Learn How to Interview Well

June 28, 2014 by Amanda Owens

how to interview wellAcing the Interview: The Positive Approach to Tough Questions

The responses you give to the questions asked during an interview determine whether you will be a successful candidate or not. You need to practice these responses and the suggested approaches to answering questions to improve your chances of being successful at interviews.

A number of techniques are required for you to be successful in any job search. However, learning how to interview well is one of the most important in the package, as this is the only chance that you have to personally prove yourself capable of the skills written down on your resume.

In an interview you are most likely to be asked questions that will lead to negative or self-defeating answers. This is just a trap the interviewer uses to get to weed out as many candidates as possible, leaving only the best among them all.

To avoid being caught up in this snare, you should never say anything negative during an interview, or even anything that may be misinterpreted to be negative. You should always state your answers positively or in a neutral tone.



The most-common interview questions:

Here are some of the questions that you are likely to encounter during most interviews:

1. Why you are interested in the company?

The first step in learning how to interview well is to know your goal and purpose  toward the company you are pursuing.  It is important to research the company prior to your interview and have an idea of the history of the company and their mission statement. This shows a genuine interest in the company itself rather than just the job.

2. If you could choose any position in the company, which one would you go for?

It is best to steer clear of specific titles here unless you only want to be considered for a specific position. You can speak in general terms regarding the type of work you would like to do.

3. What would you consider to be your weaknesses?

Learning how to interview well is a bit of a science.  This is always a tricky question because as I stated earlier you never want to paint yourself in a negative light. At the same time you don’t want to say that you don’t have any weaknesses because, let’s face it, we all have our weak spots. It is best to either answer this question by talking about things that are not essential to the position your interviewing for.

You could also talk about a shortcoming that you previously struggled with but have since overcome.

4. What you think the job will offer that you haven’t found in previous ones?

Golden rule: Nothing negative

It will be best for you to talk about how your previous jobs have been satisfactory, and that you look forward to having greater responsibilities and being able to contribute even more.

5. Whether you are currently considering other positions/opportunities?

You should answer in the affirmative, without delving into details. A simple yes will do.  Know when to not divulge too much information is an intrical part in learning how to interview well.

6. How the specific one compares with the rest?

It is clever for you to state that the position is favorable though you look forward to learning more about the company and position you’re interviewing for today.

7. If asked to state the other companies or positions that you are considering

You should firmly say that you are in discussion with the other companies, and that you are not free to disclose them, just like you would want to keep their privacy.

8. Your goals, both short term and long term

You should state that you would like to secure a position where you will be able to appropriately apply your skills and experience to contribute to the company’s goal and growth, and in the long term have a greater responsibility in the company that will allow you to contribute even more.

9. Your Motivation

You should state your core values, aligning them with those of the company. Remember to do extensive research on the company before you go for the interview.

10. Self-improvement over the last one year.

Here you need to highlight your professional development, training programs you may have undertaken, education, any studies that you may have done in your field, if you have had any on-the-job skills, or books that you may have read that have contributed to self-improvement.

11. Greatest achievement or disappointment

You could give a personal illustration, like paying your own college fees, and move on to give a professional achievement you deem to be the best that far.
-The Golden rule. State that you haven’t had any significant disappointments.

12. What you liked best or least about your last job

You should explain what you liked most stating that every job has got challenges which have been very helpful in your professional growth.

13. Teamwork? Can you work efficiently on your own?

State that you are very flexible and adaptable. Emphasize that you are able to appropriately work independently and in a team too.

14. How you solved the most difficult challenges you encountered?

Go right ahead and tell them one or two of your success stories.

15. Do you have any questions for me/us?

This question is almost always asked at the end of every interview. Never answer “No” to this question, you don’t want to come across as complacent. As part of your pre-interview research and preparation you should put together a list of questions to ask the interviewer. This is a sign of interest on your part. This also gives the interviewer insight on what your priorities are. Therefore this is not the time to ask about the perks and benefits of the job. This gives the impression that you are not focused on the position but rather what you can get out of the situation.

Instead you can ask questions about what a typical work day would be for you. You could also ask about some of the projects the team is currently working on that you could contribute to. Just remember to always ask one or two questions here.

To get the most out of this information, role play will be important. Ask a friend to act interviewer, and ensure that you have the responses internalized. This will help you boost your confidence. You should observe The Golden Rule under all circumstances.

Now that you’ve learned how to interview well, go out and apply for your dream job with confidence.

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