You crafted an attention-getting cover letter and submitted a resume with all of the right elements. Now, you’ve gotten an interview for your dream job. But before you pick out a power suit for the discussion with the recruiter, it’s important to consider what will occur during that interview; namely, the kinds of questions you will be asked.
The first thing to realise about what you will be asked is that no question will be posed to you without a specific purpose. There is a reason for every question that recruiters ask, even if that reason is only to distract you. Their job is to glean your suitability for the position as well as your honesty and integrity.
Although there may be many more, this article contains some of the most common interview questions for senior management positions. Warning: some can be ambiguous!
Explain why you’re here
If you are asked this question and you panic as you try and locate the answer, you may think that it’s all about why you left or are considering leaving a job. But that would be an easy answer, wouldn’t it? What the recruiter will really want to know is what aspects of your former or current job inspired you to send in a cv for the position you’re now being interviewed for.
The question about how you dealt with conflict will definitely be one that will be asked. Usually, this question is phrased in such a way as to reference conflict resolution within a team, because this is what the recruiter will be trying to determine. Without going into detail, attempt to answer this question in a straightforward and concise manner.
The question of salary is always asked. But this doesn’t mean it’s easy to answer! Believe it or not, giving the recruiter a number is not necessarily the best way to go. Instead, consider asking the recruiter what range of salary has been budgeted for the role. You could also simply say that you require more details about the responsibilities of the position before you can answer.
Your Career Goals
You may have an answer ready for this question. But is it the right one? If you want to be perceived as a contender for the position, you must be honest about things like where the position you’re being interviewed for sits in terms of goals. Is it a stepping stone, the highest level you could reach, or somewhere in between? You may think that telling a recruiter that the position isn’t at the highest level for you will be detrimental. But in fact, being honest about and unafraid to share where you are now and where you hope to be could actually be a good thing.
The recruiter may end the interview by asking you if you have any questions for them. This can be another confusing question to try and answer, unless you’ve done your research about the position and the company. But it’s a good idea to keep the number of questions you ask short. And when the recruiter gives you an answer, listen to them instead of spending that time trying to figure out what you will ask them next.
Remember that in any interview, you only need to be as good as you are. Be honest and forthcoming with all of your answers, and you will have a much easier time before, during and after your interview.
Tricia Hay is Owner, Director of First Base Employment Limited