Handling tricky interview questions

Interviews are a key part of the job search process, so rebooting your career means mastering interviews. Here are four tricky interview questions that you should be prepared for at your next job interview.

Tell me about yourself.

The interviewer is looking for how you will benefit their company by asking you to open up and share some information.

You need to keep your answers short and simple. You should elaborate on your experiences and goals that are relevant to the position that you are interviewing for. Remember to summarise your resume and talk about transitions in your employment.

Why did you leave your previous job?

The interviewer is trying to get an understanding of why you decided to move on from the previous employer to assess risk factors for the prospective employer.  The answer will depend on your situation.

If you have a job already, you need to say that you’re seeking a greater opportunity. If you were terminated, you should simply say that the job didn’t work out and you parted ways. You should never criticise your previous employer, and focus on your achievements rather than anything bad. If you were laid off, tell the interviewer that the layoff was related to the economy or the fortunes of the company (it is ok).

What is your salary range?

The interviewer is trying to determine whether you are in the range that they are prepared to pay. Don’t set your expectations unrealistically high or too low.

You should always say that your salary is negotiable, but have a realistic, factual view of what you want to get paid. To get this information, review salary surveys for your role and experience level.

What are your goals for the future?

The interviewer wants to understand your fit for their company.

You should explain that you want to grow with the company and excel with your skills. You should also give examples of positive results that you will achieve for the company. You should not give the interviewer that you see the role as a stepping stone to something bigger and better, or that you somehow see the company as stepping down.

Interviews are like any other skill and you gain confidence through practise. However, an interview for a new career that you hope to get is not the ideal time or place to practise your interview technique – you need to be ready when you walk into the interview.

If you want to master interviews, Career Reboot consultants can assist you with special interview coaching and advice. Mock interviews and feedback can help you to face any likely questions with confidence and master that important interview.