July 4 2012 - Good preparation is the key to answering the toughest interview questions with confidence
according to staffing, recruitment and HR Services company Randstad Canada.
Stacy Parker, Executive Vice President of Randstad Canada
says that jobseekers should focus on the outcome when they encounter tough interview questions: .
"Tough interview questions are an opportunity for job seekers to show that they know what they want, they are proud of their career path and looking
for an opportunity to grow. Well handled, a tough interview can become a real door opener."
She highlights some of the toughest questions an interviewer can ask - and tips on on how to answer them:
Tell me about yourself?
A classic question. This is particularly challenging because interviewees need to find the right balance
between providing enough information and providing too much detail aout themselves. Focus on keeping answers relevant to the job applied for.
What are your weaknesses?
Anticipated with dread by job seekers. Stacy Parker says that the best way to answer is by choosing a professional trait
and explain how it can be an advantage if well managed. If you identify a specific weakness, remind the interviewer you are
actively taking actions to correct it. For example, "I used to have trouble with procrastination, now I have learned
to write down a list of things that I need to do, and keep a calendar to keep track of deadlines."
Why did you leave your previous job, and why are you leaving your current position?
The best tactic is to be as honest and specific as possible. Stay positive and focus on the future and talk about
previous employers with respect. If you are currently working, focus on the skills you want to develop and how the job
you are applying for fits in with your career plan.
What are your long-range career goals?
The interviewer wants to know if you can see yourself working for the company on a long-term basis. Emphasize that you
want to secure a position that offers opportunities to grow, develop skills and take on challenges and responsibilities.
Do not indicate that you hope to start your own business, change careers or are thinking of going back to school full-time.
What are your salary expectations?
Avoid giving out a precise figure at this point if at all possible. Stress that it is important for you to learn more about the job.
If you are pressed for an answer - give a range of what you understand you are worth in the job market.
Do you have any questions?
This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Use it!
You should ask questions about their corporate culture, development and career
opportunities and what you can expect from your prospective work colleagues.
Stacy Parker said that preparation is the key to a great interview:
"An interview is a great opportunity to reflect on your past accomplishments and future goals. Take the time to review what you have
done, where you want to go, be honest and to the point. If you engage in conversation in a compelling, relevant and positive way with your
prospective employer, you'll give yourself the best chance to land the job you want."