The Secret To Job Interview Success October 2019)

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If you’re looking for a new job, then you most likely already know many of the most common job interview preparation tips. Obviously a good, professional-looking Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing your qualifications and work experience is the essential starting point. If your CV does its job, then you can expect to be called in for a job interview, which you need to prepare for.

Job Interview Preparation
Job interview preparation involves planning and practicing your answers to as many of the job interview questions that you can think of. This process is vital to most people’s confidence during an interview. There are a lot of possible interview questions so it’s difficult to prepare for every single possibility, but there are many questions that have a high probability of being asked, in one form or another, at most job interviews. Preparation like this is not the secret, but it is so important that it is still worthwhile reviewing before we cover the main point of this article.

Tough Interview Questions
The toughest questions are usually the ones that are intended to find out more about your character. Assuming that the best job candidates have similar qualifications and experience, it will be how you perform on these questions that will be your best opportunity to stand out from the competition.

So, just for starters, think about how you would answer questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest weakness and What is your greatest strength?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
  • Which was most and least rewarding?

Practice your answers until you can answer with confidence, but don’t overdo it. Answers that appear to be rehearsed and too perfect often don’t appear to be genuine, and might even give the interviewer doubts about your honesty. And being too good on some questions might mean problems if you get asked a question you haven’t prepared for.

Planning good answers to as many questions as possible is very important though, and it is the quality and purpose of those answers that bring us to the secret to job interview success.

No-one really enjoys the job interview process, and the secret is that neither does the employer who is looking for a new employee! The employer has to go through the process but it costs them time and money. The job applicant is usually nervous; have they prepared well enough, will they get the job, even will they like working there if they get the job? Well, this might surprise you, but often the employer is nervous too! They have to choose a new employee based on a CV and job interview, and they are worried about making a bad choice.

Assuming that all other things are equal e.g. qualifications, experience, references, presentation etc, the person who gets the job will usually be the one who seems like the least risk for the employer. The employee who seems like they will be the best ‘fit’ in the employer’s organization will be the one chosen. Many times, this is even more important than the best qualifications, so you have two objectives at the job interview:

1. You obviously need to sell your ability to meet the employer’s needs, and
2. You need to help the employer feel comfortable about choosing you.

How you do this will vary from interview to interview, but a key will be making a personal connection with the employer, while still maintaining the right level of professionalism and respect for the employer’s authority – remember, they hold the power during and after the interview. Don’t oversell yourself. Be honest and genuine. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes for a moment and help the employer feel that choosing you will be the right choice.


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