I get asked a lot about interviews and career advice and it’s truly one of my favorite topics to talk about. Since a lot of our readers are high school and college students, I want to provide you with 8 questions employers ask the most and what my responses would be like. Of course, every response should be individual, but this will give you an idea on how to go about your answer. This is also something interns can learn as well.
- Tell me about yourself:
I’m 100% Brazilian, I speak Portuguese fluently and intermediate Spanish. I lived half of my life in Brazil and Connecticut and moved to Miami for college. My passions include travel, spending time with loved ones, and being able to give back to the community; I am a part of the I love my city outreach program in Miami. I’m passionate about customer service as that’s really a leading factor in every businesses success and to me it’s very rewarding to deliver high quality customer services in a fast-paced environment. I am very organized, self-driven and a natural leader as I enjoy training and developing others. I love to create a solution to a problem and know how to effectively communicate that across every area.
What this response should include: be personal, show the interviewer who you really are and how you can stand out. Use this opportunity to also talk about how passionate you are about the area you are applying for. In my example I used customer service as the position.
- When do you see yourself in 5 years:
My career goal right now is to find a long term position at a company where I can grow and take on new challenges over time. Ultimately, I’d like to assume more leadership responsibilities within the company but most importantly stay long term. I also do want to pursue my masters degree in communications.
What this response should include: always mention that you are looking for something long term where you can grow with the company. This will give the employer an opportunity to see that you want to grow with the company.
- What’s your biggest weakness:
I would have to say Multi tasking is my biggest weakness. In customer service so much happens in an hour that it’s easy to shift your attention to something else. A way that I work on that is by creating daily tasks and to do list, this way I prioritize my tasks and move on to the next when one is accomplished
What this response should include: you have to use this opportunity to make a weakness sound like a positive thing. A lot of companies want you to know how to multi task, however it’s important to show them how you multi task and how you can stay on track with everything.
- Are you a Leader:
Yes, I see myself as a leader because I take initiative with serving other people and leading by example. Customer service requires skills like patience, quick-thinking, consistency, knowledge about the company and an attentive attitude, and I am strong in these areas.
What this response should include: for this response you need to “sell yourself”. Show the interviewer your skills and that you have what they are looking for.
- Why do you want to work for this company?
I am fascinated by the brand concept and have experienced it first hand working at ____ Resort. I want to work for ____because I know that the company is successfully growing and my goal is to have a career with an international team where I can assist in the companies growth. I am not afraid of hard work and have always worked in a fast passed environment so I know I will thrive as it is what I am passionate about. Customer service is something I value, and I have the managerial and leadership skills that I believe would be an asset to the company.
What this response should include: This is where the research you do on the company pays off. It’s so important to make sure you review the company you’re applying for and know exactly why you want to join the team.
- What are your main strengths in customer service?
I have a lot of experience in the customer service industry and I believe that my main strength is understanding the customer. I must acknowledge the customer, let them speak their concerns and then provide a solution the challenge. I think it’s also very important to remember that the solution has to benefit the customer but also not financially impact the business.
What this response should include: be very honest with your response, think of a possible scenario that has occurred and you excelled in.
- How would you measure the success of you and your team over a 3-, 6- and 12-month period?
In line with the goals of the company, I would set personal goals for myself and my team which I would subsequently break down into weekly SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound objectives. I would monitor these closely through general in-office communication and a series of team meetings, as well as through scheduling individual appraisal meetings at 3-, 6- and 12-month intervals.
What this response should include: This is a tricky response and mostly for someone that’s applying for a leadership position. However, anyone can mention somewhere in the interview that they like to create SMART measures to ensure they are succeeding. This will definitely WOW an employer!
- How would you manage your time and objectives in your role?
In my current role, I break down my objectives into daily targets and outline periods of the day when I am going to focus on achieving them. I find this system works well for me and I expect to carry it into my next job.
What this response should include: since the question is being asked about the current role, you want to answer it based on that, however always include that is a transferable skill and you can take it to your next job.
Questions to ask your interviewer:
1.When are you looking to fulfill this position?
Why to ask this question: You want to know when they are looking to hire someone, this will allow you to plan better in case they do decide to move forward with you. This also shows that you are interested in the position.
2.What is the training process for this position?
Why to ask this question: This allows you to understand how the position works better and also to see the structure of the company. If a company says “no training is provided” than do you really think you will be successful? It’s a good way to find out what you are getting yourself into.
3.What are the salary considerations for this position?
Why to ask this question: This question is tricky and shouldn’t be asked always, especially if you already know what the salary or hourly rate is. However, in some instances you may have to ask to know if it’s worth making the career move or not.
If you have any particular questions or need help with your resume feel free to reach out directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org