In the earlier blog, we discussed how you can stay motivated during job interview rejections. I told you how maintaining your sanity through the rejections is important, and things you can do that helps you achieve that state. Here we will talk about the interview itself.
I had co-founded a lot of companies, and every time I had a person come in for the interview, I felt they lacked something. It was not confidence, because most of them carried it really well. It had more to do with the answers they gave, and the ones the management really expects from them.
I will discuss the interview questions that interviewers tend to ask, and how you can beat the heat with answers they really want to hear.
So, are you ready?
1 : Tell me something about yourself
This is more like a warm-up question, which the interviewer asks in order to settle you down a bit. However, they don’t really want to hear about your past employment details or, about the things you have already mentioned in your resume.
They want to know you- the real you. Who you are, and what your personality is like? The answer to this question lies in what you have accomplished, what sets you apart from the rest of the people, your strengths, what you tend to observe and finally how you manage your day-to-day life. What the interviewer hears is all about your efficiency, productivity and the strengths you possess. It is important to make the interviewer meet the real you and relax.
You can always talk about the previous job roles but, instead of defining the roles, tell them how it helped shape you and what you really did as part of the job. This will help the interviewer know everything there is to, about you.
2 : An example to help you understand
While you have read everything about my past profile in the resume, there are a few things I would like to highlight. I am an accomplished writer. I have been awarded several times for my blogs and content by the blogging association. I have always had a penchant for listening, and then creating stories out of it. However, that does not mean I don’t have an opinion of my own or won’t voice it.
In this answer, you have talked about your strengths, how you work and your accomplishments in a story format.
3 : How about you tell us about your weaknesses?
I used to avoid asking about the strengths of the person I am interviewing. Instead, I would begin by enquiring about their weakness. Why? Well, most people are aware of their strengths but, what about the weakness.
They want to now whether you are ready to face anything, and how will your weakness prevent you from doing that. How would you overcome it? Will you be a fit despite your weakness? Do you know how your weakness can impact your growth, and are you working on it? From the answer to this question, they will get to know great deal about your personality.
Don’t give away your weakness in one go. You should not say “I get angry in some situations” as a weakness. That will not help you bag the job. Instead, you should mention the weakness while acknowledging it as one, and go on to say how you have been working on getting the weakness straight. You need to put out in so many words as to how your weakness had proven to be your biggest enemy in the past, and how you have overcome it step-by-step and you are still working on it.
Mention how your weakness will not affect the job you are interviewing for. This kind of self awareness is what the employers are looking for.
I have never been one who could give constructive feedback. In the past I used to be very rude, which is why my seniors never allowed me to be the one commenting on the project. While, I handled projects nicely, I could never get the leadership post. Gradually I realized my mistake, and began working on it. I used to control my impulses, and start reworking on what I wanted to say. It took me a while, I won’t disagree on that but, somehow I managed to get hold of my impulse, and today I am much better than what I was.
4 : Tell me how do you handle a difficult situation?
Employers generally want to know if you are are perceptive or not. What happens in case of a stress situation, and how do you deal with the situation? Are you calm or, do you manage to panic about the situation? The answer to their question helps them get answers to all these questions.
How would you answer this question? You will need to walk them down your memory lane, and talk about a time when you had a difficult situation while you were at work. How a particular customer did not co-operate, and demanded to see your boss! Your quick thinking and efforts in minimizing the situation, helped you save the day for the business, and how your boss awarded you for the same.
This whole story format will help them get answers to all the doubts they may have. It is important how you convey having saved the day though.
5 : Why do you want this job?
I always ask this question to know if the person giving the interview knows that the job profile well, and whether or not they have made efforts to study the profile and the company. Most interviewers want to know the interviewee’s perspective on the job, and how they believe they can offer value to the job.
The answer here is a bit tricky. You ought to spell the job profile, connect it to your past profiles, and mention how you are worthy of being a part of this job.
For starters, you can mention how the job profile furthers your career, then go on to say how it is connected to the current profile you are in, and finally mention how being a part of the profile will strengthen you and how it will help the company.
I have always wanted to work with your company but, knew that I needed the right skills and experience to join you. Your profile requires someone who is a quick learner, has the ability to manage all kinds of campaigns and is fit to understand the current market. I would say I fit all three aspects. Let me explain. I was an SEO analyst, and moved a ladder up to SEO team lead with the company. This role may seem limited but, I broadened its horizons with my penchant to learn and keep improving my profile. I started working on social media campaigns, registered for PPC campaigns, managed every one of it successfully, and even led the company to handle various marketing campaigns that helped increase its visibility. I believe that owing to my management skills my company gave me the designation of senior marketer within a year or two.
Something along these lines will help you guide the interviewer towards the right thinking direction regarding you and your skills.
6 : Where do you see yourself in five years time?
We want to know if the person we are interviewing has a plan in mind or not. If they cannot plan for themselves or at least dream a productive life for themselves, they cannot do it for the company as well.
You need to be honest here. It is obvious you are not going to stay with the company for all five years. So, talk about what you really plan to do with your career and where you see yourself- the dream job you have always been thinking about.
What kind of position you have always wanted to get and what do you believe will help you get it? These things help the interviewer understand in detail about your passion, and that is what will get you through the job.
I am currently mining data, and with this profile I can become a data analyst. However, I want to reach the position where I can guide decision makers with my analysis and insights. That is where I see myself in five years, leading a team of data analysts and helping organizations with building the right insights.
Apart from this, there are analytical questions that a lot of interviewers pose to the interviewees. This is to check their presence of mind, and how they perceive matters. We need to analyze how they will look at situations, and how soon would they give up. These analytical questions will also help them understand themselves better.
If you have any doubts regarding interview questions, share it in your comments. If you need help with some interview related questions, you can share your concerns in the comments as well.