Answering Top 5 Questions in a Job Interview
Unless you are running a company from the very beginning of your career, you need to go through at least one job interview to become part of the workforce. Interviews are a crucial part of the application process but unfortunately, not many applicants are looking forward to it. They get anxious over an interview regardless if it's the first or the ninth time.
David Alexander from the International Career Institute says: "A good way to battle this fear and gain more confidence in facing an interviewer is to practice answering questions that could be thrown at you. It won't hurt to write it down, rehearse and keep on practising until you're saying it confidently, convincingly."
Below are five of the most typical interview questions for job applicants as well as tips to help you come up with winning replies.
1/ Tell something about yourself. Consider this an opportunity to break the ice. Share interesting things about you but make it short and sweet and most importantly, relevant to the position you are applying for. Remember to connect your interests and achievements to the job. No matter if it's only a small role, if it's important to the job in question, let the interviewer know of it.
2/ What are your strengths and weaknesses? Determine your abilities that can satisfy the job requirements. If you're unsure of what the job calls for, check the advertisement or ask more details about the position. As for weaknesses, focus on those that are irrelevant to the job or mention previous weak points you've already developed (and even turned into strength!).
3/ Why do you want this job? While you're tempted to say the obvious or that the office is only a ten-minute ride from your place, don't. Focus on your aspiration to join the particular industry, talk about the company's good reputation or specify the challenges of the job that you are positively anticipating. Tell what inspired you to pursue this career instead of stating salary or convenience.
4/ What are your salary expectations and career goals? If you can't avoid stating your expected salary, make sure that it's a realistic amount. Career goals, on the other hand, is the employer's way of determining if you'd stay long enough so your reply must go along the lines of the job fitting in your career plan and your desire to be with the company for a reasonable period of time.
5/ Do you have questions about the job or the company? It's easy to tell you have none to wrap up the interview but this is where you can actually get some bonus points as you can emphasize your interest in the job and the company. You can ask about the company's products, customers, competitors or take this chance to know more about industry trends and market challenges.
Staff at the International Career Institute advise that if more challenging questions pop up, such as why you left a job or how you dealt with a difficult situation, keep in mind that companies are not only looking for competent individuals; they are also after applicants who are level-headed, resilient and optimistic. So bring the personality that suits the position and you'll get your dream job offer in no time.
About the International Career Institute:
Belonging to a group of colleges established in 1978, the International Career Institute is an independent, private college committed to providing and developing career training programs in consultation with industry and employers. ICI serves thousands of students in 77 countries across 50+ subject areas. All ICI courses are delivered via distance learning requiring no in class attendance.