When interviewing, companies are trying to assess whether or not you’re a fit for the role and within the company. That means they are trying to see if you can do the job and do it well.
That’s why as applicants you go through several stages of interviews and 99% of the time, culminates in face-to-face interviews. (Or at least video interviews)
If you want to land the job, you have to prepare for three types of questions:
Naturally, it’s impossible to prepare for every variation, but having prepared answers to these questions will greatly help you in the interview process.
Small Talk Questions
These questions are generally asked at the beginning of the interview process. This helps you, the applicant, be more comfortable.
Interviewers know that this can be a stressful and anxious time so they ask these easy-to-answer questions to help you loosen up.
These can take many forms and shapes from the simple “how are you?” to a more cultural or local-specific one like “did you watch the game last night?”
Don’t be awkward.
One thing to help you prepare for this is to always keep yourself informed of current events. Know what’s happening especially if it’s a local job.
You don’t have to know everything, but at least, know the top headlines.
These questions are the questions you might think as cliches but are very important to the entire interview process. They are:
- Tell me about yourself
- What’s your greatest weakness?
- What’s your leadership style?
These questions get the ball rolling. Everyone knows they exist so you might as well have a great answer to them.
Don’t follow the advice on social media to try and steer the question to another direction. Not answering the interviewer’s questions will only affect your performance negatively.
And just so you know, there are terrible answers to these questions. Do well and you’re one step closer to landing the job. Do poorly and that might as well get you disqualified.
The last group of questions you should prepare for the behavioral questions. Answering these questions demonstrate your ability to do the job and, if done right, removes any doubt from the interviewer’s minds that you are the right person for the job.
Just like the others, behavioral questions come in many shape or form. But the determining quality is it’s always about your past behavior.
Some examples are:
- When was the last time you…?
- Can you tell me about a time…?
- Describe a situation when you…?
The ending of these questions are then followed by the behavior or skill that the interviewer is looking for.
If it’s about problem solving skills, the question can be “when was the last time you had to solve a particular problem at work that you have no experience before?”
Or if it’s about persuading someone, the question can take the form of “can you tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to your point of view successfully?”
The rationale for this is simple:
Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
Here’s a pro tip: your resume should set you up for these questions. When your resume lists your accomplishments, the interviewer will undoubtedly ask more about them.
Stop Winging It
If you want to get a job offer, you’ve got to prepare for your interviews. There’s nothing interviewers hate more than unpreparedness.
It’s disrespectful and a waste of time.
To be seen as a professional, stop winging your interviews.
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