“Tell Me A Little About Yourself”
No, this isn’t invitation to tell your life or recite your resume, the answer doesn’t even have to be long either. This is probably the first question you’ll be asked, and also your first chance to pitch why you’re perfect for the job.
Give the whole picture by talking about the Present, Past, and Future.
So first start with the present by summarizing where you work now and what you do there. Next, talk about some professional experiences you’ve had in the past and the skills you’ve gained.
After that you can finish with the future - in other words - why you’re super excited about the opportunity you have with this company!
Of course, remember to highlight the skill sets and experiences most relevant to the job you’re applying for. And another thing to keep in mind: the hiring manager already has your resume, so this is your chance to talk about something other than the boring technical stuff.
2. “What’s Your Biggest Weakness?”
The answer to this question will definitely set you apart if it doesn’t trip you up like most people. I mean, who wants to talk about the least impressive parts of their skills or personality?
The truth is, employers value someone who can honestly reflect on themselves and what they need to work on, so the worst thing you can do is lie or try to gloss over your weaknesses.
Think about something you know you’re not great at, but explain it as something in the past and show how you’ve taken steps to overcome it. Mention that your weakness is still something you’re working on becoming better at every day.
Just make sure you don’t say something like, “My weakness is being too perfect,” or “I struggle with perfectionism,” because nobody would really believe that's your biggest weakness.
3. “Why Did You Leave Your Most Recent Job?”
This is another great question which is tricky, but will make you look all the better for responding with a good answer.
First off, NEVER be negative about your past employers because that will just make you seem like a negative person who doesn’t get along well.
Instead you should focus your response on showing how you’re seeking a company with a culture that better suits you, as opposed to blaming the company for the lack of fit.
This approach allows you to be honest without being negative, trashing the current company or any one person in particular. The unbiased approach on your situation is that your company has gone through a lot of organizational changes, has hired new management, and has an evolving corporate culture and strategy, and the company is no longer a good fit for you.
The more you can adopt this unbiased view, the better for you.
4. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Montana? (Inspired by Google)
Okay whoa, what? You might get an out of the box question like this and find yourself wondering where to even start!
If you do then just relax, and remember that the most complicated sounding question probably has the simplest answer. Oftentimes with a question like this, most candidates don’t even provide a correct answer. Employers simply ask this because it's difficult to prepare for, and they want to see firsthand how quickly you can think on your feet.
So sure you can prepare responses for open-ended questions such as “Tell me about yourself,” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” But, employers want to see that you remain calm in the face of uncertainty—and that you are able to think outside of the box if they take you “off-script.”
Naturally, when asked this question you try to find the total of what you would charge to wash all the windows. But what most people don’t realize is that it’s way easier to just answer in terms of the price per window.
So how much would you charge to wash all the windows in Montana? Easy, $20 per window (or whatever price you choose). Remember, there is no right answer.
So there you go, now you should be a bit more prepared to show your potential employer why they NEED you on the team.
Of course, while you shouldn’t memorize your response word-for-word, definitely spend some time thinking of what you’re going to say and how you can get the message across that you’re the best one for the job.