Being interviewed is one of the most stressful situations imaginable. You put a lot of thought into your resume and cover letter, trying to make yourself seem like the perfect candidate. When you hear from the company you’ve applied to, you’re thrilled that they want to consider you! For a minute, anyway. Then, the panic starts to set in.
Once you’re sitting in the interview room, you do your best to answer any question you’re asked. There’s always one question in the back of your mind, though – Are you giving the right answers?
Here are 8 things that interviewers are looking for when they’re asking you all of those seemingly pointless questions.
Are you actually answering the questions I’m asking?
Preparing beforehand for an interview is a fantastic idea, but sometimes it can backfire on you. When you rehearse something over and over, you’re more likely to give whatever answer you’ve been using during practice when it’s time for the real thing.
So prepare, yes, but also make sure that you’re listening to the questions and giving answers that suit them. Another tip is to keep your tone as conversational as possible.
Are your expectations reasonable?
Ideally, interviewers want to hire people that will contribute to a positive work environment. They try to match roles to people as best they can, so many will look for indications of whether or not your expectations line up with the job. For example, you may not get the job if your interviewer thinks that you want to progress faster than is viable.
Before even heading into the interview, do your research on the job and really think about whether or not it’s the right fit for you.
Can you solve problems?
The problem-solving question almost always comes out during interviews, but do you know whether or not you’re giving the right answers? Here’s the thing – They definitely want to know whether or not you can problem solve, but they’re not really interested in hearing how you could use those skills to make their company better or more efficient.
Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is likely to get you overlooked.
Are you being true to yourself?
In a perfect world, the conversation during your interview would flow smoothly and effortlessly. Such a scenario makes you look confident enough to know who you are and what you want from the role. If you over-prepare for your interview and/or head into it full of nerves, you’re likely to start jumbling your words and the interviewer might think that you’re just a nervous person.
As long as you go into your interview knowing who you are and what your expectations for the role are, you’ll be fine.
How high maintenance are you?
Asking questions during your interview is a good thing – it shows that you actually care and want to know more about the role – but if you ask too many, you might come off as high maintenance. No employer wants to hire someone who starts complaining and voicing their concerns before they even start!
You might think that you’re showcasing your initiative and strong personality, but save it for when you actually get the job.
Is this the real you?
Interviewers hear a lot of the same responses because almost everyone prepares for their interviews the same way. This leads many to wonder whether or not you actually want the job or if you’re just going through the motions.
Instead of giving the same, canned responses as everyone else, spend some time before your interview trying to put your own personal touch on them. An interviewer is going to be much more impressed by someone who can paint a picture of why they’re the perfect fit for the job.
How do I feel about your body language?
Interviewers expect you to be a little nervous, but they’re still going to be watching your body language to see what it conveys. Slouching, frowning, and dodging your eyes all around the room make you look like you don’t even want to be there.
Remember to sit up straight, smile, make eye contact, and try not to fidget and you’ll be fine.
Would I be okay working with you on a daily basis?
This is probably the most important thing on the list. Even if you do and say everything right – and happen to be a perfect fit for the position – at the end of the day, the interviewer is looking for someone that they’d be okay spending every workday with. Ultimately, what they’re looking for is someone with a good work ethic who’s able to bring something positive to their working environment. What they don’t want is someone they’ll have to constantly keep tabs on.
They’ll figure this out with a series of questions, so just do your best to structure your answers in a way that shows you’re the perfect candidate (but only if you actually are; no one will be happy if you’re not)/
At the end of the day, you just want your interview to flow as smoothly as possible. Remember, your interviewer is a person too. A conversation that flows effortlessly and a positive connection will go a long way in helping you get that next job. Now that you have an idea of what your interviewer is looking for, get out there and bag that job you’ve been after!