Top 10 Interview Questions and How You Should Answer Them

Q. Tell Me About Yourself.

This is a commonly asked interview question designed to break the ice. A strong, succinct answer will quickly gain the interviewer’s attention and separate you from other candidates who may be tempted to divulge their life story. Give a brief, concise description of who you are and your key qualifications, strengths and skills. Tailoring your answer to the role offered by declaring the strongest benefit that you offer an employer will leave the interviewer compelled to know more.

Q. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

The interviewer is trying to gauge your enthusiasm for the role as well as your level of knowledge about the company. Give specific examples of things that attracted you to the company and elaborate on your strengths, achievements and skills and how they match the position description, making you the right fit.

Q. What Are Your Strengths?

The interviewer wants to know what you are particularly good at and how this would fit into the role. Choose a few of your key strengths that are required for the role and give examples of how you have demonstrated them successfully in the past. Strengths could include the ability to learn quickly, composure under pressure, ability to multi-task, team focus or your ability to work autonomously.

Q. What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?

The interviewer is trying to gauge your self-awareness. We all have weaknesses, so it’s best not to say you don’t have any. Avoid using the word ‘weakness’ and instead talk about an ‘area for improvement’ that is not vital for the job, or specify a ‘challenge’ that you are working to overcome. Demonstrating a willingness to develop yourself and face challenges turns the answer into a positive.
Top-10-Interview-Questions-and-How-You-Should-Answer-Them

Q. What Have Been Your Achievements to Date?

The interviewer wants to know if you are a high-achiever and ascertain how your accomplishments will be beneficial to them. Select one or two recent accomplishments that are directly related to the job offered. Identify the situations, the actions you took, skills you used and the positive outcomes, quantifying the benefits where possible. Show how you can bring what you learned to the new role.

Q. What is the Most Difficult Situation You Have Faced at Work?

The interviewer is trying to find out your definition of ‘difficult’ and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving. Select a tough work situation that was not caused by you. Explain the way you approached the problem, including the actions you took and the solution you applied to overcome the problem. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes setbacks and frustrations in stride, as part of the job.

Q. What Did You Like/Dislike About Your Last Role?

The interviewer is trying to find out your key interests and whether the job offered has responsibilities you will dislike. Focus on what you particularly enjoyed in your last role and what you learned from it, drawing parallels to the new role. When addressing what you disliked, be conscious not to criticize your last employer. Choose an example that does not reflect on your skills (such as company size) or which reveals a positive trait (such as your dislike for prolonged decision making).

Q. Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Employer?

This should be straightforward. Reflect positively on your current employer but state how you are looking for more challenge, responsibility, experience and a change of environment. Explain how your current role can no longer provide you with these things, but how you believe the role offered presents an opportunity for growth that will make full use of your strengths and potential.

Q. What Are Your Goals For The Future?

A sense of purpose is an attractive feature in an applicant, so this question is designed to probe your ambition and the extent of your career planning. Your commitment is also under question, but avoid blankly stating, “I want to be with your company.” Instead, describe how your goal is to continue to grow, learn, add value and take on new responsibilities in the future that build on the role for which you are applying.

Q. How Do you Respond to Working Under Pressure?

The interviewer wants to see that you have composure, problem solving skills and can stay focused in difficult conditions. Give an example of a time when you were faced with a stressful situation (not caused by you) and how you handled it with poise. Describe the context, how you approached the situation, the actions you took and the positive outcome. Demonstrate how you remained calm, in control and got the job done.

Top Five Soft Skills to Demonstrate at an Interview

Top-Five-Soft-Skills-to-Demonstrate-at-an-Interview

1. Show Your Enthusiasm

It sounds obvious, but don’t suppress your enthusiasm and excitement about a role. Employers want a candidate who is genuinely interested in the organization and passionate about what they do. Put all your energy into your interviews and don’t give the impression you’re lackluster or ambivalent about the position.

2. First-rate Communication

An interview is a good opportunity for employers to assess your verbal communication style and ability to express your ideas. Before an interview, practice talking about your experience out loud. Try to keep answers clear, concise and to the point. Good communication also requires you to be an excellent listener, so always pay close attention to exactly what’s being asked of you.

