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Your job interview preparation can give you a lot of insights on how to answer interview questions. The job description can also give you an insight into what the employer expects of you.
An interview is a test. Each interview question is going to test you on a particular area. The key to pass this test is to practice. Family members, friends, career counsellors and teachers can all help to get the answer to each interview question correct. To improve on the delivery of the answer to your interview question, try using a video camera or a tape recorder. Observe yourself and identify the possible areas of improvement. This is also a good opportunity to observe your own interview body language.
Be prepared to answer interview questions related to your CV and cover letter. Make sure you read them before the interview and know what information they contain.
General points to think about before answering an interview question:
- Think about the job and the employer's needs first.
- Employer's needs come before your own.
- Emphasise how you will help to achieve the company's goals.
- Describe your accomplishments in quantifiable words.
- Explain how your skills and attributes will benefit the organisation.
- Be specific and to the point.
- Explain why you approached projects in a certain ways.
- Explain how the skills you bring will benefit the organisation.
- Don't downplay your accomplishments or attribute them to luck.
- Be specific in your answers. Avoid rambling or going off on a tangent.
- Ask for clarification if you are unsure of the question.
Identify weaknesses on your CV and be prepared to discuss them. Possible weaknesses in your CV can be:
- Low exam results
- Lack of related experience.
- Short employment periods.
- Lack of management experiences.
- Why are you interested in this field?
- Why are you interested in this company?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Why do you want this job?
- What qualities do you think this job requires?
- Why do you want to work for this organisation?
- What have you got to contribute?
- What can we offer you that your present employer cannot offer?
- How long have you been looking for a new job?
- What do you know about this organisation?
- What interests you about this organisation?
- What are you looking for in a new job?
- What would be your ideal job?
- What sort of jobs are you considering at the moment?
- What did you do on a day to day basis?
- What do you not like about the job?
- How did you make a difference to your last organisation?
- How successful are you?
- What was your greatest success and how did you achieve it?
- What has been your biggest failure?
- How could you improve yourself?
- How did you progress in your last job?
- How do you handle criticism?
- How do you work with others?
- Are you a self-starter, able to work without constant supervision?
- Can you be depended upon in critical situations and follow work through to completion?
- Are you objective in evaluating yourself and others?
- What motivates you?
- Are you competitive?
- What problems did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
- Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?
- Are you enthusiastic and easy to work with?
- Can you work under pressure?
Recruiters need to know what drives you to want the job and why you want to work for the organisation in particular.
- Can you manage your time effectively?
- How do you structure your day's work?
- How do you plan your day and week?
- How did you handle sudden unplanned work or crisis?v Can you handle constructive criticism in a productive manner?
- What are you like under pressure?
- How many hours are you prepared to work?
- What are your career goals?
- How did you get on with your last manager/colleagues?
- How do you express yourself in situations where you have to be tactful?
- What initiatives do you take to make the work place more efficient?
- How do you deal with different people at work?
- How do you handle work in high pressure situations?
These Interview questions are a guide. You will also be asked specific questions related to the industry and the particular job area you are applying for.