You have been invited to a job interview and it can be quite nerve-wracking. However, according to Career Planet (www.careerplanet.co.za) there are a number of things you can do to prepare for a job interview. One of these is to do research about the company with whom you are having the interview. Google the name of the company and read up on what they do exactly and the services they provide.
Career Planet furthermore suggests that you get a good night’s sleep, dress professionally and prepare all your documentation. These include your CV, ID document, qualifications and driver’s license, if required. Be friendly and positive and make eye contact. Don’t be shy about asking questions and thank the person for his/her time.
Following are some general questions that are asked in interviews. Reflect on each one and do some soul searching. Be informed about your own capabilities, talents and character.
- Tell me more about yourself. Describe yourself in a work situation. Talk about your training, capabilities, achievements and previous work experience and how this will help you in your new job.
- What capabilities or skills do you require to be able to do this job? Make a list of the skills that put you at an advantage against the other applicants. For example, mention that you are passionate about your work and give examples. Perhaps you like reading relevant magazines or are following supplementary courses.
- What are your weakest characteristics? Focus on your work and not your character. Try to turn the negative into a positive. You could perhaps say something like, “I am inclined to be a perfectionist. I always want to do everything 100% right and can be quite hard on myself.”
- What are your strongest characteristics? This is your opportunity to show why you are the best candidate. Perhaps you thrive under pressure, or you like motivating others. You could be inclined to always offer good solutions to problems. Think of examples to illustrate this.
- How do you handle conflict at work? Mention for example that you prefer to talk matters over and are prepared to listen to the opinion of others. State that you don’t bear grudges and that you admit to making mistakes. You are prepared to be the lesser person.
- When two managers both expect you to do their work immediately, how do you handle it? This isn’t really a trick question. You could propose that you and the two managers get together quickly to determine the urgency and importance of the tasks. Both might possibly be urgent, but the one’s deadline might be earlier than that of the other.
- Tell me about your current job. Never say anything about a previous or your present employer. Rather talk about what you have learnt at the company and how it has promoted your career. When asked why you want to leave your current employ, explain that you are looking for new challenges and further opportunities for growth.
- What are your short- and long-term goals? Short and long term. According to Career Planet companies look for employees who intend staying with them. Your answer must reflect this. Mention that in the short term you would like to become an expert in your field and even the best in the company. In the long term you might possibly accept greater responsibilities or even fill a leader’s position in the company.
- Do you work better on your own or in a team? You are usually expected to work on your own as well as in a team. Mention that you work well in a team, but that you are also able to work independently.
- What motivates you to work hard? “Money” is not a good answer. Some people work hard because they want to make a difference in the world. Others want to become leaders in their field. Give some thought to your own motivation.
- What kind of salary do you have in mind? If you already know what salary is being offered, stick to it. If not, find out what is a market-related salary. Mention that you are prepared to negotiate.
- Do you have any questions? Show that you are interested. Ask questions about the company itself or about opportunities for growth. Make sure that the post also meets your requirements.
Career Planet also makes available a list of 20 questions that could possibly be asked in interviews. Read them on their website. Prepare yourself well, remain calm and show insight into your own capabilities, career expectations and plans for the future. There you have it … make sure to be on time!