The future lies ever before us, and the gate we must enter for new experiences is often tended by gatekeeper…gatekeepers with questions. Those questions can be tricky, so here’s a guide for how to respond.
According to Monster.com, the ten most frequently asked questions asked by interviewers include:
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What are your goals?
- Why did you leave your job?
- When were you most satisfied in your job?
- What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
- What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?
- What salary are you seeking?
- If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Who comes up with these questions? At first glance it seems impossible to find the right set of words…but it’s not as hard as it seems when you are prepared.
The rule of thumb is to respond professionally. Avoid the personal and focus instead on rehearsed responses. “I have selected key companies which will enhance my career, and your firm tops that list.” “My immediate goal is to secure employment with your company, but I hope to grow into a position of responsibility.” These are canned questions, so canned responses are appropriate.
Your resume probably includes a lot of these answers, but a gatekeeper wants to hear it in your own words. Your self-assurance and measured tones are important. Be patient. Respond forthrightly. Avoid being flippant or cute. Always be professional.
In any situation gatekeepers need to know if you have the skills required and if you will fit in. Whether you are looking at a new job, a scholarship, or trying to win a free trip to Albania, there are hoops through which you must pass. Do your research and be ready to explain who you are and why you matter.
Self-confidence is a key quality being measured. You display this confidence in a number of ways: through your posture, through your tone of voice, if you can answer succinctly and if you are able to form a connection with the interviewer. Very Well Mind suggests six ways to boost your self-assurance. They are simple things: Practice self-care. Surround yourself with positive people. Face your fears and practice speaking with confidence. Begin this now, and you’ll be ready the next time you want to impress a gatekeeper.
Remember that you are a valuable member of this organization and we believe in you. Believe in yourself.