1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
This is without a doubt one of the most daunting interview questions many young professionals get asked when hunting for internships or entry-level jobs. This is a very common first behavioral question since it is designed to catch you off guard and see if you are mentally on your toes.
Often times individuals are caught up in a frenzy thinking through technical answers and whether or not they know enough about the company. Be prepared instead to speak on your past actions. For example, focusing on your interests outside the classroom like philanthropy or leadership roles held in student organizations is a great way to speak towards your character and draw upon real world examples.
2. What is your greatest weakness?
When posed with this question many tend to stare blankly at the interviewers. Most people get caught up thinking about the taboo nature of mentioning their weaknesses without understanding the reason why the recruiter is asking this question in the first place!
Recruiters are not necessarily looking to grill you with this question so take a deep breath! They are really just looking to gain a better understanding of how you deal with true, raw failure . This is especially important in today’s rapidly growing and ever-changing economy where technology is rearranging the competitive landscape. It seems even more common now with our generation, we want to succeed on the first try. We have so many resources readily available at our fingertips, but instead of using them result in comparing ourselves with others. The reality is that the most successful individuals became the successes they are today by constantly going through failure and never giving up.
To answer this question be able to call upon an occasion where you displayed a weakness, learned from it, and grew that weakness into a strength. It’s a perfect way to impress your recruiters and exhibit humility through failure.
3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This has to be the scariest question to ask any college student. Some students barely know where they see themselves getting next month’s rent from. So how does a recruiter expect you to know where you want to be in five years?
They know just as much as you that your five year plan isn’t set in stone, and that’s okay because nothing ever is. They want to know that you have at least given some thought to your career interests and aspirations for your professional life. You should be honest about your goals and reiterate your intentions to stay with the company in order to gain further advancement. If this is not your goal with the company you should also make a note of this because some companies offer special rotational programs that allow you to get your feet wet in various parts of an industry.
4. Do you have any questions for us?This is a HUGE mistake some candidates makes when leaving an interview. Sometimes you just want to get up and run out of there, but you should always come prepared to ask the interviewer a question. If you come unprepared try asking them how they like their job, it makes you seem interested in them and gives you a taste of the company’s work culture.
Here are some of my personal favorites that I invite you to use for your next interview!-How did the last person in my position grow within the company? -What does the day-to-day look like for you in your job role? -What are the company’s core values? -How does the company quantify success metrics for promotions? -What opportunities does the company offer for professional development or advancement?