I like what I’m hearing but we’ve got a ton of great candidates. Why should we hire you?
An easy question to answer well with one caveat – don’t slam your fellow interviewee’s. On the one hand, you have an opportunity to really stand out from the pack. Alternatively, You shouldn’t assume the skills of other applicants. Focus on your own strengths, and if the interviewer hasn’t given you an opportunity to mention that one “slam dunk” quality about yourself, now would be the time.
Is there a wrong way to answer this question? Consider the responses below:
Notice any commonality here? All of these answers demonstrate a benefit to you. While every employer assumes that these sorts of things play in on some level, these are not the reasons they are going to hire you.
In summation, clearly illustrate what in specific has made you a good employee, and how you envision yourself contributing to and benefiting the company.
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
This one is all about job commitment.
Some people make job hopping a career in of itself, and your answer here can be telling. Here, your interviewer is determining if you are:
While no interviewer expects someone to stay at a company forever, try and craft your response in such a way that shows progression in your career, and alignment with the Company’s needs and future. Again, self awareness is key – your employer doesn’t want to send you down an unwanted path, resulting in wasted time and energy for everyone.
I don’t expect you to go into too much detail – but why are you leaving your last job?
An innocent question. But a question that if answered improperly, can be a deal breaker. While many individuals will be looking to a new job as a means of increasing their salary, “not being paid well enough at your last job” is not something you want to mention to your interviewer. After all, are you not likely to leave this particular job if you found you could make more down the street?
If you’re currently employed and leaving of your own accord, craft your response around enhancing your career development and a seeking out of new challenges.
If your current employer is downsizing, be honest about it, remain positive, but keep it brief. If your employer fired you or let you go for cause, be prepared to give a brief – but honest – reply. No matter how tempting it may be, or how “unfair it was that they let you go” steer clear away from any and all drama and negativity. Any experienced employer understands that sometimes things happen. Staying positive is key here.
While this question is an invitation to do some chest pounding, remember to illustrate strengths that will benefit the employer and are relative to the position. For example:
Are typically all solid strengths, but again, consider the position. For example, mentioning you are an excellent “team player” in a job where you largely work alone suddenly becomes irrelevant to the employer and demonstrates a genuine lack of self awareness.
Beyond this, present your strengths with confidence – this is not the time to be modest.
Another tricky one. The purpose of this question is to see how you view and evaluate yourself.
One the one hand, if you suggest you don’t have any weaknesses, your interviewer will almost certainly see you as a lair, egotistical, or both.
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to present a positive skill in disguise as a weakness, like “I work too hard” or “I am a perfectionist”. Any experienced interviewer will see through this in a heartbeat.
Additionally, revealing that “I’m not really a morning person and have been known to come in late” raises immediate and obvious red flags.
The trick here is to respond realistically by mentioning a small, work related weakness and what you are doing or have done to overcome it.