Career Counselling and Career Guidance | I'M HIRED

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The Interview Answers that will get your Hired!

The Interview Answers that will get you hired

What answers are they really looking for? 

Every interview will be slightly different but all interviews are essentially looking for the same thing … for you to sell yourself.

Always remember to ask the employer the type of interview they are looking to perform (whether an assessment day, group interview, competency based or even a strength based interview) as this will help you to better prepare. I have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions (usually within a competency based interview) and what the employer is really looking for in your response.

ü    Tell me about yourself?

Sell yourself! This question may be approached in many different ways but I haven’t seen an interview yet where it isn't asked in some shape or form. A great piece of advice for getting this spot on is to write a short paragraph about yourself and repeat it to yourself before your interview. (In the same way you practise your Oscar acceptance speech in the mirror but unlike the Oscars there is no need to thank Mum and Dad!)  

ü    Why did you apply for this role?

Be enthusiastic about the role and talk about what you already know about the company, let the recruiter know you are passionate.  Never say, “because it is close to home” or “the salary is pretty good” recruiters are looking for more substance behind your answers. If you are looking for a change of career then this is a brilliant opportunity for you to explain your situation and what you want to get out of this role.

ü     What are your strengths?

Before any interview, write a list of your top 10 strengths and think about examples to demonstrate these too; basically what are you good at? And always remember to make your strengths relevant to this role you applied for and even better make them relevant to the skills the employer is looking for.

ü     What are your Weaknesses? 

This question scares a lot of people but all they are looking for is an area that you need to develop. Try not to say any generic answers such as "I’m a perfectionist"; as a recruiter I must of heard it thousands of times and I am certain there aren’t actually that many true perfectionist out there. So try to think of a weakness and then how you plan to overcome this, discussing a weakness you have already managed to develop is also a selling point as it shows you’re a self-improver.

ü     What are your aspirations? OR Where do you see yourself in 3/5 years’ time?

This is where a recruiter is assessing your commitment to the role and looking to evaluate your self motivation. Many candidates seem to think the only answer to this question is to say you want to get a higher level position but development is much more than just getting promotions. Development is all about your personal growth so your answer shouldn’t just be a generic cut out; everyone's personal development is completely unique. 

ü    What experience do you believe you can bring to this role?

You don’t have to just relate this to answer to your previous experience, you could include educational experience or any of your skills and strengths. You need to demonstrate why they should employ you and why you meet the job specification.

In an interview you need to be prepared for anything and throughout my interviewing experience I have heard some great questions asked to candidates as employers are not only looking for your knowledge and experience they want to see your personality. Take a moment to think of your responses after every question as unfortunately you cant prepare every answer.

Once the interview is done you're one step closer to getting hired.

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