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Interviews 101: The Roomies’ Guide to Navigating Tricky Interview Questions

If you’re the expert at writing cover letters who doesn’t break a sweat at communicating on paper, but falls apart at the mention of interviews and public speaking, this guide is for you! From school interviews to internship applications, it’s an unavoidable, often nerve-wracking part of life – you might even call it a rite of passage! With our roomie-approved tips, however, you’ll find breezing through them in no time.

1. “Tell me about yourself.”

Okay, this isn’t technically a question, but it’s what employers usually start interviews off with, which is why anyone reading this should prepare a standard response they can use to answer this question at any interview. Student applicants can break the ice by talking about where they go to school, as well as briefly going over the extracurricular and work history they wrote on their CVs.

2. “What do you expect to earn?”

There’s no exact answer for this because every company is different. However, as a benchmark, internship allowance usually starts at around P2,000/month, while jobs start at P20,000/month. However, both numbers are extremely low (P2,000/month is around ~P60/day), which leaves a lot of room for roomies who know they deserve to earn more to negotiate. If you plan on negotiating, never lowball yourself. In fact, try to *politely* ask for more than what you want to ask because chances are… you’re going to get less than that! After all, if you start earning seriously, you can even start helping your parents with the payments for your groceries and utilities in your coliving space.

3. “What are your strengths? Weaknesses?”

Your strengths should be extremely straightforward. Let your employers know what you’re good at! If you don’t have any notable experiences at school, you can try showcasing your ability to work in teams by telling them stories about your coliving experience, or your attention to detail by telling them about how you created a schedule for chores among your roomies in your coliving space.

Be honest about your weaknesses, as long as you’re willing to work on them! For example, you can say that you can be impatient when working with others in a group whose completion rate doesn’t match yours, as long as you assure your employer that you’re working on it. That would be a good time to reference some of the achievements you’ve accomplished as a team that you’ve written down on your CV.

A non-negotiable weakness would be connectivity. If you’re relying on free WiFi at the coliving space that accommodates everyone else in the dorm, you should probably mention that your connectivity is not the best – especially if you’re going to be working from home. Additionally, the comings and goings of your roomies may make it hard for you to concentrate. While this is a bit of a challenge, even we’ll admit, you will learn to appreciate your roomies’ presence, we’re sure, when it starts to get tough. The student coliving experience, despite a few trade-offs, always has your back!

4. “On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your…?”

Say 10. Trust us. Well… unless you’re horrible at whatever they’re asking you about. There’s no point saying 7 or 8 when you’re taking the time out of your day to attend interviews in the hopes of obtaining employment. Either way, you shouldn’t think of your answer as a measure of your ability itself. Instead, it should be a promise to your employers that you’re willing to work hard to achieve a 10 from your supervisors when they actually see you in action!

Feeling nervous about this tip? Try saying positive affirmations out loud, especially around your roomies and/or beekeeper (who will no doubt be glad to validate them) to get yourself used to the feeling of hyping yourself up!

Even if your interview doesn’t go as you hoped, don’t beat yourself up! There are others you can take advantage of, while taking the time to polish your interview skills with the help of your roomies and/or beekeeper. All kinds of opportunities are always waiting around the corner, so go on and look out for them, roomies!

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