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Interview Tips

By:   |   Jul 08, 2018   |   Views: 19   |   Comments: 0

Interview Tips

Before your interview, find out everything you can about the company Associates can. Think through your own career and the questions they might ask you. You should try to anticipate the general questions which they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them. To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company's organizational structure and the team in which you will work


You should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview - you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be courteous to all employees of the company. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities - but do not waffle.

Body Language

When you are being interviewed it is very important that you give out the right signals. You should always look attentive - so do not slouch in your chair. Never lie to anyone in an interview, your body language and tone of voice or the words you use will probably give you away - classic body language giveaways include scratching your nose and not looking directly at the other person when you are speaking to them

Being aggressive or acting in a superior way - nobody like this so please don't do this.

Making excuses for failings.

Interview Questions - You may be asked

  1. Why do you want this job?

Think carefully about this question. Stress the positive aspects which have attracted you to applying for this position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or the job in question.

  1. What qualities do you think will be required for this job?

Their advertisement for the job may help you a little bit, but you should also think of the other qualities that may be required. These may include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving, analytical skills, etc.

  1. What can you contribute?

This is your chance to shine. Tell them about your achievements in your previous position(s) which are relevant to the new position you are applying for.

  1. Why do you want to work for this company?

Emphasize the positive reasons why you want to join their company, but avoid aspects such as more money or shorter hours. These would not endear you to a prospective employer.

  1. What do you know about this company?

This is your chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their company. Give them a run down of their products/services, sales figures, news, company figures, customers, etc.

  1. What interests you about our product (or service)?

Again, your research into the company should aid you in answering this question.

  1. What can we (the new company) offer that your previous company cannot offer?

Tread carefully here! Again do not mention money. Stress opportunities for personal growth, new challenges, etc.

Interview Question - What are your strong points?

It is important to prepare in advance for the interview question what are your strong points. If you've already listed your strengths when preparing your CV / resume, coming up with three answers shouldn't be too difficult. But be careful. The interviewer is asking you to sell yourself, but at the same time, they do not want to hear you being arrogant. And while they may want to know about your personality (if you are over confident they will certainly learn something about you), do remember that this is still an interview situation, so your answers must be relevant to the job in question. In other words, don't get too personal. So how do you go about answering the interview question what are your strong points? The general recommendation is to prepare at least three answers and to relate them to the organization and the vacancy. This means you need to tailor your answers. Ensure there is truth in what you say, but do not be too honest, especially it makes you sound like a less than ideal candidate. Here are some suggested responses and the reasons why they might work in interviews for certain kinds of jobs.

"I am confident and outgoing"

This is a response that says something about your personality, but if you are applying for a role where you need to relate to a lot of people - particularly the public - it will serve your purposes. However, if the vacancy

Involves consultation, it might be better to say "I have good interpersonal skills", as this implies that you are able to listen to people as well.

"I enjoy a challenge"

Be careful with this. It is an excellent response if the vacancy requires problem solving, or servicing of some kind, working to tight deadlines or project completion. It will obviously not be helpful if the job is less dynamic and involves a larger amount of regular, less exciting duties - the employer might be concerned that you will become bored. You could always qualify it to offer a more balanced response: "I enjoy a challenge, but I'm also happy completing regular tasks." Then it illustrates that you're flexible and responsive to different work situations.

"I'm a strong team leader"

Clearly, this is appropriate if the job involves managing people. It's a good idea to show that you know what leading a team involves (although this will no doubt come up in other questions too). So, "I'm a strong team leader with the ability to motivate others" and "I'm a strong team leader who leads by example" represent stronger answers. Draw on your own understanding of your management skills plus the job description to decide what you'll say here.

"I am ambitious"

This is a very strong answer and you should use it with care. In the wrong situation, it can sound hard-headed and the employer may wonder whether you'll compete too fiercely with your colleagues, or even your superiors. However, in a sales role it might be perfect, especially if you focus your response a little more: "I am ambitious and aim to exceed targets".

"I am dedicated and hard working"

You're on safe ground here; as this can be true whatever your individual working style. It's not the most exciting answer, but when presented alongside two others that are more individual, it should offer reassurance to the interviewer.

"I am a good communicator"

Again, this is a win-win answer. Be prepared to expand, though: specify whether you have strong writing skills, are good at explaining difficult ideas in a simple way, or perform well at important meetings.

"I work well without supervision"

A majority of employers would be pleased to hear this, providing the vacancy is at a level where they'd normally expect you to need a degree of supervision. But be careful not to sound as if you prefer to work without supervision, as this may sound as if you risk coming into conflict with your supervisor or manager. A safer option might be to state "I work well with or without supervision".

"I enjoy learning through my work"

Again, this is a safe answer. The interviewer might then ask how you have done this in the past, so be ready to give details of some hands-on learning or special training you've experienced, and to say why you enjoyed it.