3. Prove You’re a Problem Solver

Potential employers look for lateral thinking and an innovative approach to tackling tricky situations. A natural problem solver who takes a creative approach to solving business issues is highly desirable to any employer. Make sure you think of tangible examples to highlight your skill at overcoming obstacles and generating successful outcomes.

4. Powers of Persuasion

Your ability to positively influence those around you is a critically important attribute. Do you negotiate effectively with different teams and individuals? Can you confidently build solid business relationships at all levels of an organization? Gather examples of how you have achieved this in the past.

5. Management Material

If you’re looking to progress up the ranks, you’ll need to inspire confidence that you have managerial aptitude. You need to prove that you have an inclusive approach, the ability to engage with employees at all levels and are looking forward to taking on responsibility for the success and well-being of others. Most of all, you’ll need to prove your ability to forge effective, lasting business relationships.

Selecting and Preparing References

Selecting-and-Preparing-References

Choosing Your References

It is important to have a strong collection of current, relevant references on hand to support you in your job search. Choose references who:
  • You have worked with closely within the last five years.
  • Are fully aware of your strengths and will speak highly of you.
  • Can verify and discuss your skills, experience and abilities in detail.
Such people could be past or current managers, managers from other departments with whom you’ve worked closely, external clients, suppliers or colleagues. Be sure to get their permission before listing them as references and check that their titles and contact details are correct and up-to-date.

Briefing Your References

You should properly prepare your references so they are in a strong position to give you a positive reference. Let them know that you are job hunting and will contact them when a reference is required. When that time comes, provide them with a description of the role you have applied for and details on who will be contacting them and when.
You may want to share your thoughts on how your experience and personal attributes are relevant to the new role. This allows the reference to reinforce aspects of your past performance that will show you in the best light.

Maintaining Your References

It is important to keep in regular contact with your references so that the relationship remains strong. Keep them informed on your job search activities and be sure to express your appreciation for the time they put into your recommendations, regardless of the outcome. Let them know when you secure a role and remain in contact to update them on your progress.

How to Handle Interview Nerves

How-to-Handle-Interview-Nerves

Visualize Success

Top performers in all walks of life use visualization techniques to overcome nervousness. Visualization simply involves running through the interview in your mind ahead of the event. Picture yourself entering the room feeling calm and in control. Imagine answering questions with confidence and poise, building a good rapport with the interviewers and leaving the room feeling happy with your performance. Focusing on the best-case scenario will help you to keep your composure in the lead-up to the interview.

Practice Your Responses

Interview nerves are often caused by a fear of the unknown, or concern that you are going to freeze or say the wrong thing. Rehearsing answers to common interview questions will help you to feel more comfortable and confident in your ability to provide coherent, succinct responses on the day. Try practicing your answers out loud with a friend to gain feedback on your delivery.

Be Prepared

Taking the time to prepare for your interview will help you to stay relaxed. Confirm the name and contact number of your interviewer, the time you should arrive and what you plan to wear. Ensure you have all relevant documents on hand, including your CV and examples of past work. Give yourself plenty of travel time in case you are delayed. This will also give you the opportunity to gather your composure prior to the interview.

Take Your Time

When feeling nervous at an interview, you may be tempted to rush into your responses or even forget the original question. Take a few seconds to consider what it is you’re being asked, breathe deeply, then focus on articulating your answer slowly and clearly. If you forget the question that was asked, avoid delivering an answer that you hope might be correct. Instead, keep calm and ask the interviewer if they feel you have covered their key points.

Think Positively

Changing the way you think about an interview can have a huge impact on the amount of pressure you feel. Rather than thinking you are being judged, try viewing the interview as a challenge to overcome. Remind yourself of past successes and concentrate on the strengths you could bring to the role. Avoid putting expectations on yourself to give perfect answers or thinking about things over which you have no control, such as the competition. Instead, focus your energy on simply giving the best interview you can.

How Body Language Affects Your Interview Technique

How-Body-Language-Affects-Your-Interview-Technique
This list of essential do’s and don’ts will help you succeed in getting through the interview with confidence and composure.

