By Lilian Wamaitha
Are you preparing for an interview? Not sure how to respond to the interview questions?
In this article, I am going to highlight in depth some of the common interview questions that you may be asked and give you the best answers to them.
Common Interview Questions And How To Answer Them
1. Tell me about yourself
This open ended opportunity to talk about yourself tends to throw so many people off balance. The worse thing is, it’s usually the first question that the interviewer will ask.
The confusing bit about this question is that it is never an opportunity to narrate your entire life’s story. The interviewer is just looking to know why you are so interested in that particular position and what makes you qualified for it.
The best way to tackle this question is to start with the present, dig into your professional background, and finally conclude with a little bit about your future.
With this approach you cover all the bases by answering the question, giving you an opportunity in the process to talk about your expertise and skills, getting to exactly what the interviewer wants to know. Just remember to focus on your experiences and achievements and what you think is most relevant to the job and the company.
“I am a recent graduate in Information Communication Technology. I have previous industry experience at Save the Children, where I honed my skills in programming and coding. This experience sparked my interest in the field of ICT, which is why I am excited to learn more about your company and a chance to use my skills to contribute to your ICT department.”
2. What is your greatest weakness?
This is actually surprisingly a very tricky question. It is one way of the interviewer asking you whether you are aware of the areas that you need improvement on.
Most Kenyan employers actually prefer hiring people who are self-aware about their skills and who want to improve themselves.
I am pretty sure that you have heard of the advice of spinning this into your strengths but I highly recommend you don’t do that.
Don’t tell the interviewer that you are so much of a perfectionist that it sometimes affects how you do your work. Instead of such clichés, give a real weakness. Whether it’s delegating duties or paying attention to details but push it into your past.
“When I first joined the university, I was very bad at public speaking. I was aware that this was something I could conquer and so I promised myself that I would make an effort to speak more to small groups. Later on, I took a class in public speaking and now even though it’s not something that comes naturally to me, I can say that I have made some rather big improvements. In fact, most recently I made a presentation to an audience of 150.”
3. Tell me about a time you failed
Once again, this is a time to be real. Talk about real failures that you have encountered.
Maybe it was that project that failed to meet a deadline or a miscommunication you had with your supervisor during your internship.
The failure doesn’t have to be a catastrophic one. Just a mistake that you can reflect on.
Interviewers don’t have any business making you cry, but they want to see how to spring back after a setback.
“At my previous position, there was a two month period where my supervisor had a very strict travel schedule, which meant that most of my communication with him was through email. At one point, there was a miscommunication which caused a lot of confusion and repeat memos to him. In the end, it wasn’t the best customer experience. From that time onwards, I made it a point to clarify all information to avoid a repeat of the incidence. I would say I learned a lot from that single mistake about the importance of clear communication.”
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Make it a point of practicing how to answer these interview questions in order to build your confidence during the interview.
To book a one-on-one mock interview coaching session today, contact Corporate Staffing Services by emailing email@example.com and they will get back to you with details and further communication.
Watch the video below on how to answer ‘ Tell Me About Yourself” – Courtesy Of Corporate Staffing Services.