Preparing for the Interview!

The big interview, it’s where we hope to find ourselves, however its a difficult and nervous situation, the questions are very testing and you want to been seen by your interviewer as the ultimate candidate for this job. Week 4’s lecture was about job interviews, I found this particularly helpful and interesting as I have never been in a formal job interview scenario, and to be honest, the prospect of being critically analysed terrifies me. So I guess knowing what to expect would extremely important and helpful for myself as well as other people with job interviews lined up in the future.

One of the first parts of the lecture that struck me was the really odd questions that interviewers would ask. I found it strange that they would go off on a tangent asking the weirdest questions, for example, “If you were and animal, what animal would you be?” or, ““How would you design a spice rack for a blind person?”. Why do I need to know this!?!? Questions you wouldn’t really expect and therefore wouldn’t really deem as necessary knowledge when getting ready for your big interview or writing your resumé.

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However what they’re actually doing, is trying to find out how you function in a very sneaky and cunning way that’s extremely analytical.

These are the typical types of interview question that you may be asked in a typical job interview…

Behavioural questions – These questions focus on your reactions, attitude and behaviour to certain work situation from the past. The idea is to try to get as clear a picture of how you work, solve problems, react to situations as possible. This kind of question will sound like, “Tell me about a time when you….”, or “Describe a scenario when you set this goal and how did you achieve it”. Before going into an interview I would revisit as many previous work scenarios as possible.

Situational questions – These questions are tailored to find out what you will do in certain situations, in that way, they’re quite similar to behavioural questions, however with less regard for your previous work situations, and a greater focus on what will do in the future with this particular firm. These questions could sound like, “How would a workload this big?”, or “What would you I do to make this project deadline?”. I would re-evaluate my work routine before the interview and find a more organised, structured and efficient way of delivering my work, so as to be more prepared for these questions and scenarios in the workplace.

Competency/ability questions – These questions are about your personal skills and abilities and where in the job they will help you. These questions will sound like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. I would attempt to find a few main points that prove my knowledge and ability, without trying to brag or sound arrogant.

Communication/cultural questions – These questions look at your social skills and how you could work with a team. Harmony between colleagues is very important and employers will favour those that get along well with others as they make team work a lot more cohesive, and of course will make the workplace more friendly. These questions will sound like, “What do you think your colleagues would say about you?” or, “How would you describe your work relationships?” I would try to be a very friendly and easy-going in the interview, but remain a good listener and focused. Maybe even use my references from previous jobs, also be sure to learn as much as possible about the firm before the interview!!

Knowing the interviewers tactics will give you huge head start as you’ll know what they want to hear and how to answer their questions in the best way possible. Of course you wont be able to script out your answers as if you know what they will ask you, but you will have a far greater chance of getting the job. But if you don’t get the job, email the interviewer and ask for feedback on your interview, and there will be knowledge gained from the experience.

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You’ll probably hear some weird and vague question’s, the goal is to be prepared, intuitive and enthusiastic and your chances will grow immensely.

References:

http://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/job-interview-tips

http://biginterview.com/blog/2011/02/behavioral-interview.html

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