When preparing for an interview, the first thing most candidates think about is “I wonder what questions they are going to ask me?” Of course the answer to this is always impossible, as every interview is different and there are countless variables which will affect which interview questions and answers will be relevant.
Many different books will list interview questions and answers for candidates to study, but in reality every candidate will be best off to answer interview questions honestly and using their own experiences.
There are a few things to bear in mind though, so here are some hints and tips on interview questions and answers:
· Think before you speak; take a few seconds to take a deep breath and consider what you are about to say, don’t just start speaking, using phrases like ‘um’ and ‘you know’ to fill in the spaces where you’re not sure what to say
· Go through your resume before the interview; make sure you can answer questions about your career objectives, previous positions, responsibilities, achievements and projects
· Listen carefully; interviewers ask each question for a reason, if you are unsure what information the interviewer is looking for, ask for clarification before you answer
· Watch your body language; maintain a good posture, keep your hands together in your lap and maintain eye contact
Interview questions and answers are never generic, although some questions are more common than others, so you can prepare by making sure you’re ready to answer these if asked.
Common questions such as “Tell me a little about yourself, your career and what you’re looking for in your next position” are often included to break the ice and give the interviewer a good overview of you as a candidate. This type of question and your answer to it also allows the interviewer to assess your verbal communication skills.
One thing most interview questions and answers will have in common is that STAR methodology. Most interviewers are looking for answers to their questions which include the Situation, Task, Action and Result (STAR). Bear this in mind when reading through your resume in preparation for the interview, particularly when it comes to key achievements you have noted.