Don’t:

  • Scratch or rub your head or back of neck. You’ll look disinterested, distracted and uncomfortable.
  • Drum with your fingers or fidget with your hands on the table in front of you. It will make you appear easily distracted.
  • Rub your nose, eyes or the side of face. It will make you look shifty or dishonest.
  • Fold your arms in front of your chest. You’ll come across as arrogant and unfriendly.
  • Rock back and forth or slouch down in on your chair. You’ll look lazy and uninterested.
  • Cross and re-cross your legs repeatedly. You’ll come across as nervous and uncomfortable.

 

 

Do:

  • Compose yourself prior to entering the interview. Find a mirror, straighten your clothes, and check yourself over for good appearance.
  • Stand up before greeting and shaking hands with your interviewers.
  • Use a firm handshake and make eye contact while greeting and saying goodbye to your interviewers.
  • Only take a seat at the interview table once you’ve been invited to.
  • Sit up straight, keep your hands above the table and ensure you can align yourself to make eye contact and speak clearly with all interviewers.
  • Express enthusiasm throughout your interview through positive gestures such as nodding, agreeing and smiling when appropriate.
  • Keep it together, right up until you’re well clear of the building, and only then remove ties, loosen collars or change out of interview shoes.

Before the Interview

Interviewers face a heavy burden of responsibility in trying ‘to get things right first time’, and this is likely to be shown not only in how they design the interview but also how they approach prospective candidates such as yourself. While selection becomes more stringent, high caliber candidates will be able to negotiate more rewarding positions as the pool of scarce skills diminishes.
Greater care in processing your application and devising a more structured interview based on your past experience or future potential will be much more in evidence. This will be of distinct benefit to those who prepare fully and are not judged predominantly on first impressions and like ability.
‘Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail!’
Before you go to the interview, consider the kind of interaction which is likely to take place between you and the interviewer. For example:
  • are you persuading or negotiating?
  • are you discussing or imparting information?
  • are you receiving information or selling yourself?
Each type of interaction demands a different strategy on your part. Separate each of these and, for the purposes of your own self-presentation, plan how you would undertake each approach.
Always present yourself in a positive way, avoiding any phrases which indicate that you are not used to problem solving or that show you are somewhat self-deprecating. For example, rather than saying ‘the problem with that was …’, or `of course that was always a difficult task …’, talk instead about the challenge of devising solutions, the excitement of tackling a thorny issue and coming up with a creative plan of action. Passivity is of little value when trying to portray yourself as an effective problem solver and creative thinker.

Four Questions That Will Impress in a Job Interview

Four-Questions-That-Will-Impress-in-a-Job-Interview

1. I Understand That This Role Will Consist of (Fill in Job Duties Here). Ideally, What Would You Like Me to Accomplish for You in the First Year in the Role?

This shows enthusiasm, positivity and an understanding of the role. It also shows that you have prepared for the interview.

2. From What You Know About Me so Far, How Well Do You Think I Will Fit into the Team Here?

Asking about the team shows that you understand the importance of adapting to the team. It also shows that you’re aware of the importance of team work and office culture. Hopefully, the answer will be positive, and if the interviewer isn’t sure, it’ll give you the chance to show them that you do possess the right qualities. This is a good opportunity to assess how the interview is going and put your interviewers at ease if they have any doubts.
This shows eagerness and an interest in going above and beyond your day-to-day work. It also shows that you have done research on the company and that you are up-to-date with industry news.

4. How Would You Describe an Ideal Employee?

Here you’ll get an idea as to whether or not you are a good fit for the company. It also shows that you are eager to please and to meet their expectations.
Make sure you only ask a question if you are truly interested in the answer. Use your question time as an opportunity to work out if this is a company you want to work for.

Negotiating Your Salary

 

Negotiating-Your-Salary

To negotiate your new salary from a position of strength, preparation is crucial. You must have clear and realistic expectations of what your skills and experience are worth and be prepared to ask your potential employer for what you want.

Use the tips below to help negotiate your new salary with confidence.
Know Your Worth

It is critical to research what your role is worth before you begin negotiating your salary. Scan similar jobs on the internet to find out the average range for your sector, location and experience.

