Ace the Job Interview

4 common questions for a job interview

Credits: Knowledge City

During this most unprecedented time, looking for a stable job is harder than ever. If ever you get a call or email for a job interview, that’s a great news! By now, most applicants are viewing the company webpage to get themselves prepared. But, how do you really prepare yourself?

First and foremost, landing an interview invite means that you may have done so much better than other candidates. Your resume stood out and that is why the recruiter requested to know more about your professional details. So, what you can do now is to show up early, be prepared and be confident during an interview.

“Your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.”

— Michelle Obama

So now, how do you get yourself ready in front of the interviewer? You should be well-prepared for any curved-balls that will be thrown at you during the interview and surprise the interviewer with your convincing and intellectual responses. Here are some possible interview questions that you should anticipate:

1. Tell me about yourself?

We can simply say this is a warm up question. Yet, you should be precise on answering this question by aligning it to the role and company that you are applying for. Be direct to the point when answering this question. You should focus on highlighting a compelling narrative trajectory to your career history. Avoid mentioning anything about flaws, and if ever you accidentally spoke about it during the interview, be prepared to proactively work on that gap as they are looking for someone that perfectly fits the role. Yet, you should ultimately highlight your greatest skill and individual accolades. Make sure that it matches the skillset that they are looking for the opening position.

2. What is your biggest weakness?

You have to be sincere and honest in this one. It will be too arrogant to say you don’t have any weakness right? Recruiters will surely wonder if you say that you do not have any weakness. Self-awareness is one key aspect in the interview process that recruiters are looking for an applicant. To answer this question, you must mention a feebleness from your skillset, and follow up immediately with an action plan that you have done to work on that weakness. Prepare to answer such question and make the recruiter think that your present “flaw” will be your future strength.

3. How do you deal with conflict?

This question is very tricky and interesting as recruiters will determine your team player and professional matureness. You should always expect maturity as having a heterogenous team, especially here in Canada, will present some conflict. Recruiters and hiring managers will prefer applicants with extremely high emotional intelligence. To handle this question, you should think first that you must understand the root cause and find a resolution for the conflict. Your role in the team is to ensure that you are actively listening as resolving conflict will benefit the team. Here is my sample formula when answering such question.

“I am working with a certain individual from our team and it seems that we are not on the same goal in terms of reaching our sales quota. He frequently steals potential customers that would come into our store and focuses only on sales. I felt like his motives are unparalleled with our team goals so I decided to talk to him personally. I listened first to his thoughts before I answered him my point of view. We then discussed ways on how we can manage this in the future to avoid such conflict. As a result, we were able to reach individual targets and best of all, meeting and exceeding team sales goals!”

Working on this type of formula will help you become confident on answering a question. Always answer the question in a S-T-A-R format, S- Situation, T- task, A-Action plan and R-Result. With this in mind, for sure you can get an A+ from the hiring manager!

4. Where do you see your self 5 years from now?

A common yet extremely complicated question as this will show your career outlook in the company and role that you are interested in. The easiest way to answer this question is to take note of the following:

· The ultimate desire to grow with the role and company. For sure recruiters commonly hears answers such as “I can see myself as manager and get promoted soon”. That is a good answer but there is a better one. You can actually say, “I will be leading a successful team and doing a big project that will be beneficial for the company.”

· The desire to overcome challenges and adversity. Show the recruiters that you have battle plan for any possible challenges that you see and have plans to surpass it.

Every interview is different and it will depend on how you answer your questions. Some recruiters will focus on one statement that you made but always bear in mind to be confident, relaxed and most of all, be prepared!

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