Interview Prep – Get your Story Put Together

Preparing the old song and dance“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” isn’t always a question you consider before an interview, but HRinterviews has made it easier to prep. This is a great list of questions, put on my radar by SystematicHR with a few additional helpful hints.

I’ve had countless conversations about job hunting, shifting, seeking, imagining. We all want to find that next opportunity that affords us more growth, more autonomy, and more opportunity (a little extra compensation is nice too).

By way of prep, a quick spin will take you through the familiar and the forgotten, giving you a chance to at least think through your possible response. This conversation (or sales call, if you prefer to think of it that way), should be incredibly easy for you. After all,

  • No one knows your performance, ability, and potential better than you;
  • No one wants to see you succeed more than you do, and
  • ONLY YOU can decide if this is a better opportunity than your current (last) setting.

In addition to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, a few of my other favorites to get as a candidate include:

There is one that sounds like my favorite “Rabbit Hole” question, but is short on advice:

#49: “What is the toughest challenge you have ever faced?

TRAPS: Being unprepared or citing an example from so early in your life that it doesn’t score many points for you at this stage of your career.

BEST ANSWER: This is an easy question if you’re prepared. Have a recent example ready that demonstrates either:

1. A quality most important to the job at hand; or
2. A quality that is always in demand, such as leadership, initiative, managerial skill, persuasiveness, courage, persistence, intelligence, etc.

As I noted in “Alice into the Rabbit Hole,” your response needs to be crisp, reflective, and compelling. This is where you really get to strut your stuff and make a lasting impression.

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3 Responses to Interview Prep – Get your Story Put Together

  1. Rick Turoczy says:

    I think this is great advice.

    But it also carries with it two huge assumptions: 1) The assumption that most interviewers know what they’re doing and the right questions to ask, and 2) If they don’t know what they’re doing and you’re forced to grab the wheel, the assumption those subpar interviewers are prepared to receive and process the data you’re providing so that it makes it to the right ears.

    By and large, I haven’t found either of these assumptions holding water (if that’s what assumptions hold).

    I’d be interested to hear your take/tips on salvaging an interview or navigating to the right interviewer, since that’s where I find myself up the proverbial creek most often. (e.g., Recruiters)

  2. Craig Gomes says:

    I did some prep for an interview once which included “Googling” for interview questions for the position for which I was applying. I found a website with some very good questions that I had never thought of. When I got to the interview one of the interviewers walked in with a printed list of the same questions. Needless to say, I did quite well in that interview. Preparation is always the key to any successful interview.

  3. Preparation is absolute key for an interview. There are only a finite number of questions that an interviewer can ask – make sure you know what they are..Doug

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