Going to a job interview is a scary prospect for many first timers, particularly fresh college graduates. Whether you will be facing an intern or the CEO, it is best that you come to the interview prepared for every question they may throw at you. Not all situations are alike, but here are some of the usual queries that occur in an interview:
1. Say something about yourself.
Many candidates cave in to this opening query mainly because they are focused on other possible questions that may arise during the interview. It is important to know that this question is often used by interviewers to see how well you can handle yourself when thrown off with a question that is not related to the position or the company. Also, they employ this question to see how articulated you are, and to get an clearer impression about who you are.
The upside to this type of query is that you can discuss your strengths in addition to your personal interests. The worst thing you can do when faced with this question is to answer with “what do you want to know?” Clearly, that is not what the interviewer is digging for here; they will ask what they want to know later, but the point of this question is how you view yourself. Keep in mind that a positive answer is needed and you should deliver it with poise and confidence.
2. Tailor your answers for the interviewer and job at hand.
While delving into your personal history is necessary in an interview, do not focus on it too much. Match your qualifications and strengths and explain why you are the best person for the position. You can begin with your most recent employment and how your experiences and skills make you the right person for the job. Know what the interviewer is looking to buy, and you’ll be better able to sell yourself to them.
3. Emphasize your accomplishments.
Prepare a brief yet concise summary of your professional achievements and milestones. However, you need to pick stories that fit well with what the company is looking for. For example, if the position requires meeting deadlines, provide them with a story that fully describes your attention to time management and how such a trait earned you recognition in your prior employment.
4. Longevity is an issue.
If you are still fresh from college, you may not need to worry about longevity and tenure issues just yet. It is essential to point out, however, that many companies see tenure as a gauging instrument for hiring employees. Many companies want to hire people who will stick with them for at least three to five years. Otherwise, they may brand short-term candidates as job-hoppers. Such stigma will considerably impede one’s chances of getting hired.
5. Be candid but avoid coming across as arrogant.
When you are in an interview, be confident but do not exude any hint of arrogance. Research about the company and about the position you are applying. Do not go in tense, but do not show that you are too relaxed either. Remember that interview results can be subjective and you need to win the interviewer to your side if you really want a chance at getting hired.