Too often candidates go into an interview with a false sense of security that they can field any question tossed their way by being quick on their feet. An interview is like an audition, and just like no good actor would ever show up to an audition without rehearsing beforehand, neither should you. It’s important that you prepare thoroughly for your interview and this means being prepared for questions. While you cannot anticipate every possible question that the hiring manager may ask, you can almost certainly expect that the following five will be asked. Here’s how to rehearse for them.

Why do you want to work for us?

This is the perfect time to demonstrate how much you want the position. Of course, you have thoroughly researched both the company and the position. Use specific examples of how the company’s values and the position itself are aligned with your values. Your deep knowledge will demonstrate to the recruiter your level of interest.

Where do you see yourself in 3 – 5 years?

This is a tricky one. The hiring manager wants to get a sense of your ambition but be careful to not overdo it. Perhaps you would like to be running the company, or run your own company, or have the hiring manager’s job. Those are fine goals, but probably not the best way to answer the question. Also, don’t lie. You can answer this honestly and without coming across as too arrogant. For example, “I see myself taking on greater management responsibilities and becoming an expert in my field. I think this position fits in nicely with my career goals as it will provide the experience needed to advance.”

Can you tell me about your weaknesses?

This is a very common question, and one that is frequently answered incorrectly. Too often candidates will attempt to answer this in a way that makes their weakness a strength. For example, “My biggest weakness is impatience. I cannot stand for a job to be incomplete and I find myself driven to get to the finish line.” No hiring manager is going to buy that. The best answer is the truth. If you have taken a critical look at yourself, defined your weaknesses and developed an action plan to improve them this should be an easy question to answer. If you haven’t, you should.

Tell me a little about yourself.

Remember that the key word in this question is “little”. Keep it short and sweet, almost like your personal career elevator pitch. Write a brief statement about your career pointing out only the highlights. This speech should be no longer than 90 seconds. Then rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until you have it down.

Can you give me an example of how you’ve solved a problem in your current job?

Write a good story about how you successfully solved a critical problem. By story I mean include your feelings and give the story life. Were you afraid? Did you take risks? How did it feel when you finally achieved success? The facts and figures are important, but so are the human aspects.

Now, break a leg.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.