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Interview Preparation Series: Article 5 – Understanding the Importance of Preparing for Interviews

This blog is the last part of the series on interview preparation and focuses on the final step of preparing for an interview. It is a culmination of all the information shared, knowledge imbibed from the four earlier blogs of this series. This include- self talk, to positive verbal talk, from body language, gestures, eye movement, and other non verbal signals to verbal competence with better use of grammar, and pronunciation, while building a strong vocal quality with clarity, right pitch and volume.

 

Interviews are a final face to face interaction, where the interviewer has questions they want answers to, and most questions are based on what has been written in the CV. It is hence important, that the interviewee reads up their own CV to answer the questions better. Another unsaid, unwritten rule is to read the company profile you are being interviewed for.  Reiterate these ideas and keep reminding them of the non verbal and verbal cues during the session.

 

Here we will help you –

  • Learn about the types of interviews
  • Prepare for the most commonly asked questions
  • Practice answering in interviews using communication skills learnt

 

Things interviewers expect you to use

  • Internal Self Talk
  • Positive Language
  • Correct Body Language- non verbal communication
  • Non verbal Communication
  • Tone, Volume, Pitch, Clarity of speech
  • Grammar & Pronunciation

 

Types of questions

  • About oneself
  • Job/Profession related questions
  • Company related questions
  • Stress Interview Questions
  • Questions related to Behavioural responses

 

Part I – About you

  1. Tell us about yourself
  2. Describe yourself in 3-5 words
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. What are your weaknesses?
  5. What keeps you motivated?
  6. What is your professional dream job?

 

Remember!

  • This should not be recitation of your resume
  • You can include your personal interests not directly related to your career. They can be creative, intellectual or volunteer interests.
  • To give it a professional touch, include some skills that will suit the job.

 

What are your strengths?

  • There are several strengths that you can define your personality, for example:
    • Enthusiastic
    • Adaptable
    • Imaginative
    • Courageous
    • Persuasive
    • Unbiased
    • Creative
    • Practical
    • Balanced
    • Friendly

 

Choose the strengths that would suit the job that you aspire for and work on those lines

 

What are your weaknesses?

  • Try and think of weaknesses that are not skills mentioned in the requirement!
  • You can have some positive weaknesses like, double checking if the work is done or not, perfection in tasks or being organised.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years down the lane?

  • Have a career path and plan for yourself in your mind and answer this question. Think of the designation that you would want to reach. This is just one way of answering the question.
  • Think about answering this question in terms of experiences that you would gain throughout the years, responsibilities that you would fulfil

 

Thus the answer definitely doesn’t have to be a designation!

 

Part II – About the job

 

Job/Profession related questions

  1. Why should we hire you?
  2. Why do you want this job?
  3. What is your greatest professional achievement?
  4. Which type of work environment do you prefer?
  5. What is your management style?
  6. Would you like to work in a team or alone?

 

Why should we hire you?

  • Read about the company beforehand: See how your personal values can be aligned to the company’s values
  • The company is trying to hire you for its needs. So answer this question by pitching in yourself suitable for that position.
  • Understand the job description and various challenges that it could pose. You should be in a position to face those challenges.

 

Why do you want this job?

  • This question is asked by the employer to understand your career plans and see if your interests match the position.
  • Think in terms of the opportunities of growth, pursuit of interests and achievement of goals which you will be able to fulfill with this job and answer accordingly.

 

Would you like to work on a team or alone?

  • This question is asked to know if you are a team player or you can work independently.
  • Both can be right. But don’t stick to one side entirely because different situations at workplace will require independence while others may require team work.

 

Questions about the job and company you applied for

Research about the company is a must before any interview because questions like the following will be asked:

 

  1. How did you come to know about this position?
  2. What do you know about the company?
  3. Why do you want to join this company?
  4. What do you think we could have done better?

 

Other important questions related to job and company

 

  1. What are your salary expectations?
  2. As this question is after a few personality related questions, you should convince the employer that you are worth the figure that you have in your mind.
  3. This is a tricky question as the expectation should not be too high or too low.
  4. A smart way to answer this is to have a figure in mind that would match your experience and qualification.

 

Do you have any questions for the company?

 

  • It is important to ask questions about the job and company. These questions should be reasonable.
  • If questions like, “What’s in it for me?” are asked then, you may be assumed to be self centered.
  • You can ask about the problem that the company facing and how the company is dealing with the challenge.

 

Part III  – Types of interviews

 

Stress interview questions

  1. Why did you leave your previous job?
  2. What do you dislike about your previous role?
  3. Why was there an employment gap?

 

Behaviour related questions

  1. Tell us story in which you showed leadership
  2. How did you solve a problem in a team?
  3. How do mange work pressure and stress?
  4. How do you work in a team?
  5. How do you handle a challenge?
  6. How do you handle disagreement with someone at work?
  7. Tell us how you set your goals.
  8. Tell us an example of how you handled a failure.

 

STAR Technique

  • S-Situation (Description of the situation)
  • T-Task (What was the task?)
  • A-Action (How did you put the solution into action?)
  • R-Result (Were there positive or negative results?)

 

How do you manage work pressure and stress?

  • Work pressure results from deadlines and amount of work to be done.
  • Talk about your time and task management techniques, elimination of distractions to focus, positive attitude and relaxation methods for reaching the deadlines.

 

Author: Baishali Mukherjee

Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.

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