Interviewing for a new role can be quite stressful… actually scrap the ‘can be’, it is stressful; especially for those who haven’t been through the recruitment process for a while. But being prepared for those tricky, curve-ball questions can build confidence and give you the opportunity to present who you truly are to prospective employers.
Haylo’s own Laura May has built a great reputation coaching and preparing people on how to navigate the recruitment process; from formatting their resume, through to interview techniques and career planning.
“You know the questions are going to be asked, so rather than ‘wing-it’ on the day, why not role play it and prepare your answers before you interview?” Laura advises.
Here’s Laura’s top 5 tricky interview questions and her suggestions on how best to answer them.
1. What is your biggest weakness?
In my experience people often like to give a clichéd answer to this question, attempting to show their weakness as a positive… ‘oh I’m such a perfectionist!’ But instead of doing this, try to be honest, though be honest with something that will not prevent you from being successful in the role! You can also talk about how you’ve worked on your weakness, or learnt something new to improve yourself. This will help show ‘your authentic self’ to those interviewing you. Without you sounding cliched, flawed or glib.
2. What is your unique selling point, why should I hire you?
Especially in Australia, we don’t like to ‘big-note’ ourselves for fear of sounding boastful. But here’s your opportunity to talk about your strengths. This can be your qualifications, unique experiences, and importantly your accomplishments, even awards, and recognition you’ve received along the way. Importantly you should tailor your response to the organisation interviewing you… a little bit of research on the factors affecting them, will go a long way!
3. Tell me about a time you made a mistake?
It’s great to be open, but focus your answer on something that allows you to explain the valuable lessons you learnt and that doesn’t interfere with your ability to do the job. And be honest, you’re not expected to be perfect. It’s all about what you did to overcome your mistake.
4. Why are you leaving your current job?
Ouch! This can be so difficult, especially if you are leaving a toxic work environment. Here’s the thing, NEVER talk about your prior workplace in an overtly negative light. If there are negative reasons as to why you are leaving, try to explain your decision from a career progression point of view. That it was great and your colleagues supportive, but that there was no clear career path, or simply it was time to take your career to the next level with another organisation.
5. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
Don’t be afraid to answer this honestly. Remember it’s okay to have ambitions of working in a more senior role than the one you are interviewing for. It shows that you have thought about it and have clearly defined career objectives. That said, you should make it clear that you understand that you don’t expect progression/growth into this area overnight and that you are willing to learn and prove yourself.
If you’d like help preparing yourself for a role change, or would simply to brainstorm your career goals and aspiration, then connect with Laura, and the Haylo team today. We are here to help you grow and thrive.
- On 22/10/2022