If you have been out of the workplace for a while or have limited professional experience, an interview isn’t the place to worry about your shortcomings. After all, an interview is an opportunity to get your foot in the door. Being able to anticipate the potential questions and answer them with ease will go a long way in turning a job interview, into a job.
Interview questions are designed to highlight three things about a candidate- whether they have the skills to do the job, their level of interest in the job and whether they will be a good fit for the company. In order to convince a potential employer of these three components, an interviewee has to be prepared for the questions they will be presented with and know the answers they will give.
Tell me a bit about yourself
This question gives the interviewer a chance to see some personality. Don’t tell them about your life story, rather, strike a balance between seeming bland and seeming personable. Try to present as logical and prepared. Give them an introduction to who you are, your past experience and skills. Giving the employer a brief look at yourself and in effect your resume, will set up the course of the interview to explore your answers more deeply.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Be honest and try to focus on telling the interviewer the strengths you have that you know the role calls for. To back up your words, use specific examples or tell a story of times when you’ve demonstrated this strength rather than checking off a list of your best qualities.
Talk candidly about your weaknesses or failures. Relay an example to the interviewer but always try to show that you have either learnt from the failure or instead emphasise that you are working to overcome this weakness.
Why do you want to work for us?
Identify a couple of reasons in response to this question. Firstly, explain why you want this specific job and secondly why you want the job at this company. Convey what you know about the company and its structures and why this would be a good fit for you.
Why should we hire you?
When answering this question, consider the skills and traits that are listed in the job advertisement. If the ad mentions teamwork and people skills for instance, speak about your achievements or skills in these areas in order to show that you are the right person for the job.
Don’t simply say ‘because I can get the job done’, instead, talk about how you can excel at the job and the designated role within the business.
Types of questions
Interviewers ask brain teasers to test the on the spot thinking and problem-solving skills of potential hires. There are four types of brain teaser questions- questions that have correct answers, questions that don’t have correct answers, questions you have to break down and questions that test performance.
While the purpose of the brain teaser question is to put the interviewee under pressure, it’s important to remember that the obvious choice is often the wrong answer and that it is okay to ask questions if you need clarifying. Finally, speak your thoughts out loud so that the interviewer can hear your problem-solving process.
Questions such as why did you leave your last job or why have you had so many jobs are asked to determine the character of an interviewee. When answering these types of questions never express negativity towards a previous employer or job, instead craft your answer around yourself. For example, say you have had multiple jobs because you wanted to broaden your skill set before deciding on a career.
Be your best self
Present as respectable and polite. Dress in the appropriate attire for the business you are interviewing at. Wear a smile and sit up straight during the interview. Show good manners by thanking the interviewer for their time, shaking their hand and making eye contact. Lastly, try to arrive at the interview at least 15 minutes early to eliminate anxiety for yourself and to also show the interviewer that you respect their time.
Do your research
Researching and then relaying the knowledge you have about the company shows that you are considerate and respectful of others’ time. Being knowledgeable expresses to the interviewer that you are serious about the job. This type of commitment can be the difference between you and another equally deserving candidate.
The interview process can be quite nerve wrecking, however, taking the time to prepare, researching the company and presenting the best version of yourself on the day can help you get through an interview confidently.
From companies looking to hire the right person for the job to people needing assistance to find the right job for them, Ability Options’ employment service has the team to assist and guide you through the process.