In the previous blog we read about 5 common icebreaker interview questions and how to answer them.
We can now read about the next 4 common questions asked at an interview.
Why should we hire you?
This interview question can seem a bit intimidating, but if you’re asked it, this is the opportunity you have to sell your expertise and your skills to the hiring manager. Your answer must cover 3 things: (1) You can do the work and deliver great results; (2) You absolutely fit in with the team ; and (3) You’ will have an advantage over other candidates for this job. Possible answer to “Why should we hire you?” “I know it’s been a progressive time for Bio Fund—growing so much and acquiring several startups—but I also know from experience that it can be challenging for the sales team to understand how new products fit in with the existing ones. It’s always easier to sell the product you know. I have over a decade of experience as a sales trainer, but more importantly, most of those years were working with sales teams that were in the exact same boat Bio Fund is in now. Growth is wonderful, but only if the rest of the company can keep up. I’m confident I can make sure your sales team is confident and enthusiastic about selling new products by implementing an ongoing sales training curriculum that emphasizes where they sit in a product lineup.”
What can you bring to the company?
When interviewers ask this question, they are not only interested in your past experience, but want to see that you understand what problems and challenges they’re facing as a company and how you’ll fit into the current structure. Read the job description closely, do your research on the company, and make sure you pay attention in your early round interviews to understand any issues you’re being hired to solve. Then, the key is to connect your skills and experiences to what the company needs and share an example that shows how you’ve done similar work in the past. Possible answer to “What can you bring to the company?” “As Amanda mentioned in our interview earlier, SiSCo is looking to expand its market to small business owners with less than 25 employees, so I’d bring my expertise in this area and my experience in guiding a sales team that’s selling to these customers for the first time. In most of my past roles, this segment has been my focus and in my current role, I also played a big part in creating our sales strategies when the business began selling to these customers. I worked with my managers to develop the sales script. I also listened in on a number of sales calls with other account executives who were selling to these customers for the first time and gave them pointers and other feedback. In the first quarter, our 10-person sales team closed 50 new bookings in this segment, and I personally closed 10 of those deals. I helped guide my last company through the expansion into small businesses, and I’m eager to do that again at SiSCo.
What are your greatest strengths?
Here’s an opening to talk about something that makes you a great fit for this role. When you’re answering this question, think quality, not quantity. Pick one or two specific qualities that are relevant to this position and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. Possible answer to “What are your greatest strengths?” “I’d say one of my greatest strengths is bringing organization to hectic environments and implementing processes to make everyone’s lives easier. In my current role as an executive assistant to a CEO, I created new processes for pretty much everything, from scheduling meetings to planning monthly agendas to preparing for event appearances. Everyone in the company knew how things worked and how long they would take, and the structures helped alleviate stress and set expectations on all sides. I’d be excited to bring that same approach to an operations manager role at a startup, where everything is new and constantly growing and could use just the right amount of structure to keep things running smoothly.”
What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
What your interviewer is really trying to do with this question is to understand your self-awareness and honesty. So, saying “Nothing! I’m perfect!”, is a complete NO, NO. Even indicating, I dont know of any weaknesses, only shows you are either trying to hide something or you lack self awareness. Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve never been strong at conducting presentations in front of senior management, and how you have joined a public speaking course over the last 3 months. Possible answer to “What do you consider to be your weaknesses?” “It can be difficult for me to understand when the people I’m working with are dissatisfied with their workloads. To ensure that I’m not asking too much or too little from my team, we have weekly 20 minute catchup. I like to ask if they feel like they’re on top of their workload, how I could better support them, whether there’s anything they’d like to take on or get rid of, and if they’re engaged by what they’re doing. Even if the answer is ‘all good,’ these meetings really lay the groundwork for a good and trusting relationship.”