And finally

These examples show that when preparing an answer to the interview question what are your strong points, it is important to consider whether your responses could be taken the wrong way. Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes - you can then ensure that the potential for a negative interpretation is removed

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

The interview is a two-way process. The company interviewing you will want to find out whether you are suitable to the position and you will want to find out if the company and position are right for you. You should therefore ensure that you have enough information to make up your mind whether you want the job. For example:

You're on safe ground here; as this can be true whatever your individual working style. It's not the most exciting answer, but when presented alongside two others that are more individual, it should offer reassurance to the interviewer.

What will be my responsibilities?

Where will I fit into the overall organizational structure?

Who will I report to?

Where does he/she fit in the structure?

Who will report to me?

How experienced are they?

What do you expect me to do in the first 6 months?

What level of performance do you expect from me?

Who are your customers?

Where is the company going? Upwards? Expansion plans?

What are the chances of advancement/promotion in this position? When?

What will be my salary, benefits and bonuses? [Do not bring this up too early in the interview - wait until they are sold on you.]

Will traveling be required in this position?

Will relocation be required now or in the future?

What training do you provide?

When will you decide on the appointment?

What is the next step?

Interview Questions - Not meeting deadlines

The ability to meet deadlines is crucial in most roles. Interview questions frequently focus on meeting deadlines. The interviewer wants to find out if you are able to meet deadlines or not.

The first deadline

The moment you arrive for an interview, you are answering the interview question "How good are you at meeting deadlines?" If you are late, the interviewer is clearly going to think that you are not good at meeting deadlines.

Even if the delay is due to traffic problems (barring major incidents), the interviewer will recognize that you failed to allow time for travel set-backs when planning your trip. If you arrive just on time, the interviewer may note that you cut things a little fine. But if you arrive early and have time to compose yourself, the impression will be that you are well-prepared and can meet deadlines with time to spare.

This shows how everything you say and do at an interview may be assessed. This is because the interviewer is trying to gauge your approach to work in general, as well as your application to specific tasks. Most jobs involved deadlines of one degree of importance or another - even if you are not directly affected, your ability to complete work on time may affect somebody else's ability to meet a deadline. For that reason, interview questions about work prioritization and deadlines can arise with regularity.

Different ways of asking - and answering

The deadline interview question relates to a series of others: "How well do you work under pressure?"; "How do you priorities your tasks when there isn't time to complete them all?"; "How do you stay focused when faced with a major deadline?"; "Are you able to cope with more than one job at a time?"

When answering any interview question relating to not meeting deadlines, it is important to start with a positive point. You could begin by asserting that "I respond well to the challenge of a deadline", "I enjoy working under pressure", or "I have produced some of my best work in such situations". Be ready to describe your ability to meet deadlines for projects in your current position.

Missed deadlines

Some interviewers for roles that involve a degree of project management might probe deeper: "Tell us about a time when you missed a deadline" or "Describe a time when you missed a deadline due to somebody else's failure".

If you are asked directly about not meeting deadlines, always state that you learned much from the experience and that this has improved your ability to deliver. For instance, you might state that you have improved your communication with other people to ensure that this does not happen again. Planning meetings well in advance and ensuring that there is always someone to deputies for each person due to attend would represent a positive response to a bad experience. But do not be tempted to blame other people when answering the question, as this will make you appear unable to accept responsibility. Be honest about the repercussions. Yet always emphasis planning and procedural

Improvements that you have made to ensure that deadlines are meeting in the future.

Managing deadlines

The interviewer may ask about how you cope with multiple deadlines. Your response should focus on effective planning. If you are working singly, you need to state that you would first order the various tasks in order of importance, ranging from essential (deadline must be met at all costs) to non-essential (deadline can be missed with few ill consequences), with a couple of groups between the two. You would then focus on fulfilling the tasks that were rated essential, working in order of their deadlines. If you are in a supervised role and it looks unlikely that all the essential deadlines can be met, you would speak to your manager or supervisor to let them know, in good time, so that an alternative solution can be found.

If you are the manager or supervisor, you would ensure that tasks were delegated in such a fashion that essential deadlines could be met, communicating with staff throughout to ensure that problems could be dealt with as they arose. Tracking the progress of work that is subject to deadlines is extremely important. Be prepared to describe how you do this, on your own, as a team member, or as a manager working across departments or even organizations.

Extra hours

Depending on the role you are applying for, do consider whether you are being asked if you would work extra hours to ensure deadlines are met. If you are willing to do so and it is appropriate to the job, say that you are prepared to work evenings, emphasizing your commitment to task completion. But do add that you would aim to plan effectively and therefore minimize the need wherever possible. Also, consider whether the interviewer is concerned that other commitments, such as family might reduce your availability. Waive this aside by stressing that you stick with a project until it is completed, even if it means working late hours on occasion.

And finally

By its very nature, deadline-driven work is often unpredictable and subject to crisis. Yet hopefully, by answering these questions with composure, you can demonstrate to the interviewer that you are the right person to minimize the risks and keep the projects on track.

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