This is my current favourite interview question. It tells me so much about how the candidate approaches challenges and how organised they are. As an interview candidate you have the potential to really impress the interviewer if you can answer it well. So what do they want to hear? Basically two things:
- How you examined the role requirements – both by reviewing the job description and by speaking to someone working in that company or in a similar role and then prepared evidence that you have what it takes to do well in the role
- That you know the company, their operations, their competitive position and where they make their
How to prepare:
Identify and underline every competency they say they are looking for in the job description. Write each one at the top of a blank sheet of paper – one sheet of paper per competency. Use the rest of the sheet to brainstorm and write down times in the past when you showed that competency or skill. I recommend that you have at least 6 competencies identified and can offer proof and evidence of each via relating a time when you showed it. The most popular and commonly asked for competencies are:
Teamwork, Solving Problems, Communication, Working to Deadlines, Initiative and Leadership
Can you recall and recount in the interview a time when you showed each of these? Preparing the scenarios in advance using the STAR technique is the level of preparation interviewers want to hear about
If your answer to their question “What do you know about us?” consists of reciting the front page of ther company website you are on the wrong track. They want more value added than that. They want to know what you know about recent developments in the company, who are their main competitors, where (divisions/products and locations) do they make their money and what you think are their key challenges for the future. Prepare your answer to this question using these guidelines and your interviewers will be impressed at how you have considered the company’s positioning rather than just learning off irrelevant facts and figures.
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