Securing the right job can be like trying to beat the world’s most painstaking video game, which probably has a fun title like “Super Employment-land” or something of that nature. And just like the old colorful character based alternative realities you could lose yourself in for hours as a kid (and for some, as an adult), there are multiple goals and achievements you must succeed at in order to make it to the next level.
Level One: Figure out what you want to do as a career.
Level Two: Do well in your training and/or secure the right education.
Level Three: Compile and send out those resumes.
Level Four: Land the first interview…
And while in some future Dental Grind blogs we will be discussing the earlier stages in the job landing “game”, today we wanted to tackle a specific issue related to level four: the job interview. In this step, you will need expert level knowledge to move on with your quest for employment.
Below we have provided a few tips for success in your job interview, as well as some answers to top questions you should be able to provide the boss, or the interviewer, with in order to gain access to the wide world of your dream career.
First, it is important to know that being able to “nail” a job interview is a skill all unto itself. And while you may not list it on a resume, it is very likely that without practice or rehearsing a bit first- you may not be perfect. Take time ahead of your interview with a friend (preferably someone who has undergone a similar process before) and review some of the questions and answers below to be more comfortable while talking to, well, a stranger about your future and why they should be giving you an opportunity- and then- their money.
The second thing to take into consideration is knowledge of what the actual interview is and stands for. This can be quite complex, given the initial “facade” that may be created by both parties, but can be overcome easily. You already know you are trying to “sell” yourself to an employer who is ultimately attempting to see your overall value, or fit, in their workplace. So with that said, it is important to project confidence and professionalism whilst maintaining a grip on your true identity.
Lastly, in relation to the previous point, don’t be grandiose or lean on dishonesty as a crutch in your answers. Any good employer will do their homework on you and look into your “too good to be true” responses anyway. It is always best to be simple, straightforward, and to deliver to your soon-to-be-boss a clear-cut message of what you are and why it would be good for them to bring you on board. After all, that is what they are looking for and why they brought you in to talk instead of the hundreds of other candidates that exist only on paper to them.
With these points in mind, below we have provided three potential questions you will likely hear in your basic job interview, as well as how you can handle them:
- “Tell me something about yourself…”- Give your best minute or so long synopsis of your resume, and then some. Make sure to include specifics about your schooling, achievements, previous jobs, and responsibilities. Take time here to also include “bonus” material, such as information about your family, as well as your hobbies outside of work (without going to deep or being unflattering) to paint the picture of the real person you are- because that is what they are hiring. Making sure to include your ultimate career goals and showing you are ambitious to move up could also be a good thing to mention here.
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”- This old, clichéd question still gets used in almost every job interview, and plays a little bit into the facade we mentioned earlier. It can be considered sort of a “loaded” question but with practice is something you can knock out of the park. Have three or four bullet-points on your strengths ready to go, with a sentence or two about why it plays not only in your favor but with an underlying tone of how it can help your future company too. Have only one or two weaknesses ready as well, but make sure they are something that can be “spun” into a positive or constructive manner. For example, “I am a long-time Associate, but would love to know more about scheduling or planning, like managers” shows ambition and room to build without being detrimental to your image.
- “Why do you want to work for us?”– Show the interviewer here that you have done your background homework on the company, and state why your abilities and experience can be mutually beneficial. This will give then reason to believe while you succeed, the company will as well. Let them know you are not looking for just a “job,” but a career you wish to grow into and learn everything you can about. Be confident in stating that this place and position (even an entry level job) is the one for you and that you will own and improve upon it.
Overall, it is safe to say that you will face other questions besides these in your interview. Some will be oddly specific, and some more general ones, like the ones above. Make sure you take the time to rehearse before your interview, focus on selling yourself to their specific company, and answer everything clearly and concisely to advance to the next level of your job hunt! Always dress professionally, no matter the job, and know that adding a little smile to your suit never hurt either!
If you have any specific job interview questions you have heard or want to get our expert’s advice on, leave them in the comment section below…and as always, make sure to stay up to date with Dental Grind for our bi-weekly blogs that aim to help YOU land your dream job.