You did it! And you have the cap and gown to prove it. Whether you’ve graduated from a paralegal college, business management college or even a web site design school, you know that your next step involves landing your first professional position. You’ve applied to countless jobs and received a few phone calls requesting interviews—hard part’s over right? Not quite, because now you have to attend the interviews and prove to those companies that you’re the right person for the job. How? By answering a series of questions about yourself, your past work experiences, your career goals and much more. Don’t sweat it, you’ve definitely got this—I mean, who knows you better than you right? But some topics are harder to handle than others. Here are some sample questions and possible answers to help calm your nerves.
Q: Describe How You Managed a Problem Employee or Colleague
There’s a high probability that this one will be asked if you’re applying for a management or supervisor position. You’ll want to show that you work well with all types of people, especially in a position of authority. Your future employer wants to ensure that you’re capable of managing even the least motivated people. How do you prove that? The best way to answer a question like this is to give examples. Provide an anecdote of a time at school or at a past job when you had to confront a less-than-motivated person and you were able to inspire them to work. For example, you may have had to complete a group project at school and one of your peers wasn’t doing much work. Perhaps you spoke to this particular group member, got a sense of what they were interested in and then tried to incorporate those interests into their part of the project. This will show your future employer that you’re capable of coming up with productive solutions and avoiding conflict.
Q: Why Do You Want To Work Here?
This is something that will likely be asked in every job interview you’ll ever attend. The interviewer wants to know that you’ve done your research—so do your research! Spend some time sifting through the company’s website and find out as much as possible before your interview. Try to find a connection between your skills and the company. In what ways can you contribute to the company’s success? For example, if you’re applying for a management position at a high fashion boutique, you’ll definitely want to bring up your business training. You might also want to tell your interviewer about the fashion blog that you’ve been writing for several years, and how you’d like to share your fashion expertise with customers. This will show your interviewer that you already have an understanding of the industry and that it’s something you’re truly passionate about.
Q: What is Your Dream Job?
This one is tricky and you need to be cautious when answering it. Because we can’t all expect to get our dream jobs straight out of school, the position that you’re applying for may not even be related to your ideal one—it’s important to leave that out of your answer. Your interviewer is simply trying to decide if you’ll be content with the position and whether you’ll be motivated to do a good job. When answering this type of question, you should mention elements of the job you’re applying for in your response. For example, if you’re applying for a customer service position at a fitness center, you might say that you’re passionate about fitness and you love helping people. You could say that you would, one day, like to become a personal trainer. This will show your interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the industry, and in helping others achieve optimal health. It also shows them that you’re motivated to work hard, and will do your best to serve customers well.
What is the most difficult question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?