Job interviews can be stressful and nerve racking — especially when you really need a job.
But even though we all need a job, there are always parts of the process that are just plain annoying. To help make things easier — and to give you a leg up on the competition — here are the 3 things people hate most about job interviews and how you can overcome them.
Problem 1: Researching the company.
The solution? Look at the corporate filings for company research.
Most interviews are won and lost long before they start. But how do you prepare the right way? Where do you find the type of information that makes you stand out as a candidate?
Well, if you’re applying for a position at a public company, then you can check their SEC filings and other corporate documents. Buried in the summaries and outlines of these reports are often golden nuggets of information that can spark the perfect question for you to ask or the right approach that you should take.
Make sure you check the Annual Report, Proxy Statement, and 10-K. These documents don’t qualify as leisure reading, but they can work wonders if you’re looking for a way to do excellent research on the company.
Problem 2: Negotiating for a higher salary.
The solution? Ask the salary range long before the conversation comes up.
Usually, we put off talking about salary for as long as possible and then panic when it comes time to have the conversation.
Most candidates are ill-prepared for a salary negotiation, and so they end up leaving money on the table. Plus, it can make us feel awkward if we argue for more money.
Instead of waiting until the conversation comes up, take the initiative and ask about salary the first time you meet a recruiter. This could be at a networking event or the day of your job interview before things get started.
A simple phrase like, “What is the salary range allocated for this position?” will give you all the information you need to haggle your way to the top of the range and get the pay you deserve.
Problem 3: Answering the question, “What are your weaknesses?”
The solution? Choose a technical skill that is unrelated to the job you are applying for…
This is a classic interview question that most of us hate to answer. Usually, people will say a strength that isn’t really a weakness, “Oh, I work too hard sometimes…” or they will choose a general statement that reflects poorly on them, “Hmm, I suppose I have trouble saying no…”
Instead of relying on statements like these, you can clearly answer the question by mentioning a more technical skill that you simply haven’t learned yet and then talk about why that pushes you towards the job you’re applying to get.
For example, “Well, accounting really isn’t my thing. I understand the basic idea behind book keeping, but I don’t really get the nitty-gritty details. Of course, that’s also why I’m applying for this job in human resources. I think it leverages my strengths and steers clear of the technical skills that I haven’t learned yet… like accounting.”
An answer like this does reveal a genuine weakness, but if you pick a skill unrelated to the job you are applying for then it is unlikely to hurt you as a candidate.
Want even more?
Of course, there are a lot more than just 3 difficult pieces of a job interview. If you’re looking for even more advice, then check out this full list of 99 job interview tips.