What To Expect during a Job Interview? 

If it is your first time to come to a job interview, it is normal if you think that interview is nerve-wracking. In such a case, knowing a few best practices can calm your nerves and keep you sharp. The first step is getting familiar with types of questions you’ll be asked, which include:

  • Background questions – These questions help hiring managers get an overview of your experience, goals and why you’re interested in the company. 
  • Behavioural questions – These are designed to uncover your past “behaviours” in different work situations. These questions also help employers decide whether you will fit company culture. 
  • Situational questions – Your answers to these questions should demonstrate your ability to overcome challenging workplace scenarios. 

See also: The Power of Informational Interviews

It will be all about you.

Besides the interview questions above, you can expect that a job interview will be all about you – as a job seeker. Therefore, set aside shyness or reticence and prepare to explain yourself thoroughly. First impressions always count, especially on particular occasions like job interviews. Practice and school yourself on what to do when employers ask illegal questions, such as queries about your marital status, children, or health issues. Understanding what you should disclose and what should be kept as secret will leave a good impression to recruiters. 

If you have an employment gap, explain it.

It is always a good policy to be honest about employment gaps, especially if it is lengthy. Having an employment gap will not decrease your employment chance if you know how to communicate it. Thus, be honest on why you take the gap, is it because you are working to find a new job, volunteering, becoming a parent or caregiver, or travelling? These reasons might be viewed in your favour. When explaining this, remember to emphasise the skills you’ve gained during employment gaps that will put value to the company if they hire you.

Be ready to discuss salary. 

When it comes to salary discussion, don’t disclose exactly what you expected. What you need to do is to prepare yourself by knowing what you are worth based on your qualifications and your salary history. You can also consult authoritative sources, such as Payscale. Once again, don’t feel it is your role to bring up specific numbers, but if you are asked, be prepared with salary ranges, based on your research. 

You are also required to ask questions. 

As the interview is winding up, the hiring manager might turn the table and ask if you have questions for them. When the time comes, make sure you take the chance to dig the company deeper, such as understanding the work hours, company culture, etc. Check here to know what questions you should ask. Nonetheless, it can be totally okay to finish with a non-question grace note, such as expressing that you’ve enjoyed the discussion and look forward to the next step in the hiring process. 

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

How to Answer Behavioural Questions

Employers want to know that the candidates they hire will fit in both company culture and the position applied. In the job interview, hiring managers need to ensure that candidates have the qualities they are seeking for, therefore they often ask behavioural questions to uncover it.

Behavioural interview questions are questions that focus on how a job candidate has handled different work situations in the past to reveal their personality, abilities, and skills. Interviewees could use their work experience, volunteer positions, or sports experiences to answer behavioural questions. 

See also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview

Simplify with the S.T.A.R Approach

STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results. This interview technique offers a straightforward format which job seekers can use to answer behavioural interview questions. This technique requires interviewees to provide a real-life example of how they handle a certain kind of situation at work in the past. 

Behavioural questions usually are easy to recognise as they often have telltale openings like: 

  • Have you ever encountered a situation that makes you grumpy? How do you handle the situation? 
  • Describe your most daunting challenge and how you handle the situation?
  • Talk about a mistake you made. What happened and how did you handle it? 
  • Please describe a scenario in which you were under pressure. What was going on and how did you respond? 
  • Tell me about your proudest accomplishment. 

In some cases, recruiters can provide a situation in which interviewees have to answer with a real-life example based on their past experiences. 

Preparation checklist 

When answering a behavioural question, interviewees should be able to identify the most interesting event, hence could grab the attention of the interviewer. However, if interviewees do not have any work event related to the question, they can pick the most relevant ones from personal experiences. When doing so, make sure to tell a recruiter that the event happened not in the workplace but instead it is based on the personal experience. 

Here are tips to pick the best event and how you can relate it to the question: 

  • Categorise your experiences into successes, challenges, leadership moments, teamwork skills, and problem-solving situations. 
  • Practice your answer out loud before the interview session and plot the answer neatly. 
  • Get comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses because interviewers might ask more questions regarding your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Always be honest. 

“It is all about lessons learned. Your answer to behavioural questions should demonstrate how you tackled and solved a problem. And of course, what you learned from this situation.” - Jodi Glickman 

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

business-job-interview-concept_1421-77

After sending your job application to your dream company and waiting for days, finally a recruiter calls to invite you for an interview. With mixed feelings of both enthusiasm and anticipation, you are preparing yourself physically and mentally to face the interview session. Most interview tips found on the internet merely talking about how you should demonstrate eagerness  to join the company, the reasons why you apply for the jobs, as well as what makes you the best fit candidate for the position.

However, it is duly noted that while the hiring managers want to see your passion and potentials for the future job role, they might want to dig up your past employment, too.

