unspecified is wrong in a situation.

Don’t judge a book by its cover: not judging something by its initial appearance.

On the ball: doing a good job, being prompt, or being responsible.

A snowball effect: something has momentum and builds on each other, much like rolling a snowball down a hill to make it bigger.

 

 

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