It’s common to feel a bit nervous or anxious before and during a job interview. It can even affect our behaviour and the things we say.
Of course, you can’t prepare a script for your answers (and neither would you want to), because you never know what you may be asked. However, there are things you can do in preparation for answering tough job interview questions:
Here’s our top five:
- Review your resume. Your next employer wants to know how you could be useful for their company and your resume should help you with that. If you read your resume a few times before your job interview, your skills and experience will be fresh in your mind, so it will be easier to answer any detailed questions about it.
- Carefully read the requirements for the job before you go. These are the points that the recruiter is specifically looking for, so you want to be clear on how you can be of service in these areas. Identify these points in your own skills and be honest if they ask you about something you haven’t done before but would like to.
- Practice your interview skills. When a recruiter asks a hard question, they may not only be judging (unconsciously) what you say, but also how you say it and your body language accompanying it. Imagine if you asked someone a question and they took a long time to respond, while seemingly looking around the room for answers. It certainly wouldn’t fill you with confidence. Try taking a mock interview along with a coach’s critique to see how you did before the real thing.
- Have 4-5 stories ready for interview answers. Think of examples where you have relevant knowledge in those areas or have dealt with situations that required a specific ability or attitude, fitting for the role you’re applying for. Digging up these memories in advance will really help if the interviewer asks you something like ‘what would you do in XYZ situation?’, or ‘Tell me why you would be suitable for the role’. It gives them something real and more tangible than basic answers like ‘Because I have lots of experience and the role sounds perfect for me’.
- Put yourself in the best mindset for a job interview. Coming up with good answers to tricky questions is not easy, especially when you are tired, hungry, or not feeling your best. Check out this post so you can arrive at your job interview feeling fresh, focused and ready for any questions the recruiter may ask.
These tips help you come up with great answers naturally. Polishing your interview skills increases your confidence (a quality that employers look for) and gives you more chance of receiving a job offer. Go for it!
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