Preparing To Answer Job Interview Questions

In Preparing to Answer Job Interview Questions Past Behaviour Determines Future Behaviour

An interviewer or interview panel are going to ask you questions. Do not sit there and have nothing to say.  An interview is a two sided event and a business meeting. If you cannot handle that, then how will you handle their business?

The interviewers are giving you an opportunity to provide details of your skills and behaviour.

They are going to ask you questions about your past behaviour as this will determine your future behaviour.

They will ask you general questions in the beginning of the interview to make you feel at ease. They will then ask questions relating to previous situations in your former jobs and how you handled them.

Some examples are :

  • Do you have experience with….. and how did you handle it……….
  • Have you found yourself in a situation where…….
  • Can you give us an example of how…….
  • Is there a time when……….
  • What would you do if…….
  • How often have you……

Think of relevant ways the questions above, may be pertinent to positions you have held in the past, and prepare some summary answers you may be able to use.

Try to think of the way you will answer any questions that may come up. Even practise the answer, so that you are more relaxed in giving them at the actual interview.

Do not just answer any questions with a straight “yes” or “no”.

End of Interview Questions

When they ask you at the end of the interview if you have any questions for them it is extremely important to have some ready. Have a list of questions, you could ask but only ask one or two. By having the list it will give you variations to cover any eventuality as some questions may be answered during the actual interview. Do not expose the actual list at the interview. Try to memorise the questions.

Do not ask questions about the process of the inteview such as “When will I hear about the position?” Only ask questions relevant to the company or position.

Do not say “I don’t have any questions.”

By doing this you will show a lack of enthusiasm for the interview panel and their company. You want to leave them with a  feeling that you have engaged with them and have been a positive person that they could work with in their organization. Leave them feeling enthused about having interviewed you.

Questions in an interview are a two way process for both parties. You had better be prepared !

Job Interview Questions

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Are Job Seekers Who Drink Perceived As Less Intelligent?

After recent research done at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania it was found that job seekers ARE actually perceived as less intelligent.

From Reuters:

Job applicants who drink alcohol are perceived as less intelligent and less hireable by American bosses, a bias dubbed the “imbibing idiot bias” in a study published on Monday.

In a series of six related experiments, researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania found that an association with alcohol caused observers to “expect cognitive impairment” in a job seeker.

“Merely holding an alcoholic beverage may reduce the perceived intelligence of the person,” Scott Rick and Maurice Schweitzer wrote.

Read the full article here.

Drunk job seeker

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Social Media Networking and LinkedIn

Are you up to date with social media networking and in particular the professional social site of LinkedIn?

Take advantage of the time you have to prepare for your job search by using all available opportunities. The social media side of the internet offers many ways to network and we will discuss the three main ones which are, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. In this post we will talk about LinkedIn.

Networking continues to be the most effective way to search for a job and uncover work offers. Current technology provides us with comprehensive tools which, when effectively utilized, provide us with outstanding support. Job hunting is about marketing yourself, your accomplishments and your skills to prospective employers and social media networking tools provide simple, effective methodology to achieve this. So using these tools is recommended because employers also use social media to look for prospective employees.

Your latest LinkedIn profile should feature important resume content which covers all your areas of experience. It should also contain references from your former colleagues at the jobs you have held in the past. Develop your associations by inserting the names of the companies where you were previously employed. Such information will give you the opportunity to review others you might wish to invite to associate with you on LinkedIn. List all your memberships, both social and professional, and invite others from these groups to link to you. Try looking up people, companies, and associations you know of by way of review. Add in any voluntary work you may have done. You will be surprised at what you will come up with.

Over 70 million professionals use LinkedIn.


Woman sitting at computer for job search seekers

You should try to acquire a strong network of level 1 associations. LinkedIn identifies these as your trusted acquaintances. Exponentially, your contacts will grow, given the number of people you have as Level 1 acquaintances. This will give you more prospective leads and information. Your page should show information about the sort of placement you are seeking. Put a professional photo on your home page and make sure you regularly update everything on your profile page.

Go to Amazon and make a list of current and past books you have read. This reveals to your contacts what you read. Amazon will link to your LinkedIn profile and this will allow prospective employers to learn a little more about you and your interests. Don’t forget to list industry relevant reading matter. This shows you are keeping up to date with the trends in your particular industry. If you read the lists others in your industry read, this can give you vital information about what you may have to read to keep up with the trends.

When you are satisfied with your profile, connect with LinkedIn Groups relevant to your position or industry. Joining LinkedIn groups is a major way of maintaining awareness of current and important industry news. Join all of the groups in the most prominent industry associations and trade magazines that relate to your line of business. You might also see employment opportunities listed in LinkedIn before they are listed anywhere else. You will locate people you do not know yet, who are in your particular industry and are keen to link to you. Accept them if you think they are suitable. Remember the more the merrier!

This is networking at its finest without the physical barriers.

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Getting Ready For the Job Market

Are you getting ready for the job market?

