Interviews can be an intense and artificial way of measuring whether you will be a good fit for a role... so it's important to learn how to put your best foot forward in the process and increase your chances of getting hired.
General interview questions are mainly to find out about you, whether you understand the role and if you will be happy with and suit the culture of the organisation.
Some general questions that are usually asked include:
1. Tell me about yourself?
2. Would you like to walk me through your resume?
3. What appeals to you about this role?
4. Why do you think you would be a good fit for this organisation?
5. What attributes would make you a strong candidate for this role?
“Tell me about yourself?” is a tricky question. How long does one speak about themselves? Some of us could go on for days!
Use 2 minutes as a guide for how long to spend on this question.
A structure that can be useful is to cover:
1. Your education
2. Your experience
3. What do you enjoy outside of work?
The focus should be on the education and experience, the last point is just to provide more information on yourself and to give the interviewer comfort that you will be able to relate well to the other staff. When discussing your education and experience, start with the item that comes first chronologically and work up to the present.
When “walking” through your resume spend more time on the roles that relate to the role you are applying to. This question is similar to the last one, but you can go into a bit more detail.
Try to match what appeals to you about the role to your competencies and research the organisation so you have a good idea of the culture to be able to describe why you are a fit. Using buzz words from the website is a good indicator of your knowledge. If you were interviewing for Deloitte, for example, referring to their 7 signals and picking some that resonate with you would strengthen your case.
Prior to the interview, it is a good idea to think of what your strongest competencies are and how they match to the role.
This will help with several questions including:
1. What are your strengths?
2. What appeals to you about the role?
3. What attributes make you a strong candidate?
Remember that as much as you are being interviewed for a role, you are interviewing the organisation. This should help you lose some of those natural interview nerves.