Preparing Your Interview Answers for Maximum Impact
To beat the job interview competition the savvy interviewee will prepare each interview answer to maximize the impact each answer has on the interviewer. Don’t fall into the trap of simply re-reading your CV the night before the interview, instead start preparing weeks ahead of the job interview – as soon as you receive the invitation to interview e-mail.
This way you will have time to predict each question, prepare each interview answer and ensure each answer sells you and your skills, work ethic and employment experience. The simple 3 step process below, will help you prepare each interview answer (the examples we will concentrate on qualities and skills, but the same process can be used for experience related interview questions).
Often out of 300 applicants only 6 candidates will be interviewed. In most interviews, but this varies depending on the job sector and employer, you will be asked around 10 questions during a 45 minute interview.
The key to passing job interviews in preparation and practice, this sounds obvious but is often overlooked with the average interviewee spending around only 60 minutes preparing for their job interview.
You can book an interview coaching session and/or a Mock Interview with an interview coach by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 1 Predicting the Interview Question
First think about the position you are applying for and ask yourself “what skills and qualities does the employer require me to possess?” and write a big list of required skills, qualities and experiences. You can also use the job specification or job profiles to predict the essential job criteria.
Step 2 Breakdown the Skill
Each essential job criteria requires a certain skill or quality. Create a mindmap for each required skill, as an example “Communication Skills” – ask yourself “how do you communicate?” – e-mail, face to face, telephone, fax, body language, sign language, etc. make this list as big as possible, there are no wrong answers be creative add anything you associate to communication (or your essential criteria)
Next think about a real example of when you have used this skill or quality and recorded it.
Step 3 Creating the Answer
Now you have a giant list of criteria and a breakdown of those particular criteria, you can now move onto the third stage – paragraphs. All you need to do here is put the breakdown of the criteria into a paragraph (and this doesn’t need to perfect yet)
Let’s use the communication example – remember at this stage the paragraph doesn’t need to read well as we are still in the ideas stage. “I communicate with everyday, over the phone and face to face. When talking over the phone I use my voice tone to build rapport and ask regular questions to ensure the other person is taking onboard what I am saying. When talking to people face to face, I use my body language to increase likeness and watch the other people’s body language and face gestures to check they agree with what I am saying”
Use real life examples show’s the employer two things; one you understand what their essential criteria is and more importantly you have implemented in previous roles (which is often taken for you can do that part of the job)
Your real life examples need to be related to the position you are applying for. In sales jobs communication skills and rapport building are key essential criteria, so you can edit your above profile using real life sales (or any position) experience
“In my previous sales position I was always on the monthly top 10 sales executive’s board often at the top, this is because I understand the importance of communicating with people over the phone. I would often use my voice tone to build rapport with customers and ask customers questions throughout the sales pitch to ensure they were listening to me…..”
You need to re-write your interview answer 3 times to ensure it really sell’s you. After each interview think about which answer worked well and which answers need improving. Reflecting on your interview answers allows you to improve with each and every job interview.
Interview Preparation Resources
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