Job Interview Techniques That Will Get You Hired

Job interview

Job interviews are conversations between a candidate and a potential employer. The job seeker meets with the interviewer in person, on the phone, or remotely to share their qualifications and learn more about the job and the company. Successful interviews result in additional interviews and job offers.

A vital part of the hiring process, a job interview is a platform for the recruiter or hiring manager to learn more about aspiring future employees. On the candidates’ part, job interviews can be daunting and overwhelming. 

What Are The Best Ways To Prepare For An Interview?

However, with proper preparation, you can be ready for the interview process and make the best first impression possible. 

To prepare, one of the first things you should do is research. Do more in-depth research than when you did during your initial job search. Gather information about the company, its culture, work environment, mission, vision, and recent developments and undertakings.

Then, understand the requirements and carefully read the job description (whether you found it on social media, LinkedIn, the company’s website, or elsewhere). Once you have such basic information, you can look into potential questions and tailor your responses — while remaining truthful — to fit the qualifications and skills the organization seeks.

We’ll help you prepare by discussing some common questions and answers during job interviews that occur in-person, by phone, or online.

Job interview process

What Is The First Question In A Job Interview?

One of the most common job interview questions you’ll encounter is this: Tell me about yourself.

It’s a big, critical question that can tempt you to give an immense, all-encompassing answer. Preparing a pitch is key to not overwhelming yourself and your interview. And your pitch should sum up your main qualifications and relevant highlights from work experience. 

The question is not an invitation to describe your life from birth to the present day. Stress what would qualify you for the job.

It must also include an interesting fact (e.g., hobby, volunteer work) that’s not necessarily related to your career — but can demonstrate characters and skills that can be helpful to the position you’re applying for. 

What Are The 10 Most Common Interview Questions With Answers?

To help you ace your upcoming job interview, here are ten more common interview questions and ideas for responses you can take inspiration from.

1. How did you hear about this position?

Recruiters would want to know how you learned about the role. So, you must be honest and tell them whether you heard it via social media or a referral by an employee. If you actively searched for the position, it’s also best to bring it up.

Finding job opportunties

2. Why do you want to work for our company? 

This is where your research comes into the picture. Your answer must align with your career goals and the company’s mission, core values, and offerings. Highlight the things you love about the company (e.g., work environment, culture, reputation, product/service) and how you think you’ll be able to contribute in your own way. 

3. Why did you leave your last job?

It’s a question that assesses the risk they will take in hiring you. As their employee, they’d have to invest resources in you — from onboarding to career development. It only makes sense that they’d want to know if you left your last job for a good reason. 

To answer this question, you must keep things professional, positive, and authentic without speaking poorly about your past employer (or colleagues). You can say you want a new challenge, take on new opportunities, or change careers. If you got fired or were laid off, be honest about it and end on a hopeful note. 

4. What’s your greatest strength? 

You want to answer this in a way that showcases a quality or a skill set that matches your prospective company’s needs. Research the job requirements and list down possible answers (e.g., you’re good at problem-solving, you’re known for your hard work, or you value teamwork the most). Choose two to three strengths that you want to state and support them with examples of how you applied them in the past.

Research the company before a job interview

5. What’s your greatest weakness? 

This is a question that gauges if you’re self-aware. It’s another way to see if you have what it takes to do the job. So for your response, you can highlight a weakness you’ve improved upon or turned into a strength. You can also strategically mention a skill that’s not necessarily essential to the role, then swerve into another skill you want to showcase. 

This question is not a time for confession of your flaws.

6. How do you handle criticism and stressful situations? 

This is your opportunity that you’re all for growth and that you value feedback. It’s also a time to share how you can deal with pressure — any candidate who can work and stay calm amid dynamic and overwhelming situations will surely appeal to recruiters. 

7. Can you describe a time when you overcame a challenge?

When getting interviewed for a job, you want to be specific. This question allows you to let your skills and great qualities shine. As with any other question, your response must be relevant to the role you’re applying for. For instance, if you’re applying for a managerial position, mention a situation highlighting how you’ve managed people.

8. Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

When answering this question, don’t just present your career goals quickly. You have to be realistic and, at the same time, mention what’s in it for the company. In your response, you can state how you want to impact the organization significantly.

