A successful job interview can give you ‘the big break’ you need in your career. It is not an easy task to perform well at an interview and many people struggle with interview technique. The greatest of these problems is the ‘fear factor’ with many crumbling under the pressure of interviews. To overcome this issue, you must learn techniques and develop interview skills to prepare for every type of question asked.

If you go into an interview with little or no preparation, it will only result in one outcome which is guaranteed failure. Successful job interviews are earned through cleverly and clearly answering questions and supporting your claims by referring to experience and using strong explanation skills.

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The entire outcome of the interview is dependent upon how successfully you answer the questions and how well you justify yourself. You should be able to explain why you want this particular job, why you wish to join this industry and what you are exactly looking for in this job. While also saying what you can offer the interviewer if they choose you, this is a great way of psychologically turning the tables, and forcing the interviewers to think you working for them.

In every interview questions will be asked regarding your weaknesses and strengths, your greatest achievements, what you wish to accomplish as a career, what your experience tells you and many other general questions. The answers to these types of questions should be informative, and you must justify your points in detail. Highlight some examples of your experience and training, and use them correctly whenever you want to validate your answers. Build a good rapport with the interviewer, but don’t try anything overly friendly. Always take careful note of the interviewer’s words and be attentive and focused.

Be honest

Speak truthfully and with a composed manner and with honesty or else you risk creating a web of lies which could trip you up. Substantiate how you plan to achieve your goals with relevant details but make sure you don’t change the subject and always keep in mind the question, don’t linger off into other topics. Make sure that you have at least two or three little references on all possible subjects as these will help you to be one step ahead of the other candidates. Maintain a positive attitude and remain enthusiastic and focused.

Be prepared for possible questions you will be asked during the interview. Preparation will help you be more relaxed as well as having the correct answers ready to roll. In almost every job interview the majority of these questions will be asked and here are some the best ways to answer them.

1. Tell me about yourself

Give a brief description regarding your high points reinforcing why you would be the right candidate for the job. Do not boost or over exaggerate. Be positive and remain humble.

2. Tell me about your background

Focus on your accomplishments – Describe your professional experience. Include your training and education. Mention work experience if applicable and provide examples showing your achievements. Incorporate one personal story outside work, by mentioning team sports you like as this shows you are active and work well in a team without appearing boastful.

3. Tell me about your strengths and weakness

This is to be a short response but an honest display of your ability to be objective about yourself, criticise parts of yourself that won’t affect your work. If it is a serious working environment say that you are too serious and need to be more relaxed, this is an attractive quality to this interviewer and turns a negative attribute into a positive one.

4. Describe your most recent job performance

Allows the interviewer to see your enthusiasm about your work and try to link your latest job to the one you are applying for.

5. What do you find interesting about our company?

The question is geared to see if you have knowledge about the enterprise. Another reason is to see if you have a particular reason that is appealing to you about the position, be very positive this is the answer that should be the most complimentary.

6. Tell me who your most difficult boss was and why?

Avoid being too personal or negative about this situation. State the manager’s style and method of management that you found lacked communication. This question is designed to see how well you will get along with a demanding superior; you may be tempted

to describe the exact opposite of what you think the interviewer might be. This is problematic as it will be most likely be obvious and ingenious, so tell them honestly why your last boss was difficult.

7. Tell me about any activities that are critical to your personal development

This is designed to see if you have a balanced your lifestyle between your professional and personal life. Limit your response to one or two examples so you do not seem to be spread too thin with other activities. Try not to say something job-related and cheesy, this question is asked so they can find out about you outside the job.

8. Where do you see yourself in five and ten years?

Do not list the entire road map of your future. Describe briefly, where you want to go with your professional career in two or three simple steps, as with all the question tailor it around the position you are applying for, don’t say that you want to stop working in 2 years or that you want to move to another company.

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Ask Questions

1. You should ask about the people he will be working with and the people he will be handling if applicable.

2. You may also ask if the position is newly created or just looking for a replacement, if they got fired or why they left?

3. Ask about why their company is strong in its market and what they feel puts them above their competitors. The goals of the department you will be working in plus the companies goals.

5. you should ask about the company’s biggest challenge, its competitive advantage and if in any way you can help the business beat their competitors.

6. Ask what the interviewer wants from you, so you can find out exactly what they need. This is a key question for you as from the answer you receive you will best know how to satisfy your boss.

Final tips

Keep track of the flow of conversation because you might ask a question that has been previously answered. Try not to be redundant because it usually annoys the employer. It also reflects on your listening skills and attentiveness. It is important to realise some interviewers will ask questions to see your response to the initial question. They want to see how you will

deal with different types of questions in various situations. They want to see if you will be honest or shy away from the truth. The way you respond is just as important as your answer.

The key is always to remain calm and relaxed. This is not always easy, yet learn to breathe and anticipate the possible questions. Being prepared will make the difference between providing a professional response and a rambling answer that will kill  your chances for getting the job. You have an excellent opportunity if you follow these tips to being successful in the interview. Most importantly you must show confidence and keep your cool!

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