There are many Internet jobs one could apply for, it all depends on whether they are connected with web design, site promotion and marketing, research, blogging or a host of other functions. For that main reason, it is difficult to pinpoint any set of questions that would suit all because web designing would require different (technical) skills from blogging (communicative), for example. However, there are certain general questions that are likely to be asked, whatever the Internet job, and the following are popular examples.
Tell us about yourself. What motivates you?
This is the opening classic. It seeks to know more about the applicant primarily to assess whether their motivation matches with the company expectations. Whether the person is self motivated or they have to be directed. With the Internet being a rapidly expanding sector, and many people getting lost in its labrynths, those who can create a cohesive pathway and skillfully weave their way out on their own would be well sought after. Keep the answer brief and interesting, mentioning only the aspects that are likely to be relevant to the job.
What value is the Internet to you personally?
This helps to show how you have used the Internet, its value to you, and whether you truly understand its potential. If you are hardly making use of it, how can you understand the vision that company has of making it big and creating a huge market, for example? Your use of the Internet and understanding where it is going will help the interviewers to see whether you would be a useful member of their team.
What are your short and long term goals?
These are particularly useful to interviewers to identify where you are now and some idea of where you are heading. If you are ultimately looking for a secure and cosy job, the Internet wouldn't really suit you. Currently the Internet is the most insecure and scary place for a person with ambition. It is like one of those early Wild West American gold rush places, where many went with big dreams and little resources hoping to find that gold and realise those dreams, only to come back months or years later rather disheartened and disillusioned. A few made it big, yes, but nowhere matching the proportion of the number who went in the first place. The Internet draws people in to pan for its gold but only the most resilient, skilled and canny entreprenuer who understands its language, pitfalls and opportunities, will emerge vindicated. Hence why this question is so important to see whether that person is really ready for the rigours of making it on the Internet, with the commitment to match, or is just applying for the sake of a job.
Tell us about any time where you tried and failed?
The Internet does not guarantee success and there is much hard graft to do before the rewards are seen. This question aims to sort the more determined ones from those who are likely to give up easily. The answer you give will determine how fit you are for the job. If you hate mistakes, if you are not keen to try again when you hit a hurdle, if you are not determined enough to see every failure is really a temporary setback that also teaches you as much as success does, then you won't last very long among the shark-infested terrain. How you handle the failures of your life tell far more about your character and capacity for real success than anything else. It also demonstrates that you will be more appreciative of the task ahead.
What Internet browsers are you familiar with?
There are lots of browsers which tend to be used by the different computers and platforms. For example, Apple Macintosh uses Safari, a most amazing browser, but it does have strong competition from Mozilla Firefox, the upcoming Opera and the new exciting Google Chrome which is supposed to outshine the others. Knowing which ones operate pretty smoothly and flexibly is a start to mastering access to the Internet and enabling a better kind of experience.
What is the biggest development on the Internet so far, in your opinion?
This could be a test of whether you have been keeping up with the trends, to identify your particular interests and your appreciation of the great strides technology has made in the last few years. This is also a time for you to shine in your knowledge and understanding of what has contributed to the phenomenal success of the Internet and how you see that continuing. Someone who can chart the highlights of the Internet and identify significant landmarks within its history would show greater expertise in the field than others who have not been keeping abreast of the changes.
In what way do you think you can contribute to our company?
This is a very important question and your answer will depend on how much you have researched the company, how much you understand its achievements already and future goals and how you see yourself adding to their development. Companies are not looking for dead wood to feed off other people. They are looking for bright sparks with new ideas, fearless imagination and huge ambition. For example, Google is such an innovative company, which is why they have been so successful. They think of it before others do. If you were applying to them, what could you personally contribute? What would you want to develop on their behalf? Thinking about your place on their team at any level will get you halfway through the door because you present possibilities they might not even have thought about yet!
What do you expect your starting salary to be?
Do not be backward in coming forward on this important issue. Decide what you're worth before the interview and stick to your guns. Be prepared to explain why you want that too, but don't undervalue yourself. It is better to state a high figure and have them negotiate downwards than to set a very low starting salary that leaves you at a disadvantage from the very beginning.
What's the main reason why we should hire you for this position?
Identify just one key reason why you wish to work for that company. Usually it would relate to the reputation the organisation has or the actual perks and conditions it offers for your enhancement and development. Whatever it is make sure that it sets the company in a good, possibly unique, light. That you would be getting, or giving something which is obviously not available elsewhere.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2011
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Respect and love begin with the self. If we have none, how can we give away any?"