Job interviewers ask a lot of questions, but the decision of whether or not to hire you is actually based on what is behind he questions rather than the questions themselves. No matter what job you are applying for, or which questions the interviewer asks you, they are all looking for the same information. If you can effectively address the employer’s real concerns, you will succeed in any interview. Here are the questions that linger in every employer’s mind:
Do you have the necessary skills and experience? To get this information, the employer will ask you detailed questions about your background, and may ask how you would handle specific scenarios. Be detailed in your answers and provide examples.
Will you be easy to work with? The employer will try to get a sense of your personality through your behaviour in the interview, and through questions about how you work with others. You need to be able to show that you can work effectively with anybody.
Will you be committed to the company? The last thing that any employer wants is to spend time and money hiring and training an employee only to have them leave six months later. Most employers are hoping that you will stay for at least two to three years. Employers will try to assess your level of commitment by looking at your employment history, by asking about your long and short term career goals, and by trying to evaluate your level of enthusiasm for the position.
Are you honest? Generally, an employer will only determine that you are dishonest if something in your resume sounds fishy, or if you disclose in your interview that you behaved dishonestly in the past. If the employer seems puzzled about something in your employment history, make sure that you clarify it for them. Of course, it goes without saying that you should never mislead an employer under any circumstances.
Are you a good fit for the organization? In addition to being able to do the job effectively, the interviewer also wants to know that you will fit in with your coworkers. Take the time to learn about the organizational culture and do your best at the interview to show that you would be a good fit.
Do you have passion and enthusiasm for your work? The last thing that an employer wants is an employee who watches the clock. Interviewers are dying to find someone with true enthusiasm for the position. Many interviewers will even select an applicant who has less experience if they demonstrate passion for the organization. Make sure that you clearly articulate what draws you to the position, and if you are particularly excited about the role, don’t be afraid to tell the employer.
There is no secret to being successful at interviews. Try to view the interview from the perspective of the employer, and consider what type of employee you would want to hire; would you hire yourself if you were the manager?
(Written by Karen Bivand)