Job interviews are a part of every executive's or aspiring employee's life and it is a critical part of the same. A job interview decides your entry into a particular organization and as such is recognized as a crucial aspect. A lot of discussion and thought has gone into the art of giving and facing interviews, how to present yourself for the interview, the questions that could be and should be asked and the answers for these questions; the right ones and the wrong ones.
Because of the critical part interviews play in deciding one's success, it is not unusual to be nervous prior to job interviews. Preparation plays a big part in dealing with nervousness and mental preparation is more than half the job.
A few basic things to be remembered while attending your job interview are
- Listen to the interviewers and give them your complete attention.
- Answer to the question and keep your answers concise, precise and relevant, polite and without any slang. As much as possible try to make your answers relevant to the role for which you are being interviewed.
- Exhibit good body language and display your confidence and positive attitude - primarily by not making any disparaging or negative remarks about yourself, your previous employers or the prospective ones.
No one can be completely prepared for an interview, but everybody can anticipate most of the questions that can be asked in an interview. Once you have compiled a good list of possible questions that can be put to you in the interview, you can work on the answers. Your answers have to be what you believe in, concise and lucid.
The most common questions that can be asked in an interview can be grouped under the following headings:
- "Tell us about yourself. This has to be the pointer from where the subsequent questions will come and may decide the course of the interview, so showcase yourself - background and achievements, well.
- "Tell us about a recent and big challenge that you came on and how you overcame it." You should speak about a challenge which does not touch any raw nerve within yourself exposing some weakness within you.
- "Tell us why we should choose you for this job and why you are the best fit." You can mention that since you have no knowledge of the other applicants you cannot dismiss their claims but only restate how your strengths of experience, skills and qualifications collectively with your attitude and enthusiasm are relevant to the role.
- "Tell us your strengths." Go ready with a couple or three that are significant to the role you are being interviewed for with sample of your behavior exhibiting these.
- "Tell us your weaknesses." State areas for improvement rather than talking about your ‘weakness' and be sure that these are not relevant to the role in question.
- "Explain your general knowledge and awareness as it applies to the position." General knowledge and awareness, which are mostly about the current and relevant happenings in your geography and environment, your take on how this will influence the future of the organization and industry, etc.
Questions that create pressure and stress:
The basic three of such questions are those that refer to failures and weaknesses, blame and evidencing ability. Be prepared and speak confidently, show credible evidence and end positively.
Questions relating to your competency and behavior:
They are normally phrased as ‘how would you deal with/handle this.' A scenario, which may be relevant to the role, is given and the interviewee is asked how their reaction would be. The interviewer would judge by their agreement to the behavioral approach you have evidenced in your answer. Ideally your response should reflect the management style preferred by the organization.
Questions that you can ask the interviewer:
You should be prepared with relevant queries to ask which will reflect your positive attitude, capability and your innate understanding of the requirements for the role. All these reflect your understanding and your potential in fulfilling the role. As such, you can ensure that any aspects of yourself which you have had no opportunity to showcase is now so done by virtue of your perceptive questions.
Remember that your aim should be to demonstrate to your future employers that your offer is an irresistible one that makes a compelling case.