Photo courtesy of http://www.blueskyinterviews.co.uk

What is the interview, anyway?

You want the job. You’ve perfected the resume. And you’re all set for the interview to land an online therapy job. Or are you? What if the interviewer throws you some tough questions and you don’t have the answers. You may not realize that some believe the objective of the interview is to eliminate; to weed out the unworthy! Below are five “toughies” that may come your way.

1. What salary do you think this online therapy job deserves?

It is well known that the first person to state the salary loses. For example, if you give a number, it may be less than the employer’s offer. It is preferred to wait for the company to give a range, and, when he/she does, choose a salary that is above the median provided. It will be helpful to check online tools and resources to discover what is reasonable to expect.

Better yet, try to avoid talking about salary on the first interview. When the question is posed, ask for more information:  Say something like, “That is an excellent question. However, I would be unable to adequately respond before I am clearer about the position’s responsibilities and the benefits package.” You can add, “Knowing your reputation, I’m confident it will be competitive.”

2. Where do you see yourself in three to five years?

This is a hard question to answer since it requires predicting the future, which is, of course, impossible.  At all costs be sure not to shoot yourself in the foot by responding, “I have no idea,” “I haven’t thought much about it,” or “Contemplating granite colors as I remodel my kitchen.”  Although that may be true, you are essentially admitting that “I don’t know what I am doing with my life or how long I’ll remain with this company.”

It would be better try an answer something like, “Through introspection and self-assessment, I’ve come to realize that which is vital to me.  As a result, I am committed to an online therapy job career, and I see your company as the place to do it.”

3. Tell me about your biggest weakness

You should be wary of such questions as they may be a trap.  In other words, the interviewer may be baiting you to admit a weakness which would justify him “showing you the door.” You should anticipate this question and identify a weakness (if you have one, as many of the rest of us do).

The truth is that this is your opportunity to take the lemons and make lemonade!  An insightful, thoughtful answer is your opportunity to demonstrate problem-solving acumen.  For example, you might say, “Being very ambitious, I have a tendency to over-commit myself.”  Then give an example of how you have set limits for yourself, become more organized, and prioritize better.

4. What didn’t you like about your last job?

This question may not be as innocent as it appears. The interviewer may be making yet another attempt to trick you into admitting a weakness to eliminate you. Tread carefully. Don’t speak disparagingly about your current employer, as it may be construed as to how you feel about employers generally, or undermine yourself if criticizing your job reflects negatively on you.

You could say, “I am quite satisfied with my current position, but have begun to look for opportunities to grow in my field. While I could stay where I am, the right opportunity would be a reason to move on.” Alternatively, you might respond, “I am looking for a position with greater responsibility and opportunity.”  This will give the new employer the confidence to challenge you.

5. Tell me a little about yourself

Make your answer short and sweet, and ask for clarification. “Anything, in particular, you want to hear about? My education? Experience?”  You should connect your answer with a professional attribute that shows why you should be hired. For example: “I work well with others,” or “My strong organizational skills often catapults me into a leadership role,” or “I give it 200 percent.”

Get Ready For the Transformation

Understanding how to respond to difficult questions when interviewing for online therapy jobs can transform a stressful experience into the opportunity that will get you the job. While an interview may include many questions, you need mainly to be concerned with the uncomfortable ones and be prepared to answer them. Turn those tough questions into softballs, and land the job!