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Interview Techniques Part 2: How to cope with those killer questions...

This article is a continuation from part one: How to Give your Interview a Head Start

Once you have been in the interview room for a few minutes and the initial anticipation of meeting the interviewer has passed, you can now use this valuable time to shine. Remember, you were called to the interview because your resume demonstrated that you were suitable for this role, now it is your time to prove it. The hiring manager is human just like you and is equally keen to find the right person for the job. Arm yourself with questions to show that you are genuinely interested in the role and engage in conversation, showing that you are easy to talk to is a huge stepping stone to becoming a permanent feature.

The points you should try and portray during the interview should leave no doubt in the employers mind that you are the right candidate from every angle. This means demonstrating and providing examples of the following:

  • How you became a self-starter who works independently without supervision.
  • How you have an infectious tendency of exuding enthusiasm, motivation and can always see the end result.
  • How you act with a cool head when working under pressure
  • The aspects of the position you are applying for which stir your emotions and drive your passion
  • How you effectively manage your time throughout each working day
  • How you accept and act on criticism in a positive manner
  • How your excellent communication skills allow you to work successfully with a variety of people, even those with difficult personalities
  • How you can motivate a team
  • Instances when you were able to handle an unexpected crisis or hurdle and produce a positive outcome

Whenever you used these skills in the past, quote working examples of how they were implemented and the successful outcome.  Keep answers brief but to the point so as you can quote as many instances as possible. 

Let your body do the talking
When replying to questions, use facial and hand gestures to emphasise points that you wish to make. Speak from the heart and do not become tempted to over-exaggerate the truth as it may not be easy to talk yourself out of it if the interviewer wishes to elaborate further. Make every answer resonate with positivity and never blame a previous employer for anything which may have hindered your success or ability to carry out your job to its fullest potential.

The answer to their problems
Instead of presenting yourself as a meek little mouse, with a tiny little squeak for a voice, view yourself from a different perspective. You are the answer to this company’s problems, you are the missing link that they need, the vital cog in the machine which will keep it well oiled and running better than ever before. You are the solution to their problem. View yourself in this light; portray yourself this way and they will wonder how they ever managed all of these years without you.

As the interview draws to a close and you start to let out that 28 inch waistline to its usual 40 inches with a sigh of relief, the final killer question comes up: “Is there anything you would like to ask about the company or the job itself”? This is your chance to turn the tables and do some probing to see if the job matches your requirements. Prepare a list and go through it accordingly, also demonstrate that you have done some homework with regard to the company, its goals and how you can bring them to fruition. This is a great way to show off your organizational and research skills, it also demonstrates your enthusiasm.

The finishing touch
As you raise your arm to make that final handshake and walk out the door, there is one more finishing touch that you can add. Interviewers usually remember the first few candidates by face and name and the last few, those in-between often stay buried somewhere in the subconscious. To keep your name fresh, send a handwritten thank you note and confirm that you are still highly interested in the position. This is something your competitors are unlikely to do and your last chance to make a good impression.

Now all you have to do is wait… but don’t get too comfortable and put all of your eggs into one basket. Continue your search with executive search firms and headhunters.  If you want to know how to prepare yourself for an interview, please visit part one of this article: How to Give your Interview a Head Start

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