It is easy to make yourself look excellent on paper. You can spend as much time as you want polishing your CV, carefully wording every section to clearly convey your strengths, you have absolute control of the procedure. But it is the interview procedure that sorts the wheat from the chaff, and here depending on how difficult your interviewers want to make it you are not as much of in control.
Despite how much you practice and preparation for interviews, it is impossible to be totally prepared. Interviewers have an ability of throwing curve balls that can easily catch you off guard. The key to this is to build up an ability to adapt to the circumstances and be able to react positively to any question and giving answers that will effectively highlight your skills and what you can offer, yet if the aim is to potentially expose weaknesses.
We have shared our thoughts on some of the trickier kinds of questions you may face-
Frequently used as an ice breaker, "Tell me about yourself" is not an invitation to share your life history. It is an opportunity to present a synopsis of the category of person you are and why you are suited for the job. Check out Interview Questions- how to answer "Tell me about yourself" for more pointers.
"Why do you want this job?" is a question for which a lot of candidates repeatedly seem unprepared. Alike to "Why should I hire you?" it needs research on the position and the company, reasons why you are the most appropriate candidate for the role and how you would add value.
"What are your strengths?" is one that you can be prepared for; however make sure you can back up each strength, excellence or skill with solid and tangible proof across your career.
Interviewers love to see how candidates would react to unusual questions. We have heard of all sorts of strange questions, but "describe our business to an eight-year-old child" is probably one of most challenging. Designed to find out if you understand the company you might end up working for, your capability to articulate the business in simplistic terms will illustrate how much research you've done and by implication, how interested you are in the company and job.
"You have a colleague who doesn't like you much, what would they say about you?" suggests a negative answer will be the only option. So work on ways to turn it into a positive so they may think you are too loud, but maybe that is how you motivate your team and their sales figures explain it.
If you are asked "Have any of your decisions ever been challenged?" do not be afraid to reply in the affirmative. Representative the ability to take direction or criticism and more importantly to learn from it is strength in itself and will win precious brownie points.
Some question seems destined to have candidates twisting on their chairs, but they don't have to be like that.
If asking about your strengths is an observable question, the so is the question "What are your weaknesses?" There is no need to humiliate yourself here, be honest about a few things that might be weaknesses although that the job will give you the opportunity to address.
"Why is there a gap in your employment history?" is a question for which you must be prepared for, if that is the case. In spite of the fact that the current economic climate can make it difficult to quickly step from one job to another, you must be able to show that you have spent your time productively, be it working volunteering or freelance for a charity.
Finally, "Why are you leaving your current job?" is one to be handled professionally and carefully. This is not the time to be rude about colleagues or line managers or to run down your current employers. It is far better to suggest that you are looking for improved opportunities.