Friday, April 20, 2012

Where Do You See Yourself Five Years From Now?

I know some people find this question annoying because it's impossible to predict the future. But if you understand the question correctly, it is not about predicting the future. What the interviewer is truly interested is your approach towards the question. As such, there is no right or wrong answer but if you are not careful, you might come out with a bad one.

If you say anything like, “I would not give a d***.” Or “I have no idea.”, you have just successfully disqualified yourself from the job.

If you say something like, “I hope to replace you.”, you are not that street-smart, aren’t you?

And if you say things like, “I want to have my own business.”, you better get ready for a good explanation after that.

What is the best answer? The best one has to be something that you believe is true for yourself as much as advancing your chance of getting the job.

So firstly, do you want to see yourself growing in your career, whether it is in terms of knowledge, skills, position and paycheck? If yes, that’s exactly in sync with employers’ aspirations. Who doesn’t want a motivated workforce, right?

Thus, something safe as well as a smart thing to say would be along the lines of,

“I’m not exactly sure the position I’ll be holding then but I would like to see myself doing something challenging and contributing positively to the organization by achieving the goals set for me. I’m sure if I’m contributing to the company’s success, my personal growth and advancement will take care of itself.”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What Happened To The Last Person In The Job?

A legitimate question.

But asked not often enough by candidates.

You need to know this.

If the last person was fired, find out the circumstances. It is better to seek clarification before an offer than finding it out the hard way – when you are already in.

If the job was vacant because the last person was promoted, ask to speak to that person before you accept the offer. I’m sure such proposal would not be declined. Smart employers will view you as a candidate that takes your job seriously before making a commitment. As for you, you want to learn as much as possible about what you are getting into.

If the person left due to own accord and can’t be reached for comment anymore, well, you have at least done yourself a favor by asking. Who knows? The hiring manager might volunteer to give you some information that you otherwise would not obtained if you did not ask.