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Agrimarketing : Career Supplement Canada
20 AGRIBUSINESS EMPLOYER GUIDE If you've done much interviewing or are preparing to start, you've probably run across questions that get asked in most every interview. Of course it is great to practice what you might respond with, but what is it that employers are really looking for when asking that particu- lar question. Well, we've found out! We've asked several industry experts to provide us with points on what they are looking for in a response when asking some of the more difficult interview questions. Tell me a little about yourself. Wrong: My name is Pat Smith and I like long walks on the beach and to play Monopoly. I want to work for your organization because I think you could use some help with your advertising campaigns and I'm much more creative than the team you currently have. Correct: Mary Birley, Talent Recruit- ing Consultant at Cargill offered the following insight on the best way to respond to "Tell me about yourself." "The purpose of this question is to make you (the candidate) comfortable and start off the interview by getting to talk about yourself without having to answer a tough question right away." She says to touch on what you're doing in school, some past jobs you've had, some extracurricular activities, and your career goals. She also mentions that it is good to explain how the position you are applying for fits into your career goals. This question is a hard one for some people because you don't really have an idea how long they'd like you to speak. Take the advice above for your content and try to keep your response between one to two minutes. To wrap up the con- versation and turn it back over to the interviewer, share what you feel you can bring to the organization and/or why you are excited about the position. Are you willing to relocate? Wrong: It depends on where the location is and if you are willing to pay to help me relocate. Right: From Human Resources Generalist at Becker Underwood, Kathy Lenz, when responding to this question she is looking for an enthusiastic, but sincere "yes." "There is nothing more frustrating than to go through the whole process and make an offer, only to have the candidate decide they don't want to move after all," says Lenz. She says that it is also good to hear if the candidate is familiar with the town where the position is or that the candidate has at least researched the area and likes what they've found. Lenz says that tells her that the candidate is serious about the job. Also, she says it is nice to hear questions about the town or area, such as what are the schools like, cost of living, etc. Again, another way to confirm the candidate is serious. If you are really not willing to relocate, don't apply for the position or if you find out that relocation may be necessary during the interview process, be honest and upfront about the fact that you are unwilling to relocate. It will save both parties time. What is your expected salary range? Wrong: I'd like to come into the organization at a managerial level, so therefore I think I should be between $80,000 and $90,000. Correct: "This is a very tough question for most people to answer --- not just new graduates," shares Shannon Blacker, Human Resources Manager with Syngenta Canada. "The main thing is to come into the inter- view prepared. Do some market research. What are other companies within the industry offering for this type of role? What would similar positions in a different industry pay?" Blacker advises that most univer- sity and colleges have information on typical starting salaries for graduates from each program so use those resources that are available to you. "Our assumption is that most individuals have an ideal starting salary, valid reasoning behind it and willingness to discuss it," says Blacker. "If you are the top candi- date, most companies will want to make you a fair offer that you will be happy with." Don't let this situation intimidate you! With a little preparation and practice, you can nail those tough interview questions and make a great impression. QUIZZICAL QUESTIONS Insight from Employers on Those Tough Interview Questions! by Erika Brandt, AgCareers.com Marketing and Communications Manager