So tell me, what’s your greatest weakness?
When preparing for an interview, it can often feel like you’ve heard it all before. But there’s always an extra edge to be gained on the competition, as long as you’ve got a bit of insider insight. As one of the world’s largest travel e-commerce companies, we’ve conducted our fair share of interviews – and we’ve learned something from each and every one.
So here are three key pointers to bear in mind when preparing for an interview at Booking.com.
It’s OK not to know the answer
Tricky questions are a given in any interview – often the process is about seeing where candidates’ limits are. And while our interviewers may be looking to see how well you can improvise in certain situations, they’ll prefer a simple “I don’t know” to a jumble of buzzwords.
Being humble and honest is central to Booking.com culture, because we believe it’s the right starting point for productive conversations in the workplace. We want our colleagues to be comfortable admitting that they don’t know something – so we expect the same from our candidates. So if you find yourself faced with a question that leaves you stumped, front up and say a simple “I don’t know, but I know how to find out.” It’ll be appreciated.
An oldie, but a goodie. You’ll find this one on almost every list of interview tips – but that’s because it’s absolutely true. Asking questions shows us that you’re interested in the job, in the company, in the industry – and it’s also a great way of demonstrating that you’ve already been thinking about the issues you’d have to deal with on a daily basis.
Remember that it’s not only Booking.com that wants to find out if you’re a good fit for us – you also need to check that the company’s a good fit for you. So don’t be afraid to ask questions about the culture, the structure, the tasks, the benefits, the business itself – ultimately all of these things add up to your overall experience, and it’s important for you to have a clear picture of what it is you’re putting yourself forward for.
This might seem like obvious advice, but it’s all too often ignored by candidates wanting to show their ‘very best self’ in an interview. There are two important reasons to do this. The first is to give your interviewers a chance to meet the real you. Decide if you’re a team fit. And ultimately make a hiring decision based on your personality and your skills.
The second reason is all about you. If you’re being yourself in an interview, you can concentrate on the answers you give and the questions you ask, and not worry about how you sound or the way you act. Innovation doesn’t require imitation.
At Booking.com, we want our people to be able to be themselves at work. And that starts at the interview.