Into the Interview

Often job seekers have a tough time fielding some of the simplest questions that interviewers ask.

No matter how well you think you are prepared for a job interview, the fact remains that there are no set answers to sense of the seemingly innocent questions that an interviewer ask. However, your responses to these questions are absolutely crucial for if you manage to get it right here, half the battle is won.

Some questions like ‘Tell me about your self’ may seem rather simple but these questions can have a variety of answers. The more open ended the questions is, the wider is the variety of probable answers. Once you are confident of your interviewing skills, you can use any question as a launch pad for a particular topic or compelling story.

Some of the other frequently asked questions include classic ones like. What is your greatest weakness? These are questions that most aspirants answer incorrectly. The standard text book answer for the greatest weakness question is to provide a veiled positive such as ‘I work too much’. But if you think that is the correct answer, you are wrong. The interviewer screens many candidates and by virtue of his or her experience knows that you are either lying or worse, you are telling the truth, in which case you define working too much as a weakness and really do not to work much at all.

Behind every interview question there is a concern or another question. As job seekers, your first reaction is to comprehend the question while simultaneously trying to understand what the interviewer’s concern might be. In other words, why is the interviewer asking you this question?

Mentioned below are a couple of questions – answers sets that will, probably give you a new perspective on how to answer

Tell us about yourself>>

The best thing to do here is to give a brief introduction about yourself and then move on to provide the basic details about your previous positions and any significant achievements — don’t go into too much detail – just a brief overview.

What is your long term objective?>>

By asking this one, the interviewer is probably asking you to make his or her job easy. In this case you should ideally focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives. It is best if you illustrate what you are doing with instances. For example, if you intend to become the best copywriter in your agency highlight those weekend classes in communicative English that you are taking to further your prospects.

Are you a team player?>>

Almost everyone answers in a positive to this question. But employers need examples to back up your answer. You will need to highlight. You will need to highlight cases like the time when you pitched in to complete some project at the nth hour when a fellow teammate called in sick. You will also need to focus on your openness to diversity of backgrounds. You should also let them understand that you always believe that the strength of the team is beyond that of the individual. And note that this question may be used as a lead in to questions around how you handle conflict within a team, so it’s best to be well prepared for this one.

Where do you see yourself in five years?>>

Yes, that is what most aspirants feel when they are asked to blurt out their future plans at such a short notice. A good answer here would be something along the lines of wanting to study and participants in training that will assist you in your job and aid in your chances of progressing within the company.

Why do you want to work here?

This is an opportunity for you to show the interviewer how enthusiastic you are about the job / industry. Try to think of an answer that shows your interest in the job.

Have you got any questions for us/me?

There is absolutely no doubt that you will be asked this towards the end of the interview. Make sure you do ask question as this shows your seriousness and interest in the position. May be you could ask about how you will be trained for the position. Do not ask about salary or holidays though.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This perhaps the most frequently asked question. The ideal way to answer this one is to map your strengths your strengths and weaknesses to the job profile that you have applied for. For example, if you are applying for a job where accuracy is an important issue, one of your strengths could be that you have an eye for detail. When asked about your weakness, avoid negative answers and use this question to your advantage by actually turning negative into a positive.

Why did you leave your last job?

When answering this question, make sure you do not give a negative answer. For example, I did not get along with my boss, or I did not agree with the way the business was managed. This will make you sound negative and will greatly reduce any chance of you have of being offered the position. If possible, try to answer the question so that it shows you are looking for career progression.

Word of Caution:

The answers mentioned are not meant for random usage in your next interview. They can at the most provide the base upon which you will be needed to formulate your own answers.