And companies where the interview process is the most painless
It takes work to get work.
On Tuesday evening, career site Glassdoor released its list of the best places to interview, gleaned from the reviews and feedback of thousands of people who had interviewed at companies across America and then reviewed their interview process. The No. 1 best place to interview in America: Dignity Health, with 93% of interviewees saying they had a positive experience. That’s followed by Horizon Media (91%), Cadence Design Systems (86%), Salesforce (85%) and J.Crew (83%).
Some of the feedback job candidates noted about these companies was that the people they talked to were friendly, welcoming and listened well; that they clearly laid out their expectations for job candidates and were responsive to follow-up questions and concerns.
Of course, not every company is so open and welcoming. But no matter where you interview, you’re likely to get some of the same questions over and over. Glassdoor sent Moneyish a list of the most common interview questions, culled from the thousands of interview reviews on their site. Here are five of the most common, and all the expert advice you need to nail your responses the next time you’re in the hot seat.
What are your strengths?
Focus on two or three strengths and share a story for each that shows — rather than just tells — the interviewer that you actually have these strengths, says Call to Career founder Cheryl Palmer. Choose qualities that are essential to the job you are applying for. So if you’re applying for a job that requires a lot of face-to-face time with customers, say that customer service is a big strength of yours and then discuss a specific example when you went above and beyond to deliver great customer service to a client, she explains. It helps to add tangible results from your action that benefited the company.
What are your weaknesses?
“Only share one weakness even though they ask about weaknesses,” says Palmer. Career strategist Carlota Zimmerman says that you can share a weakness that turned into a strength, like that you can be too detail oriented. You might mention that sometimes you go through things very thoroughly and that once this helped you, say, catch something in a contract that your boss didn’t catch, she explains. Whatever you mention, “be sure to share a weakness that is not central to the job and show how you have overcome it,” says Palmer.
Why are your interested in working for the company?
Do your research on the values and culture of the company before the interview, says Katie Bennett, co-founder at career coaching firm Ama La Vida. Then talk about how the alignment between their vision and values and yours, as well as how you could contribute to that, she says. “It is a great idea to even mention very specific factors. For example, a particular training program they offer or a cause that they support. This shows them that you have done your homework and they are not just another company on the list for you,” says Bennett. Zimmerman says it’s also smart to set a Google Alert for the company so you get any news about it. “You can impress the recruiter when you say, “Well, after I read that fascinating Harvard Business Review interview with your…”,” she says. And then talk about how that interview, for example, aligns with the things you want to do in your career.
Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
If you hear this question, the first thing to do is don’t panic. “You do not need to have all of the answers,” says Bennett. “It doesn’t matter if your five year or ten year strategy actually eventuates or not.” Indeed, she adds, “it is more important to show passion, excitement and confidence.”
Still, you should talk about long-term goals that have a “clear and natural” progression from the role you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job as a sales assistant, you might add that in a few years you hope to be a junior and then a senior salesperson. “This will demonstrate that you are in it for the long haul and that they are not going to lose you in a year or two. Turnover is expensive.” says Bennett.
Why do you want to leave your current company?
A simple, solid answer to this question: that you want a “new challenge,” says Palmer. Then continue to talk about how this organization is a great fit and the job can help you meet these new challenges. “Demonstrate why you are excited for the new opportunity or culture or responsibility rather than why you don’t like your current role or company,” says Bennett. “Reference specific things about the company that you were attracted to and again remember to focus on the positives about the new opportunity rather than the negatives about your current company. This will help demonstrate you have a positive attitude, strong professional etiquette and that you don’t lack maturity or loyalty,” she says.
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