Having a job interview is always a bit scary – you don’t know what they will ask you or even how many other candidates you are competing with. So to prepare you for your upcoming interviews so there are no surprises, here are some basic questions they will usually ask you:
What Do You Know About Our Firm?
Do your homework: before showing up for the interview, you should have at least a general idea of the work the firm has done and the areas of expertise the firm specializes in. Be able to reference projects they have done.
Why should we hire you?
Take this opportunity to highlight your strengths and point out how your strengths meet the needs of the organization.
You can to set yourself apart by answering this question and focusing on a unique trait of yours that will contribute positively to the job position.
What are your weaknesses?
Generally this is everyone’s least favorite question. The best thing to do is just prepare for it. The typical advice is to list an actual strength but tell it like it is a weakness such as “I work too hard” or “I like architecture too much”. Now, think about a time when you made a mistake (but not a huge one) and explain what you learned from it. Showing that you have taken a setback and turned it into a learning experience can emphasize your honesty and ability to improve.
Why do you want to work here?
This is often more of a test to see if you have done your research on the company and if you are really interested. This is a very common question so be prepared for it. Have a few key points in mind that are the reasons for you wanting to join. These should mainly be positive points about the office, not focused on personal gain.
An interview doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Showing up, answering questions and leaving shows you can handle a quiz, but it gives the interviewer little perspective on you as an individual. Asking your own questions shows you are interested. Remember, an interview isn’t just to see how good a fit you are for the firm, it’s also an opportunity to see if the firm will be a good fit for you.
Last but not least, have your portfolio prepared. Only include the strongest examples of your work. Try and offer variety. It’s best to be open about your experience, but communicate your interest in expanding your skill-set. For tips on making a great portfolio see this post.
On Thursday read about how to present yourself at the interview in the new post “Face-to-Face Image” of the Personal Branding series.