Want to get over the toughest interviews? This is what you should do…

March 19th, 2009  |  Published in TIPS

by Jobsbridge

A good resume helps you land a good job. However, it’s not always that your resume gets you the dream job. Managing the interview is very important, especially the ‘tough and tricky’ questions.Tough and tricky interview questions would encourage you to think and give the interviewer clear and revealing information to assess if you are suitable for the job. The best way to succeed is to be well prepared for interview, prepare thoughtful answers to typical interview questions, well-researched questions about the organization and develop skills to market yourself. There is no magic to crack tough interview. It is a skill that can be learned and developed with practice.

Here are few tips that will help you crack a tough interview:

  • Talking convincingly about your skills

Job interview is a platform to market your skills and grab the job. The idea is to persuade the employer that you have the right match of skills, background and ability required for the job and that you can comfortably be included in the organization and its culture. If you are applying for a job that requires selling or other specialized skills then demonstrate that you have the requisite skills and refer to past credentials that is convincing.

  • Do your homework well

Prepare for your interview beforehand. List out few definite questions which are likely to be asked and prepare for them. Try to practice and have mock up sessions so that you look calm & composed, positive when answering the questions. You have to take care of your body language as well which communicates your vibes to the Interviewer.

When asked if you have any questions, there is your opportunity to show them that you are interested in the job. Prepare questions and ask them; because if you don’t, then the interviewer may get the impression you haven’t done your homework, or aren’t seriously interested in the position.

  • Communicate well

Develop your verbal communications skills. Remember, though you may have great management or technical skills and a strong record of accomplishment, yet if you can’t verbally convey your skills and past credentials, you may get rejected. Being precise, to the point and proper articulation is the key.

  • Don’t blame it on others

There are many tough questions that will put pressure on you or create stress like “Why did you want to leave your job?”, or “Why have you had so many jobs?” If you blame your boss and workplace, you’ll be seen as someone who blames others for your failures and avoid responsibility for your own actions and decision. Remember what goes around comes around – slating your old boss will only make you look petty and bitter. Give responses like “I was ready for more challenge”, or “Each job offered a better opportunity, which I took”.

  • Demonstrate your leadership & team player skills

Interviewer tests if you can lead well in your job and how you deal with your subordinates. Be enthusiastic and confident in your answers; cite examples to leading in personal life, such as being ‘head of the local under 16’s football team’; whatever you say make sure your leadership qualities stand out.

Teamwork is very important to an employer. A properly functioning team creates a happy workplace and increases productivity. Combine your leadership qualities with teamwork in such a way that the interviewer gets the feel that you are best in managing and running your team.

  • Be practical & reasonable

When faced with questions like “Why should we appoint you?” or “What can you do for us that other people cannot?” You can either start with restating your relevant strengths or giving a more confident response like “I don’t know the other applicants, so it would be wrong for me to dismiss their claims. However, I am sure that I have all the main attributes the role requires which combined with determination and positive approach, should ensure that I’d be a very good choice.”

Never say you can build Rome in a day. Impractical commitment only makes false impressions which can be easily shattered once you are employed and start working.

  • Be direct and precise

Try to answer all of the questions the interviewer throws at you in a precise and positive manner. Do not interrupt the interviewer halfway through – it’s bad etiquette. Be an active listener and wait for the question to be fully delivered to you and give your answer even if it means saying to your interviewer “can I just pick up on the point you made in a previous question”.

Try to give a direct answer then elaborate it with examples. Choose relevant examples that highlight your past successes and remember not to go on and on.

  • Be positive

Keep a positive attitude in your answers. Everybody wants to recruit a person who has a positive outlook towards life as they tend to keep the workplace refreshed. Questions like ‘How do you feel about carrying out mundane or repetitive work?’, ‘What motivates you?’ tests how positive are you in your approach. Answers like “I understand all jobs have some element of repetitiveness but I take all aspects of my job seriously regardless of whether they are mundane or not and I always give 100% to my job” are fascinating. Never say that a handsome paycheck motivates you the most, although it does, yet that response can make a negative impression. Instead, mention that challenges in a project and growth opportunities in future drives you along and keep you satisfied.

  • Be calm & composed

Most of the candidates fail due to fear and tension. Interviewer tests you how well you handle stress and pressure. If you easily break then you are not the one they are looking for. Hence, no matter what, maintain calmness. Interviewer might criticize you to check how well you take criticism or negative reviews. The ideal response would be “We all at some point make mistakes and I am more than happy to take on board any constructive criticism that is given to me as it helps me understand and learn from the situation”. Be careful about your tone of voice, level of enthusiasm, and body language; an interviewer notices everything about you during the entire interview.

  • Negotiate your salary tactfully

Never set a bench mark that you may find difficult to negotiate around. Never give an impression that money is your driving force. Therefore, when asked ‘What salary do you expect for this position?’ a nice way to answer that would be “Let’s talk about the job opportunity and potential first, so I can get a sense of what you need”, “This position is not exactly the same as my last job. So let’s discuss what my responsibilities would be here and then determine a fair salary for this job.” Idea is never give the numbers first.

  • Closing and Leaving the Interview

Once the interview has finished stand up and shake hands with the interviewer in a firm manner. Try and avoid wiping your sweaty hands on your clothes in front of the interviewer. Thank the interviewer for their time, say goodbye in a nice manner and leave the room. Try to stay as professional as possible.

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