Interview success pretty much depends on your interview responses. What does this mean? Well, you need to practice. This is how you prepare yourself.
The best way to ace a job interview is showing up well-prepared. Apart from getting your best suit ready and perfecting your ‘sales pitch’, it’s important that you rehearse some interview responses in your head before the meeting so that you prepare what you need to say in advance. Since you are trying to impress employers and convince them to give you the job, your answers need to be complete, detailed enough and spot on.
Your ability to give satisfying answers to the interviewer’s questions depends on how good your communication skills are. Investing in your communication skills is crucial considering that this is the most important skill employers look for in candidates. Doing so can help you construct more comprehensive responses and give the appropriate examples to employers in order to show them what you can do.
To prepare some good and convincing interview responses, you first need to think about what you have accomplished that is worth mentioning during the interview. For example, have you ever led a project? Have you volunteered for a cause? Think about what you did in the past that can help you stand out today, expand on that and be specific with your example.
So here’s a five-step guide that tells you how to do just that.
1. Set the Context
Let’s say you want to talk about a project that you did at your previous job. The first thing you need to do is tell the interviewer who was responsible for it, who sponsored it and who was involved in it. This should help the employer understand the situation better and realise how important the project was to you, your coworkers, your boss and the company as a whole.
2. Define the Outcome
After ‘setting the scene’, the interviewer is ready to get some more details about the project. Focusing on the importance of the completion of this project, you can talk about what was the desired outcome and what you were hoping to get out of it. This is the time to get down to specifics and explain why this project was undertaken. Was it an initiative to solve a problem? Was it an initiative to increase profits or save money? Depending on the situation, you can direct the discussion to where you want so that it can help you prove that you have the skills the employer is looking for.
3. Present the Facts
You have talked about what the ‘problem’ was and what needed to be fixed with this project, and now you need to get down to the real facts. Inform the interviewer how you were expected to reach your goal as well as what tools you were planning to use to do so. For example, did you have to conduct a survey, present a report or give a presentation to the higher management? This information should help the employer understand why and how you managed to get the result giving him the opportunity to test your critical-thinking skills.
4. Explain What Happened
As you get closer to the results, you need to explain to the employer what happened in the end. This includes presenting tangible data e.g. graphs, numbers that allows him to understand the kind of impact the project had to the overall development of the company. At this point, you want to talk about how the project benefited your previous employer first, before explaining your contribution to it because prospective employers want to hear how the end-result helped the organisation succeed.
5. Talk About What You Did
To make a lasting impression, explain your own role within the project. Explain how you managed to meet the goal, and talk about how well you were able to work both in a group (with your coworkers) and individually so that you could come up with the desired results. This can highlight some other qualities that you possess that are crucial within the workplace such as teamwork, taking initiative and carrying out individual work.
The guide can help you come up with a range of answers to any question the interviewer poses and does so ensuring that your responses present all of the facts employers need to know in order to make an informed decision about who gets the job and why.
Do you know any other techniques that can help improve the way you perform in interviews? Let me know in the comments section below…