There is no doubt that having a good track record in your employment history is beneficial for candidates. Recruiters often throw several questions regarding the candidate’s previous career to assess their suitability with the job offered. From the candidate’s answers, hiring managers can learn about their past behaviour and commitment towards the job, as well as predict their attitude and response towards particular circumstances if accepted.

Some people leave their jobs peacefully as they are simply encouraged to seek for better opportunity in other company. Some others might leave in less good smooth process due to a conflict or issue with their previous employer. Meanwhile, an interview is the time where you should emit positive energy instead of the negative ones. No matter how much you resent your previous job, you should not let such negativity stay on your mind. Telling bad things about your past employer will not make you look any better. Instead, your future managers will think that you are being disrespectful to your old boss. And thus, this will affect how they see your candidacy.

To prepare the right answer when asked about your past experiences, check the following list of most common questions related to previous job:

Why do you leave your job?

This question is meant to gauge your commitment at work. While the truth might say that you leave your job because you hate your demanding boss or toxic environment or even that you are fired for some reasons, you should not express it bluntly. Avoid using negative tones and choose more neutral words to share your reasons. For example, you can say that while actually you love the job, you believe that you will have better opportunity to make use your knowledge and skills in this company. You can say that all you expect to find better career path which you might not get in the previous job.

What do you learn from your previous job?

Recruiters want to see how candidates grab the opportunity to achieve personal development as well as their willingness to learn through this question. By knowing the interviewee’s capabilities, this question will help hiring managers see the candidates’ future potentials when offered the job at the company. To tackle this query, you can mention about both technical and soft skills you have gained from the previous job, while emphasising how those experiences have shaped your character.

Tell me the challenge and conflict you have faced in the previous job

This question aims to reveal your ‘survival’ skills at work, such as your attitude towards challenge, your mentality when dealing with problems and challenges, as well as how you handle pressure in a job. At this point, you do not need to exaggerate the answer to make it sound great or dramatic. The most important thing is that you just have to explain the actual problem, how it affects you, then how you solve and learn from it to do better.

How did your previous boss and your coworkers describe you?

The recruiter needs to know how you manage good relationship at work and adapt with the working environment. While actually you might not know exactly how your previous boss and coworkers see you as an individual, you can try to deter this question by praising your colleagues instead. For example, you can tell the hiring manager that they have solid teamwork and you are able to form good relationship with them. In the end you can say how you appreciate them and you believe that they appreciate you the same way.

Read also: Competing with a Friend: What to Do When You and Coworker Aim for the Same Promotion

How to Answer These 4 Most Common Interview Questions

For people who have been through plenty of job interviews, we realise that common interview questions do exist. Let’s take a look at these most common interview questions and how to answer them.

1. Why do you want to fill this position?

People at the company you’re applying for would love to hear about what makes you want to apply for that position. Of course, they expect to hear an exceptional answer from you. In order to do that, you need to identify a few key factors that make the role a great fit for you.

Sometimes, the answer might not be enough, because it’s all about you. Honestly, this question also forces you to share the reason on why you love the company. Your admiration to the company could be the reason you’re considered as a stand-out candidate.

2. Can you tell me about yourself?

You’ve heard this question all the time, but there’s a chance you still fail to answer it at its best. The hiring managers don’t want to hear it all, like your personal history. You need to make it concise when you’re answering this question.

Just choose 2-3 relevant experiences that might interest the interviewer to know about. Make sure you can convince them that those accomplishments are the right capital for the position you’re applying for.

3. What is your expected salary?

There’s no exact way on how to answer this question. The right answer depends on your education, skills, and experience. If you’re clueless, then do some research on what you should be paid. Apart from that, be a flexible candidate. Tell the interviewer that you respect your skills, but you are still willing to negotiate. It shows that you really want the job.

4. Any questions for me?

Do you often say “no” for this question? If yes, you’re throwing a chance on becoming a noticeable candidate. Be curious enough about the company and its culture. That way, the interview can draw a conclusion that you’re one passionate candidate.

Ask the interviewer about how much they love working at the company, or the company’s future plan. They will be happy that you care about them.

 

Those are the most common interview questions with tips on how to answer them. Let’s land the job on your next interview!

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the entire interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

———————–

Click here to learn what kind of interview questions interviews will ask.

Went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience! 

You might like: “How to Turn the Tide During an Interview (When Things Go Bad)”

Do you love writing? Email us (contact@jobiness.com) your resume and writing samples if you want to contribute to our blogs!

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

 

———————–

Click here to learn what kind of interview questions interviews will ask.

Went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience! 

You might like: “How to Turn the Tide During an Interview (When Things Go Bad)”

Do you love writing? Email us (contact@jobiness.com) your resume and writing samples if you want to contribute to our blogs!

 

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the entire interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

———————–

Click here to learn what kind of interview questions interviews will ask.

Went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience! 

You might like: “How to Turn the Tide During an Interview (When Things Go Bad)”