Tips for your job search: Get a grip on the interview
Get a grip on the interview
Preparation is the key to scoring well during an interview. Remember that most employers are looking for enthusiasm, confidence and dependability. Be decisive, confident and enthusiastic. Prepare your answers, in order to respond naturally. Take a few moments to think through your answer before you respond. The key is to know yourself and to know the employer.
The following questions are typically used to start the interview:
Tell me about yourself / How would you describe yourself
Know that you will be asked this question – prepare your response ahead of time. Research the employer and the position. Frame your answer as to how you can contribute to meeting the needs of the employer. Provide a brief synopsis of your education, work, volunteering work and interests. This is a opportunity to sell yourself to the employer – know yourself. What are your strengths, achievements, skills and abilities that make you the most qualified for the position
Why are you interested in this position / Why do you want to work for us
You have to research the company. Search the company Website and discover as much about their mission statement and core values in order to make intelligent and insightful comments. This is not only important for your interview, but will also assure you that you are doing the right thing to apply for the position. Talk about the interesting details of the job and why they fascinate you. Highlight the relevant skills you have
What are the key skills and qualifications you bring to this position
Identify the key skills for the specific position you are applying for. Explain your education, training and skills. Mention a course where you excelled or a project that was especially beneficial to your skill development. Remember that the key competencies desired by the employer are the following – communication skills, problem-solving skills, responsibility, leadership and management skills, interpersonal skills, adaptability and computer skills. Be prepared to discuss these skills and to demonstrate WHAT you have done and HOW you have done it.
What are your weaknesses
This is often the most difficult question to answer. You could name a characteristic not essential to the job. Quickly mention this weakness, but then follow with actions you are taking to overcome the weakness.
Also prepare for the following frequently asked questions:
For the full list of frequently asked interview questions, visit Quintessential Careers. The website also provides a free book that covers all the essential information job-seekers need to know about job interviewing. See The Quintessential Guide to Job Interview Preparation, by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., and Randall Hansen, Ph.D. (Quintessential Careers Press).
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Updated by Hope Abrahams on 11 November 2012.