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Interview Techniques

Date posted: 28/06/2011

An interview is a sales situation. You are selling yourself; therefore it is important that you find out what the interviewer is.
Ask questions and show a real interest in the position and the company, perhaps based on the information you previously received about them. Ensure that you leave with enough information to make an informed decision on whether or not you wish to proceed. Aim for questions that indicate an interest in their line of work or products and your enthusiasm and interest in the role itself, rather than holiday entitlement, pensions etc.
Be prepared with answers for questions you think they may ask you.

Some standard interview questions are:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why did you choose your profession?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • What do you like/dislike about your current job role?
  • Why are you looking for a new position?
  • What has been your greatest achievement to date?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would your friends or colleagues describe you?
  • What are your future aspirations?
  • What can you offer to your new team/company?

 

Focus on your achievements when responding to questions, and portray every response in a positive way.
If you do not understand a question, don't guess the answer - ask them to explain the question further. If you do not know the answer still, tell them you do not know and explain how you might go about finding the answer out.
Don't talk too much; think before you answer a question and do not reply solely with one-word answers such as yes or no.
Prepare your own questions in advance but make sure you use them in the context of the interview and take into account information that the interviewer has already provided. This will make you look interested in the company, and want to find out more about the role you are applying for. Some typical questions are:

  • What are the company's future plans?
  • What is the likely career development pathway in the next few years?
  • What possible training could I receive in this role?
  • How would you describe the culture of this company?

 

Feedback

At the end of the interview, if the opportunity arises, ask them how they felt the interview went. Also, if you are interested in the position, it is important to tell them.

Finally, ask what the follow up procedure is, and when you could expect to hear from them. Thank them for their time.

Some companies now also conduct psychometric testing.

Psychometric Tests

Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement.

There are commonly two types of test:

  • Aptitude test: assess your abilities
  • Personality questionnaires: which build up a profile of your characteristics

 

Many employers believe that such tests give a good idea of whether you are able to do the job, and if your personality is suited to that of the job and the company.

Aptitude Tests: These test your critical reasoning skills under timed conditions. A typical test may have three sections each testing a different ability, such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning. The test would normally be about 30 minutes long for 30 questions.

Personality Tests: Questions tend to focus on; how you relate to other people, your work style, your ability to deal with emotions (your own and others); your motivations; determination and general outlook and your ability to handle stressful situations. There are no right or wrong answers, just be yourself.

 

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