Interviews can be intimidating, especially if it’s the first one. The good thing about them, however, is that they bring you one step closer to the job of your dreams. The majority of us spend our entire student life preparing to be qualified for “the job”, but often neglect preparing for interviews. We tend to approach interviews with preconceptions and unclear expectations, leading to an inevitable spiral of anxiety and nerves.
The importance of an interview and its impact on our lives is undeniable, but it’s important to remember that every organization needs bright, hard-working candidates as much as candidates need the job.
Now, as the hiring process becomes virtual, pre-interview nervousness has become much more common, the result of lack of preparation and reduced social interaction. To help you pass any interview with confidence, here is a list of the six most frequently asked interview questions and tips on how to approach each of them.
1. How are you?
Most conversations, including interviews, begin with a “how are you doing?” “. A fairly simple question to answer, but remember that making a good first impression is essential for a successful job interview. In fact, research shows that 33% of hiring managers make a decision about a candidate within the first 90 seconds of interacting with them. Determine your answer by evaluating the purpose of the question asked, understand the psyche of your interlocutor and put forward the most appropriate message.
2. Tell me about yourself
This question gives you, as a candidate, the opportunity to set the interview agenda. Although this is an open-ended question, keep in mind that the interviewer is probably less interested in personal details. Instead, highlight the skills that are right for you for the role. Matching your expertise with the skills required for the job is imperative to making the best impression.
3. Why us?
Respond to a “why us?” The question can be very delicate. The easiest and most common approach is to flatter the interviewer with praise for the organization, however, this is not what they expect. The purpose of the question is to understand why the candidate wishes to work with the organization, especially in this particular role. The answer lies in thoroughly researching the business, people, and future plans of the organization. Knowing the organization well will add significant weight to your answer.
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
The purpose behind this question is twofold. On the one hand, it allows the interviewer to understand if a candidate is clear about their skills and how they can match them with the goals of the organization. On the other hand, it helps them assess whether a candidate can come to terms with their weaknesses and show humility and willingness to learn. Being honest about your weaknesses and showing a willingness to learn shows that you prioritize personal growth. It shows your honesty and sincerity. The answer is to fully understand your skills and align them with the job description.
5. Tell me once
Answering situational questions like this is all about storytelling. The situation may or may not be related to the position you are applying for, but will always be used to analyze how you approach it. The best way to approach these questions is to develop a compelling story using anecdotes from your professional life. You can also use examples from your personal life, especially if you have limited professional experience and this is a particularly relevant case.
6. Do you have any questions for me?
This question usually comes up towards the end of the interview and answering it can be quite stressful.
While some may argue that not asking questions is the best way to tackle it, it is not. The interviewer typically asks this question to allay any doubts the candidate may have about the organization and the role, simultaneously assessing their interest in the position and the amount of research they have done on the role. This question gives you the opportunity to present your research and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.
These tips should give you a good idea of what to expect in an interview and how best to approach it. Use these tips, but keep in mind that thorough research and careful preparation are most important.
Practice, practice, practice is the mantra for gaining the confidence you need to be successful in any interview!
– Article by Mudit Shekhawat, Director of Consumer Affairs, Harappa Education
Read: 16-year-old entrepreneur explains why good vision is so important
Read: 5 Emerging Career Options For Students To Consider In 2021