How to Ace Job Interview Questions
“What’s your favourite website?” the interviewer asks suddenly.
It seems out of context with everything that’s gone before because it is, and it’s meant to be; it’s designed to catch the candidate off guard.
And, in this example, it has. Our nervous candidate is momentarily flustered and lost for words. “Oh, Celebrity News!” he blurts in a glazed panic.
Sound effect of job prospects being flushed down the toilet.
How would you deal with that question?
You’d better have an answer because according to research by Glassdoor, it’s one of the 50 most asked questions in job interviews. And you’d be advised to answer honestly, but not quite as honestly as the hapless bloke in our example.
As with all questions, mine your answers from your reality with an eye on what will make you more interesting and/or more relevant.
Be careful of appearing too right
If you’re interviewing for a toothpaste company, don’t say your favourite website is dentalhygiene.com. No one will believe you and your attempt to fit like a glove will send your credibility down the aforementioned toilet.
“What are your strengths?” Answer honestly and relevantly. “What are your weaknesses?” Ditto.
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
“At your larger competitor,” might be the frank answer. “As far advanced professionally as I can be, because if I am, I’m doing a good job,” might be better for getting on the shortlist.
Work on your phone, group, and final interview skills
Strange beings us humans; some of us can ace an interview in front of ten senior executives, yet fall to pieces in a phone call. What’s your biggest strength – face-to-face or down the line? If you struggle with one, practice, practice and practice some more.
Get friends to act as tough interviewers. Arm them with the questions, hone your answers and polish until it’s thoroughly rehearsed, yet delivered naturally.
Get all the questions
Google ‘Most asked interview questions’ and practice your answers. Be ready for a curly one that didn’t appear in your search.
“Are you a leader or a follower?” is the sudden question.
“Well, you tell me,” isn’t the right answer.
Research will win the day
“Who are our competitors?” That’s one of the Top 50 and if you don’t know the answer, the competitors will be your next port of call.
“What’s the name of our CEO?” It’s a bit cheeky and most candidates won’t have a clue. If you’re one of the ones who does, you’ve ticked a box right there.
Research them, know them and work them into your answers as much as you can without letting it sound contrived.
“What makes you uncomfortable?”
Slightly creepy, but be ready with an answer. And do remember, humour is okay, even self-effacing humour; it shows you’re human and have a bit of personality. It can also make you more likeable to a prospective employer. If you make them laugh with you, not at you; that’s a big tick.
If you’d like to keep the big ticks coming and get on the shortlist of your dream career, check out our great range of career courses or call us on 1300 616 197.
For more job advice, check out all of our career articles on our Blog.