Have you researched and developed an organized plan to follow?

A lot of job seekers hold an impractical impression of how much time the job search claims. It is never too soon to network and begin making contacts. Begin in autumn if you want a job in the summer.  Keep an eye on the job marketplace constantly so that your research represents the latest information available. Are you already working full-time but want to change your occupation? Or perhaps you are still at college and getting ready to enter the job market for the first time. You must spend at least 8 to 10 hours each week doing your research and making a plan. Once you graduate, or especially if you are currently unemployed, your search ought to become full-time.

If you have been searching for quite an amount of time, an employer may want to know how you have been spending your time. If you have shown initiative by spending your time in planned searching, this is a plus in a prospective employer’s view. Do you possess experience or do activities that have a practical application to the job you are chasing? Will you be able to talk about your particular market with ease and look and feel comfortable doing so in front of an employer?

Specialized knowledge may become obsolete rapidly so you must be able to show how you are keeping up with trends and research in your specific field.

If you have not been doing what we have discussed then you will need to exert greater effort in your research. Acknowledge what is crucial to you, and what will enable you to create the best job choice.  What are the skills can you deliver, and what type of employment is an acceptable fit for you. Realistically, you alone know what sort of employment you want and what you are best qualified and conditioned for.

When you do get an interview display that you are comfortable and can discuss your accomplishments easily. Employers would like to know why you decided you would like to work for them and what you are willing to do for them. What intangibles could you bring to the job? Just why did you single them out?

Group of people having a workplace discussion

You must also prepare for the future as many people will change their field of vision and occupation as much 5 to 7 times in their life time. You must be prepared to adjust as life changes so quickly these days. As little as 20 years ago a good engineering draftsman had a gifted talent in his hand with his technical artwork and yet today he possesses the technical knowledge but computers do all the drafting. His gift and talent for producing a technical drawing by hand is obsolete. This is not an unusual occurrence but generational. Back at the beginning of the last century think of the amount of work a whip maker had for horse and buggy use before the car put him out of business.

In these times people do not stay with one employer their whole lives as they did in earlier times. Again, in the last century it was not unusual for someone to be employed by just one company for their whole life. You may have 10 to 20 jobs in your lifetime and probably have a few totally different occupations so skills must be kept up to date and even new ones developed.

Keep your focus well defined and you will be capable of preparing excellent resumes and letters, and be able to exhibit your strengths and skills during interviews. This can be done by having a well researched and organized plan.


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How To Kill a Job Interview – Part 2

There are numerous things that can go wrong at a job interview so, being prepared beforehand is certainly a great advantage. Here are some more tips worth considering before you hit the job interview trail.  Read our previous post here – How To Kill a Job Interview – Part 1

Lady sitting waiting for an interview

Remember that the hardest thing you have to do to get a job or begin a career is to land an interview!

Here is a list of some things that will kill any job interview you attend:

  • Be sure to remember the interviewer’s name – The most important thing in any person’s life is their name. Remembering names is certainly a hard craft to master, but it should not be overlooked and especially when it comes to communicating with important people. If an interviewer introduces themselves to you by using their title and surname, you too should use that mode of address when speaking to them. Never use their first name unless you are asked to do so.
  • Partying the night before the interview – If you want to present your best image, both physically and mentally, be sure to avoid a night out on the town before the job interview the next day. Nothing befuddles the mind more than a late night out and a few glasses of alcohol. Get a good night’s sleep and in the morning review the company’s profile and job description. In some cases you may be able to do this on the bus or train on your way to the interview.
  • Talking negatively about your former employer or job – It is very unwise to discuss your former employer or employment in a negative light during an interview. How do you know that the interviewer does not know your former employer? It is not uncommon for companies to be rivals in the marketplace but friends over dinners or on the golf course. So, speak well of your former employer and your employment and highlight how your experiences there will enhance the annual turnover of the interviewer’s company.
  • Excessive talking – It is very true that most men are not great communicators and are impatient to get to the point of the discussion as soon as possible. Women are better communicators and do enter into conversations more readily. But, despite this difference, be sure to avoid long discussions and information overflows. Get to the relevant point as soon as possible during an interview or when being questioned. You can know when you are talking too much because the body language of the interviewer will convey a clear message of impatience or fidgeting with his papers or pen. If you are not familiar with the art of reading body language it is recommended that you read up on the subject or get a CD to play in your vehicle as you travel about.
  • Drinking alcohol before an interview – Drinking before an interview is not a wise thing to do if you are a regular consumer of alcohol for you just might consume a little more than you should. Some prospective employees do take a little alcohol to calm their nerves before an interview. As for whether it works; I don’t know as I am not one who drinks. If you do drink before you go to an interview be sure you eat something as well and consume a mint or two in order to freshen your breath before you shake hands with the interviewer.
  • Failing to turn off your mobile phone – Mobile phones are a necessity today, but to fail to turn yours off prior to an interview is a fatal mistake.

How will you know if these few thoughts will work for you?  Simple; you will eventually get that dream job!

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