The interview syndrome is on the rise. The phenomenon has destroyed self-esteems and made several young and old job seekers unemployed. The need of the hour is to have a checklist that helps you tackle the most easily difficult questions the interviewers throw at the candidates. The tricky part to an interview lies in the fact that there is no book that can teach you how to face the interviewer, since there is no book that knows what will be asked. But going by the experiences of the successful and the unsuccessful candidates we can deduce certain appropriate but not ideal answers to those questions. So here’s the top 10 questions and a guide on tackling them effectively:
Tell me about your education
Sure, you can go on about the diplomas hanging on your wall, but what the interviewer seeks to know is concerned with the achievements you haven’t mentioned in your resume. So do not bore them with the details of your degree from Stanford. Concentrate on your perspective of the education you received and how useful that can be for the interviewer’s organization.
What is it that you can do but the other candidates can’t?
Don’t promise the interviewer unicorns and fairylands. They know you don’t know the other candidates to conclusively claim anything on their level of competency. So what’s the best option? Well, start by emphasizing on the qualities you possess and never forget the ambiguity relating to the skills of the other candidates. Make the ambiguity your weapon and use it to your advantage. Explain how you can deal with heuristic conditions that require higher order thinking skills.
Why should we hire you?
Two words; ‘be specific’. You will find that the questions interviewers ask are very generic in nature. But that is what they want you to think. Your competency is projected when you give a specific answer to these generic questions. Elaborate on the skills you possess and how you can be an asset to the organization. Do some research beforehand if needed.
Reason for leaving last job
Your employer has no interest in knowing the reason. They do not care why you left the job. What they want to know is if you will bad mouth your previous organization. The trick is to be critical of your previous organization and not ridicule it. This will present you as a logical professional with an inculcated sense of loyalty.
Why are you interested in this job?
Again, this question can be tackled better if you’ve done some homework. In fact, make it a habit to religiously study the organization you interview for. Questions like these are not solely concerned with your interest in the job. They seek to know how much you actually know about the job. What you’re getting into, etc. Connect your personal interests with the professional interests that effectively takes the job you’re applying for into consideration.
What is your greatest strength?
Remember how our teachers would prepare us for the six markers of the final exam, because they knew a particular topic was definitely going to be in the test. Well, this is the question every interviewer asks every time. So go well prepared for this. And do not forget to mention how your strength can prove to be a resource to the company.
Last book you read
Here’s a handy advice. Start reading books. More specifically, read books relating to the industry you’re involved in. A good reader presents an erudite picture with high intellect. Even if you do not read books, be aware of the mainstream print media. Because having knowledge of such books isn’t just about reading but also about the general awareness you have.
Where do you see yourself in 4 years?
Do not say “in your seat”. Being ambitious is good but being pugnacious isn’t. Having an overambitious attitude doesn’t showcase confidence but instead portrays you as smug in the eyes of the interviewer. Be honest when you answer questions like these, because this is where the interviewer is trying to look into your personality.
What salary were you receiving?
Go high with the figure, but not too high. Remember at all times that the interviewer is in this business and they know the expected salary according to your skills. So go a little high than the actual figure but don’t push it too far.
Any questions for me?
Carpe Diem! Seize the opportunity that the universe has so gracefully handed to you. With that one question the interviewer assesses your intelligence and your personality. You pass the first level when you ask a question and you pass level two when your question is intellectual. So make sure you ask a smart question.