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First-Time Job Seekers: Interview Questions to Ask and Answer

Jan 05, 2022

Authored by Emlerswim

Are you a job seeker and unsure of how to prepare for your next interview? Worry not. Here is a list of questions that you could ask during a job interview, as well as suggestions on how to answer several common interview questions.

Commonly Asked Interview Questions

All of your interviews will have a handful of questions that are the same: What are your salary requirements? How did you hear about this job? Tell me a little about yourself. These kinds of questions are open-ended to allow you to share with the employer what makes you special and, more importantly, hirable. These questions may be asked repeatedly in different ways, so have your answers ready.

You may also be asked certain questions to find out more about your personality, skills, and abilities. The following are questions you should be prepared to answer, and this is only a starting point. Make sure to do more research, prepare your answers, and—most importantly—practice your responses.

  • Why are you looking for a job? This question is typically asked of individuals who are early in their careers or new to the workforce. Your answer should include what you want to get from the experience besides a paycheck.
  • Why do you want to work here? This question is meant for you to dig a little deeper than just money or benefits. We all want a job that pays well. That’s not the answer they are looking for. What is your sincere reason for why you want to work somewhere?
  • What traits do you think ideal candidates for this position have that will make them successful? Answer this question as truthfully as you can with what you know about the position. This information may come from the job ad itself, from your research on the company, or even what you have gathered from social media about the place.
  • What do you consider some of your strengths and weaknesses? Employers love to ask this question. Again, it’s a bit open-ended so they can see how you respond. It is also a chance for you to brag about your strengths and acknowledge any weaknesses and how you are working on them. This is just as important a quality as any technical skill they may be looking for.
  • What do you look forward to when working with children? Only places that have child-centric services or products will ask this question. If the job is related to children or childcare, you should come prepared to answer why you want to work with children and what you want to get out of it.

Finally, always be prepared for questions that may seem totally unrelated to the job itself. Some interviewers like to ask weird questions just to see how you think, so keep your wits about you and be ready to answer any question.

Questions You Could Ask the Interviewer

You should always come to an interview with questions to ask. It shows further interest in the job and can communicate how you approach situations and how invested you are. Some questions are to find out more about the job itself and some are to uncover what type of working environment a company has. Here are a few questions to consider asking:

  • Are there any certificates or mandatory training needed for this job? If it’s not on the job listing itself, this is a perfect question to ask. For instance, at Emler, in addition to the normal onboarding process, we provide all the necessary training for our swim instructors – no prior certificates or specialized experience needed.
  • What is acceptable attire? Are uniforms needed? If so, will they be provided? This question will depend on the place of employment. Some places will provide information on uniforms upfront; uniforms may be completely optional at others. Emler Swim School provides branded shirts and swag for every employee at no cost to employees.
  • Is there room for growth? What does that path look like? This question will help determine if the role has potential for you to develop professionally or if the role is more static. At Emler, we provide a pay increase for swim instructors who choose to earn their lifeguard certifications, and we also pay for the training and certification as well. We also provide cross-training so you can learn new skills in addition to your water safety knowledge.
  • Who would I be reporting to and mainly working with? It’s always good to ask for specifics when interviewing for a position. This way you know ahead of time who you will be reporting to and who you will be working with daily.
  • What does a typical day/week look like? This question gives the employer a chance to share what it looks like day to day and gives you an opportunity to see if it would be a good fit for you.
  • What’s your favorite part of working here? This is also a question that may uncover some qualities that aren’t apparent on the surface, so pay attention to the interviewer’s answer. It’s also a great way to loosen up the atmosphere in the room if you’re getting nervous or need time to think about other questions.

Remember that you can always go in with a typed or handwritten list of questions. People bring and take notes in meetings, so showing up prepared demonstrates your seriousness about the position.

Now go forth and interview like a pro!

Want to join the award-winning Emler Swim School team? Head over to https://emlerswimschool.com/work-for-emler/ and see what positions we have open today.