Interviews are almost as nerve-racking as quitting your job. It's uncomfortable to be analyzed for what seems like an eternity. However, with the right preparation and practice, interviewing will become much easier in due time. As we all know practice makes perfect and a great way to practice interviewing is by meeting with a recruiter. Recruiters act as a buffer between you and the company you're applying to work for. The initial interview with your recruiter can be instrumental because it is the perfect opportunity to refine the way you talk about yourself and your professional experience. At the same time, you want the recruiter to be able to capture your true essence and professional preferences so you want to avoid sounding rehearsed. You'll know an interview was a success is when you can walk out knowing you did your best to give a full picture of both your personality and professional experience.
Why did you leave your last position?
When you go into the agency, a recruiter will ask you this question only if you're currently unemployed. If you're still in your current role the recruiter may ask "Why are you seeking other job opportunities?". Regardless of the wording, according to our Junior Freelance Account Manager, Sofia Alfaro, the best answer is an honest answer. Now, this doesn't mean you should use this as an opportunity to express your frustrations with the company and complain about how poorly you were treated, even if it is true. This is an opportunity to speak honestly about what you want in a new job. Remember, you want to find a job that you truly enjoy doing and it's up to the recruiter to make that happen. The more upfront you are about your job expectations, including the people you want to work with and the type of environment you want to work in, the faster your recruiter will be able to place you in a position that makes you happy.
What do you feel are your strengths?
This is probably the most dreaded interview question of all, "Tell me your strengths and weaknesses". You can answer this question many ways, but whatever you do, do not panic and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Humor is a great ice breaker. You could say something like, "Well, where should I start?!". This is a good segway into your true strengths. We all have them so don't be shy and make sure you don't leave any out when talking with your recruiter. As far as your weaknesses go, if the question arises, now is the time to be pretty transparent because this helps your recruiter find roles that match your strengths and avoid your weaknesses. The bottom line here is that your recruiter wants to place you in an environment where you thrive and you're able to bet on your strengths to achieve professional success.
Tell me about your favorite aspects of your job.
Deciding on the career your want to pursue is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make in your life. That's not to say you won’t change paths at some point, but being able to identify your likes and dislikes in a professional setting makes things easier down the line. So spend some time thinking about what makes you happy at work. If you're someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment your recruiter will likely set you up with a start-up company. If you like something more traditional and predictable, a corporate role might be best for you. Either way, this is a question that requires a confident answer because the more confident you are in what you like, the more confident your recruiter will be in setting up interviews for roles that match your preferences and skill set.
What is your desired hourly rate?
Money is a sensitive subject to discuss but when it comes to getting a new job, negotiating your salary is inevitable. It's important for your recruiter to know what your desired salary is because this will limit or expand your job opportunities. Recruiters don't want to put you in a position where you are underpaid. Your experience level, current job responsibilities, and industry averages all play a factor in determining what you should be getting paid. So before you jump the gun and shout "I want $100,000!", you may want to critically analyze how much you're actually worth. That's not to say you're not worth $100,000 because you very well might be, it just helps when you can back up your salary desires with proof of concept. After speaking with multiple top recruiters at 24 Seven we came to a consensus that an honest answer is the best answer for any question. So be honest, be humble, and be prepared and you will know exactly how to answer any question that’s thrown at you. Click here for our full resource on Working With A Recruiter! For more information on salary negotiations, check out our Salary Resource!