How to Respond to Common Interview Questions

It’s likely not the first—nor will it be the last—time you’ve been asked one or more of the common interview questions. That means there’s no excuse to arrive unprepared to answer them.

Rehearsing how you might respond to some of the most commonly asked interview questions is a great way to gain a competitive edge and give more polished interview responses.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your goals?
  • What’s your greatest achievement at work?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Describe a time when you experienced a setback or failure at work.
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed or experienced conflict with someone at work.

Practice and hone your responses to these obvious interview questions to get a few easy wins in the interview and raise your confidence for facing the more unexpected questions that may come your way.

Do you have any questions you’d like to ask me? If an interviewer asks you this question, then your answer should always be, “Yes.” Come prepared with a few thoughtful and tailored questions that show you’ve done your research on the company and care about making sure the job is the right fit.

Job Interview Preparation and Tips

It’s often the sense of uncertainty that makes job interviews feel so scary. You don’t know what questions an interviewer will ask or how you’ll respond to them.

However, you can minimise uncertainty and improve your outcomes through proper preparation.

For example, make sure you understand good interviewing etiquette and study up on the job, team, and company you’re targeting.

You can also prepare for a job interview by crafting a compelling why and reflecting on recent work experiences, projects, and accomplishments that you might use as examples throughout the interview.

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. Rehearse your responses to common interview questions to get in the right headspace and iron out the kinks.

Send a thank-you email within 48 hours after the interview. A thank-you note doesn’t have to be long or complicated. You might simply tell the interviewer(s) that you enjoyed meeting with them—and note a few specific details of the conversation or process that excited you, or reinforced why you believe you’d be a good fit for the position.

Working Remotely: Sharing Information

You have a file to share with your team—maybe it’s a report, photo, or video.

What’s the best way to get the job done when working remotely?

A messaging app or email may come to mind, but they aren’t always the best choice, especially if your file is big or data security is a priority.

File-sharing tools, however, such as the following, can make it quick and easy to get your work into the right hands—as well as keep it secure:

Developing a Growth Mindset

Developing a growth mindset means adopting the belief that our talents and intelligence are cultivated—not fixed at birth.

With time and effort, we have the potential to change, improve, and grow.

Make a conscious effort to ditch negative or limiting self-talk about who you aren’t, what you can’t do, and what you haven’t been able to accomplish in the past.

Your current ability isn’t the same as your long-term potential. Seek feedback, embrace new challenges, and track your progress.

Learn from others’ success as well as your own mistakes. You either have it, or you can develop it with enough time, practice, and training.

Clarification! A growth mindset doesn’t mean that you believe you’ll be the next Einstein. It also doesn’t mean that you ignore your or others’ strengths.

It does mean that you believe you can improve at something if you want to and put in the necessary work.

Transitioning to Remote Work

More and more companies are turning to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few are prepared for the transition.

Spinning up a remote workforce takes more than dispensing laptops—it takes careful planning and oversight.

In this course, we’ll walk you through the essentials of transitioning to remote work, including key guidance for managers and employees.

View this course

Writing a Cover Letter

Writing a resume and cover letter go hand in hand.

Both documents are essential to the job search and application process. Both documents also work together to achieve the same goal: to showcase your qualifications and convince an employer to interview you.

However, you aren’t taking full advantage of your cover letter if you’re simply repeating what’s already shown on your resume. Don’t make this common cover letter mistake.

Instead, focus on highlighting your top three “selling” points, explaining why these qualifications make you the best candidate for the job, and giving employers a feel for your personality and what you could add to the company culture.

Finally, don’t mistake a cover letter that’s professional for one that’s dull. Tailor your cover letter to the position and brand, and strive to make it interesting and catch an employer’s attention in relevant ways.

Talk about what you can offer the job—instead of what the job can offer you. Sure, employers like to know why the job appeals to you or why you’re passionate about your work—but that shouldn’t take over your entire cover letter.

Don’t spend too much time on your cover letter gushing about why the job is ideal for you. Remember, your goal is to communicate why you’d be ideal for the job.

Creating a Resume

Your resume is an employer’s first impression of you, and it provides them with quick data to make rapid decisions. Make it count.

Identify the key qualifications and work experiences that make you the best candidate for the position. Then, focus on crafting your resume content, style, and formatting around that.

Cut everything that’s unnecessary or dilutes your message. Instead, make sure that every bullet point, description, and detail on your resume supports a unified and compelling story about who you are, what you can contribute, and what separates you from other candidates.

Allocate space on your resume by level of importance. For example, allocate more space to describe your most recent job experience and less space to describe a less relevant internship.

Pay attention to how much visual space each section of your resume consumes.

Signs It’s Time to Find a New Job

In the end, only you can decide what’s best for you. You owe it to yourself and to your career to evaluate your reasons for staying or quitting—and determine whether or not finding a new job is what you really need and want.

It may be time to find a new position if your current role doesn’t align with your professional interests or goals, or if you’ve reached a dead end in your career development and advancement.

A few other signs that it’s time for a change are if you’re consistently unhappy or unexcited about your work, if your physical health suffers due to work-related stress, or if you work with people who create a toxic or hostile work environment.

Always consider internal tools and opportunities before turning to external ones. At the same time, don’t hesitate to take control of your career and make a change if your current job is no longer a good fit.

Stay on good terms. If you decide that it’s time to find a new job, avoid burning bridges on your way out.

Give appropriate notice. Have a plan in place. And do everything you can to make the transition smooth for your former boss and team. They may be important contacts to have in your network for landing the position that is right for you.

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