Research Conditions

Make sure you also research the financial performance of the company, its recent staff movements and industry conditions. This will help you to better understand the company’s position and anticipate potential objections when negotiating your salary.

Determine Your Needs

Balance your research with your personal needs to determine a realistic salary range for negotiation. Decide on a figure that:
You need to live on.
You would be satisfied with (the minimum you would accept).
You would be delighted with (your ultimate goal).
The last two figures comprise the salary range for which you should aim. You should always start with a higher salary to allow room for negotiation.

Watch Your Timing

Always wait for the potential employer to raise the topic of salary negotiation first. You are in the ideal position to negotiate salary when the employer has offered you the role, is hopeful of employing you and has suggested a figure first.
If you are asked about your salary expectations, tell the interviewer you would like to know more about the role first. Avoid divulging your last salary; instead, tell them what you believe you are realistically worth based on your research, skills and experience. This may be a different figure to what you were earning in your last job.

Consider Other Options

Good negotiators will enter a meeting with a range of options. Think about non-pay alternatives if the opportunity to negotiate salary is limited. Support for education and training or flexible hours are potential alternatives to financial incentives. The job might offer a clear promotion path or the opportunity to review pay in three to six months, so make sure you consider these alternatives as part of your salary negotiation.

Get the Best Deal

Employers respect applicants who are hard but fair negotiators. Having the confidence to negotiate well for yourself shows the employer that you could bring these skills to the role and strengthens their belief that you would be a valuable addition to the team.

A dozen tips for being a good commercial

A-dozen-tips-for-being-a-good-commercial

1. First impression: Key

A Chinese proverb says “the first 10 words to a customer are more important than the next 10,000.” Take the first interview with the client to convince him that you are his best option.

 

 

2. Ask, ask and ask …

Everyone has the preconceived idea that the best commercial is that person who talks incessantly, super outgoing … ERROR !! Ask questions nonstop since will give you all the information necessary to close the sale later. But never ask for asking questions always with a clear goal, get all the information possible.

 

 

3. Know your customer

It is important to know much about your client, it does, a dedicated; show him throughout the interview with him and gain much ground. The customer must always feel important and valued.

 

 

4. Create expectations

Sticking to what has been offered to the customer is the minimum to comply with it. Always go one step further. The client, believe me, in these times simply amazed !! When and how will depend on you, but surprise her.

 

 

5. Keyword: Trust

You will sell if and only if you earn the trust of your customer. You can be the cheapest, the most beautiful, innovative product, but if you do not win the trust of your customer does not sell anything. How to do this? … Meets whenever your word, do not be late, smiles, good morning, be polite …

 

 

6. Customize your offer

The best sellers are the Chinese and they said “The Customer is King”; so, the client needs to feel important, something as simple as putting the name of your client’s offer, your logo in full color, things like that are actually numerous details to your client, but does not say, thank you.

Habits to improve productivity at work

Habits-to-improve-productivity-at-work

1. Early Rising

Not one of the most desirable actions to but a reality. One of the best habits to improve productivity is up early because it is the best way to seize the day and especially be taking energy for a moment in the day to waste all the energy in an activity. Improve productivity from early is the best option to have a day out.

 

2. Breakfast properly

Food is another factor influencing to improve productivity. The first meal of the day is the most important and is what will help us to have energy in the morning. It is shown that the time of day with increased workload is the morning, so we should have enough energy to face it and not enough with a simple coffee.

 

 

3. Exercise

Exercise helps release endorphins, hormones of happiness and give us that extra energy we need in the workday. In addition, during exercise only are we focused on that activity, nothing more, which helps us to disconnect. To improve productivity is also necessary to take time in the day to ourselves. The brain also needs rest and leisure time to be 100% yield.

 

 

4. Have a controlled schedule

One of the most important habits to improve productivity is to have controlled time and our agenda. Having a planned schedule of the activities of the week. The disorder alone will generate to waste time on activities that do not require it and then we miss those if you require our time.

 

 

5. Do not leave job half

Productive people know to leave unfinished work only implies that we must resume at some other point in time to start something new. Improve productivity involves doing a good job and also be a person that leaves half tasks.