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Smart Answers to 5 Standard Interview Questions (3rd Post in 4 Part Series)

There is an unlimited number of questions that a recruiter or hiring manager can ask you during an interview. Standard answers to common interview questions tend to make you one of the average candidates. On the other hand, unique answers will make you unforgettable, and this is a great advantage for any job seeker.

The following guidelines need to be adapted to your industry, job description, personality and career plans. Preparing for a job interview is not a sign of uncertainty, but a way to show the potential employer that you care about the job opportunity. The preparations will help you ace the interview.

I will develop this theme in four articles consisting of 20 questions and proposed answers. Here is the third round of 5 questions:

1. Do you have any questions?

  • The answer gives recruiters and hiring managers a chance to see how interested you are in the role and organization.

  • You are always expected to have questions about aspects that were not mentioned in the interview.

  • Wrong answer:

o You have no questions.

o You are asking something in connection with rumors you have heard about the company.

o You ask stupid questions (e.g. regarding the color of the chairs, regarding the menu served during the lunch break etc.).

  • Ideal answer:

o You ask about the role.

o You ask about the management.

o You ask about the assessments.

o You ask about the company culture.

2. When can you start working here?

  • The question does not mean that you are the preferred candidate for the job.

  • Recruiters and hiring managers just need to know how much time they have to wait for a possible closure of the role.

  • Do not leave your current job without notice or a transition period.

  • The golden rule is not to notify your current employer before receiving a written offer from the future employer.

  • Wrong answer:

o You can start tomorrow (if you are still employed).

o You sound desperate.

o You get too excited about this question.

o You're hurrying to commit to a possible date.

  • Ideal answer:

o You should inform about the notice period you agreed to when you were hired.

o You can ask when they need you to start, and that there may be a small chance to negotiate this period with your current employer.

o If necessary, mention personal events (e.g. vacations, holidays, events, etc.).

3. What is your current salary?

  • Many salaries are confidential, so this question is easily illegal in some regions.

  • Recruiters and hiring managers only need to know where to start salary negotiations in your case.

  • Wrong answer:

o You state a large number that is not related to the real labor market.

o You ask why the interviewer needs to know whether another company is paying its employees well.

  • Ideal answer:

o You should answer carefully.

o Give a number that you know most employers in this industry and at this location pay.

o Your salary is irrelevant, but you can confirm whether your financial expectations are within the salary range offered by the potential employer.

4. What are your salary expectations?

  • The potential employer just wants to know if you exceed his salary range for the role.

  • This starts the salary negotiation when they decide to make you an offer.

  • A good idea is to explore what most employers in your location and industry pay and remember that from the employer's point of view, they want to pay as little as possible.

  • Wrong answer:

o You are giving an unrealistic number that no employer in your location and industry would afford.

o You are not sure how much you want to earn.

o You are waiting for the employer to tell you about the salary range.

  • Ideal answer:

o You should answer carefully.

o Give a salary range instead of a specific number.

o Evaluate the total compensation package offered by the potential employer.

o Be aware of your value in the labor market.

5. Why do you want to work for our company?

  • Recruiters and hiring managers only want to find out whether you have researched the company and whether you are interested in the position.

  • This answer requires research about the potential employer.

  • You should assess whether your skills and experience match the corporate culture and open role.

  • ·Wrong answer:

o You repeat the information from the company's homepage.

o You have heard that it is nice here.

o Your neighbor works here and earns quite a lot.

o You would be a great help for all of the company’s projects.

  • Ideal answer:

o Talk about the challenges that the role can offer you.

o Explain how the potential employer will benefit from your skills and knowledge.

o Mention the potential employer's products/services and their reputation.

o Be authentic.

There is no perfect answer to interview questions. This is just a good opportunity to show people who you are and what value you can bring to their organization.

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