If you haven’t read 15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers!) by Angela Astley on the New Grad Life blog, go read it now. The post is two years old, but is still very relevant.
Some key points:
None of the suggestions should be new to you. If you find you can’t answer any of them, be sure to do additional research prior to the interview. Then, think through the logical follow-up questions. For example, with the question of why you want to work in the industry, think of specific examples of projects or challenges related to the industry. For PR, feel free to talk about the time you helped a campus group get press coverage for their event. Know the challenges facing the industry and be prepared to ask your interviewer about how the firm you are interviewing with views those challenges. You can ask follow-up questions, too!
Be ready to give examples of how you worked with your previous boss and what kind of management style works best for you. You shouldn’t come out and say, “I like to be left alone to do what I want and hate micro-mangers,” that may be true, but it isn’t the impression you want to leave the interviewer with. Instead try, “I like working with deadlines that give me the opportunity to be creative in reaching specific goals.”
What was the hardest interview question you’ve ever had to answer?
This book by Richard Bolles is a must read for recent graduates and anyone looking for a job or career change. It’s a practical, easy read with tips, tricks and encouragement.
In case you needed a bit more convincing that this book will motivate you to tweak your job search techniques for greater success, here are five takeaways about interviewing.
- How do I know if the interview went well? You talked about 50 percent of the time and the interviewer talked about 50 percent of the time. (pages 35 and 97) An interview is a conversation.
- Bring proof to your interview. (pages 51 and 99) For example, if you’re interviewing for a reporting job, bring your clips, even if you included them in your original application packet.
- At the end of the interview, ask the interviewer, “Can you offer me this job?” (page 113) Obviously you should only do this if you feel the interview went well, you are comfortable and you are prepared to hear no. Another answer you should be prepared for is, “We need to think about it,” or “We need to finish interviewing other candidates.”
- Respond to a rejection. If you get a firm no after you’ve asked if the interviewer can offer you the job, follow-up with, “Thank you very much for your time today. Do you know any other employers who might be interested in someone with my skills?” (page 59) Again, only ask this if you are comfortable hearing no and being shuffled out of the office quickly. You can also use this tactic when receiving a phone call, email or letter indicating the company went with another candidate.
- Pursue more than one employer until after you start your new job. (page 134) As in, have gone through the first full day.
These are just five of the thousands of pieces of advice throughout the book. At minimum, check this book out from the library. Mr. Bolles updates this book every year and runs a website, Job Hunters Bible. This book is an excellent resource for anyone looking for work, considering a career change or wondering what they want to be when they grow up.