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Winging a job interview is never a good idea – especially when a little preparation can help you ace it! From my years in HR and as a Career Coach, I can tell you that there are five classifications of job interview questions – all of which you can easily prepare for with a little strategy…

1. The Value Question

“Why should I hire you?” We just talked about this one in a recent post. The key here is articulating your brand and explaining that when you use the qualities that make your brand unique, you always succeed.

2. The Ability Question

“Can you give me a specific example of how you multi-tasked while in your last job?” These are questions that have to do with your skills and ability to do the job. Answer these questions with this 3-part formula: what you did, how you did it, and the result.

3. The Fit Question

“Why do you want to work here?” I always recommend starting by stating that you don’t fully know yet – because unless you’ve worked there, how can you know?! Then add something to the effect of, “Here’s what I do know from your web page, corporate twitter handle, etc.”  Finish by asking, “How accurate am I?”

4. The Weakness Question

“What’s your weakness?” A lot of people falsely think there is no right answer to this question. But if you answer by spinning it, positioning it as, “Here’s something I’ve learned…”, then you take control of the question. You can then tell the story using positive information, following with, “Is this something that would be valuable in this position, when one knows how to…?

5. The Negotiation Question

“What are your salary requirements?”  Always postpone salary talk until there’s an offer made. Let them go first or ask what the salary range is. Take the offer and not the job by asking, “When do you need to hear from me on my decision?” This the time to negotiate – don’t do it until now!

Remember that your main goal in a first interview is to get a second interview. Too many people psych themselves out because they think they have to get hired in their first interview!