A job interview is a lot like a performance, whether it is on stage at the local pub belting out covers for free schnitzel, or public speaking; if you wing it you are increasing the probability of failure.
Being prepared before going into a job interview can dramatically increase your chances, and by “being prepared,” I mean having a sturdy understanding of what you are likely to be asked, and the responses an employer is looking for.
What does the company do? What details do you know about the position advertised? This information can arm you with the tools necessary to provide appropriate and on-point answers.
“Tell me a bit about yourself”
This is your opening argument, your “this is why I’m numero uno” overture.
Don’t use this as an opportunity to bombard your potential employer with a detailed recount of your memoirs. Keep it concise, stay on topic and put forward the key points that make you the ideal candidate for the role.
Remember, all the nitty-gritty details are already on your resume, avoid long-winded and in depth details of your history.
“What are your strengths?”
I am sure you have a lengthy list of strengths, but keep this answer relative to the role. Employers want to know what it is about your experience and skill set that makes you the best fit for the role and the company.
“What are your weaknesses?”
This question can be a little jarring, just keep in mind negatives can be turned into positives.
Demonstrate that you are aware of your weaknesses and offer examples of how you have improved them in the past.
Avoid responses like “I have an addictive personality, seriously, I can even turn the humble glue-stick into a full-blown habit.” Beware of the over-share.
“Why should we hire you?”
Ensure you have a good understanding of the company background and the specifics of the role. You want to show that you can offer more than the basic requirements. Don’t hesitate to offer positive examples from previous jobs.
“What kind of salary are you looking for?”
This is a question that stumps most interviewees, and rightfully so.
Take time beforehand to research the typical pay grade for the role you are applying for. Being informed of the roles expected pay range allows you to balance between under-selling and over-selling yourself.
Job advertisement websites are a great source of this information; let them be your ally.
Keep in mind that all of the above is only a guide. Spending every waking hour before game time trying to anticipate each move will leave you tired and edgy.
If you have a good grasp of what your skills are, what you have to offer and an idea of the basic questions asked in an interview, the rest will fall into place.
Be yourself, try your best and if the job is the right fit for you, you will land your mark.