Job interviews can be daunting endeavors, in which you might feel that you’re being interrogated rather than interviewed. The pressure, stress, and anxiety that often accompany an interview can also have a strong impact on how well you conduct yourself. If you sometimes grapple to find an answer to a standard interview question, you need to practice more on the best way to answer these questions.
The following suggestions will help you ace all job interview questions.
Research the Company
Before your interview, research the prospective employer’s history, products/services, and culture. This knowledge will help you articulate how your professional experiences and skills can be applied to the company’s business interests, more specifically, how you can make a positive impact at the company. By knowing the important issues of the prospective employer, you demonstrate to the interviewer your familiarity with the employer and its inherent challenges. This familiarity will give you a strong competitive edge during the interview process.
Convey Your Message
Regardless of what is being asked, always direct your answers to the message you want to convey. For each question, provide a concise answer as well as an additional selling point from your resume. For example, if a prospective employer asks you why you’re interested in the position, explain what attracted you to the position as well as the reasons why you are an ideal fit for the opportunity. Remember to keep your answers concise.
For more anecdotal questions, such as “Can you provide an example of a challenge you’ve faced thus far?” be sure to have a few brief stories prepared that can be used to illustrate various skill sets. By having several anecdotal stories prepared, you can answer most of these types of interview questions. Be sure to add to your answer a top selling point from your resume and how your prior experiences can add up to potential value for the prospective employer.
Some classic interview questions ask you to describe your weaknesses. Ironically, here is another good opportunity to discuss some of your strengths. Talk about the lessons you have learned from making mistakes. By demonstrating your ability to grow out of your weaknesses and how these experiences have helped you make a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, you continue to stress your value to any prospective employer.
Have you ever gone on an interview, thought you did extremely well, and heard you were a final contender for the job, only to find out that someone else was offered the position? Rather than dwell on a sense of failure or rejection, analyze your actions to improve your performance for your next job interview . The good news is that you were one of the top candidates being considered for the job. That means your experience and skills are impressive, and you have most, if not all, of the qualifications needed to succeed. Now your challenge is to find out why you were not offered the position.
You can obtain pointers and advice from your interviewer or the prospective company’s human resources manager. More often than not, these professionals will give you significant insight into your performance during the application process and may even offer advice on how you can improve your presentation during your next interview. Their feedback could run the gamut of reasons why you were not offered the position to professional appearance and skill set.
Keep in mind that you should treat this conversation with your interviewer or the company’s human resources manager as you would any other professional discourse. In other words, treat the conversation as if it were your first interview, and show your professionalism and respect for the company’s representatives. In fact, it is not unheard of for professionals to hear back from an HR manager months after they were rejected because a position has suddenly been vacated.
By requesting feedback on your performance, you gain many benefits. Not only can you obtain pointers on how to improve your interviewing and presentation skills, but you also strengthen your professional network with hiring managers. And eventually you will be considered first in line for the position for which you are interviewing.