“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.
“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 ✍
“I am someone you can rely on.”
‘May I start now?’ ‘Yes, go ahead.’
“When I think back on my youth, I wish I had studied harder.”
“It’s too late. I need to get back to work.”
“It depends on the job, but what I want to see is competency in your role.”
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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