9. What are your salary expectations?

Always prepare for an interview. In your research, include searching about the market salary rates for the position you’re applying for. Visit job sites and professional platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to give you an idea of an appropriate range. It’s advisable not to mention a specific figure because it leaves no room for negotiation.

Negotiating salary

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Asking if you have questions helps interviewers assess your enthusiasm for the job. When you ask relevant, thoughtful questions about the company and the role, it will make you come across as a proactive and genuinely interested candidate.

Why Do They Ask Certain Questions In An Interview?

Any potential employer would want to get more insights into your work ethic and ability to handle your new job and interact with a coworker. It’s why apart from the main questions mentioned above, you’ll find interviewers and human resources specialists asking specific questions based on your previous answers.

By doing so, they can better assess if you’re the ideal person for the job and if you’re a team player who can adapt well with various team members. They can also evaluate if you’re compatible with the organization. 

What Is An Example Of A Bad Interview Question? Or An Illegal One?

There are situations when you don’t have to answer a job interview question — and that is when a recruiter asks illegal questions and ones that aren’t directly related to the role you’re applying for.

In the US, laws state that it’s illegal to discriminate against applicants based on color, race, gender, age, and disability. Hence, generally speaking, questions like “What’s your religious affiliation?” ‘What’s your sexual orientation?” and “Do you have any disabilities or mental conditions?” are considered illegal to ask during the interview process.  

What Are 5 Good Tips For An Interview?

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t mean you can’t conquer them confidently. To better prepare for an interview and help you land that dream job, here are five things to consider.

  1. Dress professionally. Want to make a good impression? One of the primary things to do is to dress appropriately. In doing so, you can demonstrate your professionalism — and that you’re serious about applying and landing this next job. 
  2. Pay attention to how you speak. In job interviews, it isn’t just about what you say but also how you say it. Speak loudly and clearly and maintain a professional, thoughtful tone. Ensure to make eye contact and utilize body language to help you reinforce your message and show your attentiveness and confidence. 
  3. Be proactive and practice. As mentioned earlier, you must research the company and job you’re applying for. Moreover, you must reflect on your career and last or current job. It will help you anticipate questions and craft compelling answers that best showcase why you must be chosen among other candidates. 
  4. Do the STAR method. Whether you’re a fresh high school or college graduate or someone looking for another job or switching to a new career path, you can rely on this method to answer behavioral interview questions. STAR means:
    • Situation. Describe the situation and the context of your answer.
    • Task. Provide details about your role and responsibility in that situation.
    • Action. Discuss how you helped to overcome the situation.
    • Results. Explain the results that you got because of your action.
  5. Remain genuine. Your interview is just the start of the next phase of your career. And you should begin it on a good note. When being interviewed, you must remain authentic and truthful. Don’t be someone you’re not just to get ahead of your competitors. From your resume and cover letter to your interview answers, always be honest about your experiences and thoughts because it will serve as a strong foundation for your relationship with the company.
Job interview tips

What Are The 3 Worst Things You Can Do In A Job Interview?

Whether you’re doing a phone interview or a video interview, these are the worst things job seekers like you should avoid doing.

  1. Showing up late. Being late to an interview indicates a lack of professionalism. So, keep your schedule clear on the day of your interview and observe punctuality. This is also to show respect for the time of your interview and other applicants.
  2. Speaking negatively about past employers. Speaking negatively about your past or current job will be a red flag for the recruiter. It means that you’re capable of talking behind someone’s back in a professional setting, which raises their suspicion about you doing the same to them once you’re no longer part of the company.
  3. Not asking questions. Your lack of enthusiasm doesn’t only show in communicating poorly, having bad posture, fidgeting, or arriving late. If you’ve not asked any relevant questions during the entire interview, it could signal that you’re not interested in the role. 

How Many Interviews Will You Have Before Getting the Job?

You need to go through a number of job interviews before you can get a job offer. There are several factors to consider, including the type of job (e.g., entry-level) and the nature of the company.

For entry-level jobs, expect to have an interview or two. There are typically two to four interviews for mid-level positions throughout the hiring process. For more senior roles, the number will go beyond that.

To land the job you’re eyeing, you must thoroughly prepare for any job interview, no matter how many of them you’ll have to participate in.

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