Five Interview Questions and How Not to Answer Them

31 January 2017

Most interviewers ask similar questions. The readier you are to answer smartly, the better your chances of getting the job you want.

"How did you find out about this position?" Every interviewer asks this, and few applicants are prepared with the right answer. Honesty is generally the best policy, but in this case, you can fudge a little. You don't want to give the interviewer the impression that you are desperately applying for every job in town. Instead, mention connections within the industry and explain that you are particularly interested in working for the company at which you're applying. The more you research the company beforehand, the better prepped you'll be to answer with confidence.

"Why do you want this job?" This is not the time to say you're out of work and want just any job. Explain how the position for which you're applying is an ideal fit for your skills and lifestyle. Express passion for the position, mention how you'd be an asset to the company, and you boost your odds of being hired.

"What other companies are you interviewing with?" Whatever you do, don't tell the interviewer the exact companies that you are also interviewing with. Instead, mention that you are exploring your options within the industry, but are mostly interested in working for the company where you're being interviewed. Remember to state that the company at hand is a perfect match for your skill set.

"Why are you leaving your current position?" Without sounding insincere, tell the interviewer that you're leaving for a better opportunity, hopefully within the outfit at which you are applying. If you are leaving your current job due to employee dissatisfaction, say so without insulting your employer. State the basics, then move on to a more positive topic. Mention that the position for which you are being interviewed represents an exciting chance for you to move on up the corporate ladder.

"What are your salary requirements?" Don't doubt your ability to be paid what you're worth. Again, this is a chance for your pre-interview research to shine. Browse websites that describe salaries at companies where you apply, and always name a number toward the high end of the range. At the same time, let the interviewer subtly know that you are flexible where pay is concerned. As long as the interviewer understands that you understand the value of your skills, your salary requirements won't seem overwhelming.

Smile, dress for the job and don't reveal too much about your personal life during a job interview. You professional demeanor is sure to be appreciated.