Popular interview questions come and go as the world changes; however, there are a few questions that have stood the test of time. You should be prepared to respond to them with confidence – and provide the answer that potential employers want to hear. You can use these questions to your advantage–here’s how.
If you get to this question, you’ve likely sparked some interest by the interviewer, but your answer could result in not getting an offer. The question has nothing to do with your qualifications, but employers do not want to waste further time exploring candidates that want more money than they are offering.
If possible, it is best to postpone the salary discussion altogether. This is one instance where a vague answer may be beneficial. Offer an answer such as, “Can we discuss that further down the road when I have more information about the company and the role I would be filling?”
If that doesn’t squash the conversation, ask what range they are considering. If it sounds good to you, then say that you are comfortable with that range–but don’t give them a number quite yet.
Finally, you should know that in many cities and states it is actually illegal for employers to ask for salary history; however, it is perfectly acceptable to ask about your salary expectations.
Greatest Strength and Greatest Weakness
Although this clichéd question should have been tabled years ago, many interviewers still use it. Be prepared to answer in a way that relates to the position. For instance, if you are great at problem-solving and are applying for a customer service job, offer a quick example of how you successfully resolved an issue for a customer.
When identifying weaknesses, find one that you are actively working to improve. By doing this, you are turning the weakness into a strength. For example, if you are unorganized you can say that being organized does not come naturally to you, but since you started using a planner or organization app you have not missed a single deadline.
Tell Me About Yourself
This extremely vague question often stumps applicants. Not knowing exactly what the interviewer is asking, it’s easy to get tripped up trying to answer it. Instead of summarizing your resume, actually tell them something about yourself they don’t know. You can even use this moment to lighten the atmosphere of the interview by telling them your shoe size or what your favorite type of food is!
The interviewer isn’t looking for any specific response to this question. They are often just trying to loosen things up. It’s perfectly fine to play along; make the most of this vague question by setting a good tone for the remainder of the interview.