A Job Interview Question and Answer Session Analysis

Job Interview Tips That Will Help You Get Your Next Job

Master the job interview question and answer process. This article by "Coach Don" Monteith helps the job candidate see this process from the interviewer's point of view.

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I encourage you to take the time to read this article carefully, because it provides a rather unique viewpoint on interviews, one that you can learn a few things from.


Preparing for a Job Interview

by Don Monteith

Have you ever thought about preparing for a job interview by looking at it from the recruiter's point of view?

This is an important concept, because understanding what your interviewer is looking for can ensure that you'll succeed next time you're up for that dream job.

Let me illustrate what I mean by picking apart this primer I recently discovered that provides "pointers" to interviewers on how to conduct an interview.

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #1: Establish Control.

Your first objective should be to establish control of your interview. The following introduction has proven to be very effective:

"My purpose here today is to find out about you. If I determine there is potentially a good fit and you're the type of person I feel I could work with I'll invite you back for a second interview. We certainly don't make hiring decisions based on just one interview. What I'm going to do is ask you a series of qualifying questions."

This sets the tone for the interview and it lets the candidate know you are a serious company who takes personnel decisions very seriously.

Your Response to This Ploy:Well, sure... the interviewer probably should be in control of the interview; it's theirs to conduct. However...

You also don't need to treat them as though they were a king or dictator. It's your job to be assertive and proactive, while remaining respectful and courteous.

In response to the opening statement above, you might say something like (with a warm smile):

"I appreciate that, and I'll be happy to answer all of your questions. I'd also like to ask a few questions of my own, because it's just as important to me to make sure I'm a good fit for your organization."

You CAN do this if you spend time practicing when preparing for a job interview!

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #2: Maintain Control.

If at any point during the interview the candidate tries to take back your control by asking their own questions, simply use the following statement:

"I can understand you want to know more about the position, however my purpose here today is..."

Repeat the control statement ending with this addition:

"Let's first try to get through these qualifying questions."

Your Response to This Ploy:It's important to emphasize your sincere interest in the job and the company at this point, but don't back down on asking for time to ask your own questions.

You might say something like: "Oh sure, I know we have to get through all of your screening questions first! But I just want to let you know how excited I am to be here. I'm anxious to tell you anything I can so you can see what I have to offer to XYZ Company. But I'm hoping that you'll allow me a few minutes at the end of the interview to ask any questions you haven't already answered. Would that be possible?"

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #3: Get the Candidate to Sell Him or Herself to You.

Anyone applying for any position should have enough common sense to have rehearsed their personal sales pitch. They are probably eager to speak about themselves.

Ideally you would want to hear a brief introduction, some key accomplishments, strengths as an employee and how they would relate to the position in question.

Occasionally you'll get a candidate who's just not very good at selling him or herself and you may have to draw information out by asking questions such as:

"What makes you special or different from other candidates?"
"What can you bring to this company that no one else can?"
"What are your strengths as an employee?"

Your Response to This Ploy:Wow! This is your big chance!

One of the most important things you can do when preparing for a job interview is to figure out what you have to offer the company. It's all about "what you can do for them", not "what's in it for me?" Never forget that.

You've got to be able to answer the questions listed above in an articulate and concise manner.

You may not like the term "selling yourself", but that's what job interviews are all about, and the sooner you accept that, the more successful you'll be in getting your dream job.

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #4: Question the Information on the Resume.

All too often, people use catch phrases or words such as, self motivated, goal oriented, hard working, dedicated, and reliable. Some people actually think that using these words will get them a position.

You should question each and every adjective a candidate places on their resume in the following manner:

"You state on your resume that you're self motivated. Can you give me an example of how you do this?"

"You claim to be goal oriented, in your opinion, what's the best way to set and achieve goals?"

The candidate should have no trouble answering these questions. If not, perhaps they're just proficient in resume writing.

Asking tough questions builds credibility in the mind of the candidate and fully backs up your control statement.

Your Response to This Ploy:There you have it, in a nutshell. Be prepared to back up every single statement in your resume with examples and evidence.

Think this through ahead of time by preparing for the job interview as though preparing for an exam, which it is, sort of.


Editor's Note: Are you finding this article to be helpful in providing job interview tips for a job interview question and answer session? Great! Then, read on...

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #5: Keep Things Moving.

From time to time. You ask a question such as,

"Can you tell me about yourself?"

Ten minutes later, the candidate still hasn't finished telling you about their grade school experiences.

In this situation ask more specific questions:

"Could you give me 5 specific adjectives that best describe you?"

"In 200 words or less, could you tell me why I should consider you for this position?"

If you say, "In 200 words or less,..." often, the candidate will get the message. If he or she doesn't, it's very possible this person would also take up too much of your time during the training process, or perhaps this person will take up other employees' time as well, reducing company productivity.

Your Response to This Ploy:As always, you want to make the best impression possible. Just as your interviewer should conduct an interview in as specific and succinct a way as possible, so should you answer in the same vein.

Get to the point. Answer each question as concisely as you can. Be thorough, but brief.

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #6: Look for Eye Contact.

If a candidate doesn't make regular eye contact during a job interview, it could mean a few different things.

The candidate is nervous. You could try putting him or her at ease by beginning the interview with some idle conversation to break the proverbial ice.

If the lack of eye contact continues throughout the interview, you may begin to wonder if maybe he or she is hiding something.

Possibly this person just has no self confidence at all. Someone like this is probably not a good candidate for a sales position.

Your Response to This Ploy:Oh boy... eye contact is essential. So, no matter how nervous or shy you are, work on that ahead of time. A good way of preparing for an interview is to practice a mock interview with a friend or family member.

Practice maintaining eye contact as you answer questions and provide answers. You don't want to come off as lacking confidence, or worse, shifty!

Job Interview Question and Answer Strategy #7: Evaluate Their Level of Enthusiasm.

If this person is not excited to be interviewing for your company, do you really think they will suddenly become excited every day when coming to work?

Your Response to This Ploy:The answer here is clear... demonstrate to the interviewer that you want this job and that you're excited about coming to work for this company. Mention the reasons why.

Smile and talk warmly and confidently... not only with the interviewer, but also with anyone else with whom you come into contact while at the company. You never know who it'll get back to.

In short, if you consider each job interview tip on this page and start preparing for job interviews accordingly, then you'll be ready for whatever the recruiters dish out as they conduct job interviews with you!

About the Author: Don Monteith is a former recruiter and owner of a staffing agency with more than 20 years of experience in hiring. Learn more about "Coach Don" at his Career Coaching Central website.


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Well, hopefully, you found this article to have many gems in it that will help you with your next job interview question and answer experience. If you want more job interview tips, be sure to check out this site too: www.your-job-interview-advisor.com/

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