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How To Answer Common Interview Questions - Career - Nairaland

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How To Answer Common Interview Questions by ayodejifikunmi(m): 10:43am On Oct 16, 2019
Tell me about yourself

This question is tricky because it seems simple. Many applicants fall into the trap of thinking it is simple and so, they answer it literally when it is actually an invitation to not exactly tell them about yourself but to sell yourself. You can start with your name but that should be where you end saying anything personal. It is basically a summary of your professional history and how it relates to the position you are applying for. What this means is that you can leave out any detail that has no bearing on the position you are applying for and emphasis your skills, experiences, educational background and even accomplishments that shows you are the best candidate for the job. Learn how to answer the interview questions "tell me about yourself"

How did you hear about the position

This question is quite straightforward and you don’t have to go into a long essay on how you heard about it. Sometimes, you might want to keep the fact that you heard about the position from someone in the company because you don’t want to come off as promoting nepotism but it is important to still be truthful. You don’t have to go into details; just make it clear how excited you are to have heard about the job opening from (whoever it is) because you have always wanted to work there. If you found the vacancy online or neutral party, it is easier but make sure that you don’t communicate it was a random application but that you were actually enthusiastic to apply.

What are your strengths?

The worst way to answer this question is to start listing your perceived strengths and going on and on about it. The interviewer is really not interested in a list of your strength; what the interviewer wants to know is whether you possess qualities that would help you succeed in the position applied for. You are more likely to create a good impression if you talk about three qualities as it relates to the position than if you simply list ten qualities. The implication of this is that you should talk about particular strengths and go on to explain how it will make you perform excellently in the position. You can even give a past story of how that strength has helped you in your current or past position.

Tell us some of your weaknesses?

Please, don’t follow the clichéd route of talking about weaknesses that are supposedly strengths, like, “I am a perfectionist.” While this might be smart, interviewers have heard enough of it and therefore, you will sound phony. Interviewers are likely asking you this to know that you are self-aware and you recognize you are flawed. However, you also don’t want to list weaknesses that could hurt your chances. The best way to answer this question is to mention a flaw that won’t hurt your chances and talk about how you are working to improve yourself; it is important to mention that you are improving.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

There are certain things the interviewer wants to know with this question; do you have ambition? Do your goals align with the position? Are you realistic? For instance, you cannot answer that you don’t know or haven’t thought about it neither can you come up with lofty dreams that just seems unrealistic. To answer this question, you don’t even have to go into details, especially, as it relates to the position you hope to have reached. You can talk about the skills you hope to have developed by then. However, if you are totally not sure, you can answer that you are certain the experience will make the future clear to you even though you are not sure what the future holds.

What do you know about the company?

This is usually the question that many candidates answer by reciting the company’s mission and vision statement that they have read. You don’t necessarily have to shy away from the fact that you read the mission statement because they actually expect you to have read it. However, you don’t just want to recite because the interviewer wants to know that you relate to the company. So, when you make reference to the mission and vision of the company, mention how you personally relate to it or how you feel you can contribute to achieving the vision of the company.

What other companies are you applying with?

It will be wrong to answer this question by listing the names of companies you are applying to. The interviewer wants to be sure that you are interested in the position and not just applying randomly to different companies. As much as they know bills have to be paid, companies want to know that you actually have a professional plan and care about the industry and position you work for. So, the best way to answer the question is to simply say you are applying to a number of companies in this particular industry where you can apply ABC skills and develop XYZ skills.

Why do you want this job?

Companies want to hire employees who are passionate about the company and the job because employees really are the life of the company. So, you should have a good reason why you want to work with that company before your interview. You can state why the position itself is good for you and also what you love about the company and why you will like to be a part of them.

What can you bring to the company?

This is a great opportunity to sell yourself but it could also be the question that could ruin your chances of getting employed. What the interviewer wants is to find out if you have anything new you would be bringing to the company beyond the usual. Sure, there are certain qualities they are looking out for but what extra quality do you have that will add value to the company. This is a question that you can only answer through proper research of that company and the position, so you can find a gap that you can personally fill.

Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.

This question is simply to figure out your precedents because it is a good determinant of what you have to offer in your new role. This is a question you should have prepared for before the interview. Think about a professional accomplishment as it relates to the position you are applying for that will convince the interviewer that you are qualified and ready to work. Basically, relate a problem or situation and how the action you took provided a solution or result.

Why should we hire you?

This seems like a trick question but it is an opportunity to let the interviewer know that they will be making a good decision by hiring you. Remember that you are not the only one who applied and you are likely not the only one that is being interviewed, so this is your chance to convince them you are the best candidate. How do you do this? You do this simply by emphasizing on your skills that will help you do an excellent job and how your values align with the culture of the company.

Tell us about a challenge you have faced at work, and how you dealt with it.

Every industry and position has its own pressure and it is not surprising that interviewers want to be sure that employees can handle the pressure. This question is basically another way of finding out how you handle pressure and also solve problems. To answer this question, you have to have a story at hand that would indicate how dedicated you are to solving a problem or get results.

What is your dream job?

The interviewer basically wants to be sure that the position is fit for you and not a random job you want to get to while away the time while searching for your dream job. Recruiters don’t want to have to go through hiring every time; it is really not a walk in the park. However, you don’t necessarily have to mention a particular position as your dream job. Instead, you should talk about how your dream job is where you can apply your skills (strengths and experiences), your interests and your values.

Why are you leaving your current job?

One thing you don’t want to do when answering this question is to be negative. Most people leave their jobs for a better offer but you don’t want to tell that to an interviewer because it immediately feels like you will soon leave them for another better offer. So, make sure your answer is focused on your career goals; telling them you are moving forward in your career goals is a great way to answer this question. You can, however, give other reasons if they fit, like relocation, for instance.

What did you like most about your last position?

This question might seem easy but that is if you answer it correctly. This is not the time to talk about the cafeteria or your salary or the fact the company has an end of the year party for the staff. Now, you can include that at the end – with humor, after talking about aspects of the job that actually had to do with the work and achieving result. But make sure your main answer has to do with the position; it could be the teamwork or you were able to push yourself to deliver.

For more https://www.myjobmag.co.za/blog/how-to-answer-common-interview-questions

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