Congratulations! After spending a fortune on tuition and many sleepless nights cramming for tests, you’ll soon be graduating from college. And the reason you put yourself through all this? To make sure you gained the education and skills necessary to land a rewarding job.
But, to do that you’ve got to get through the interview process successfully.
Everyone gets nervous for job interviews, and once you’ve set the appointment that nervousness begins to crescendo. The key to overcoming this: practicing and preparing enough to be completely confident throughout the interview. That means taking the time to practice answering common job interview questions until you can recite them in your sleep – and answer them naturally.
Get a friend to or mentor to role play with you. And ask them to ask you these job interview questions!
“What Can You Tell Me About Yourself?”
This may be the most commonly asked question in job interviews – and it should be answered very carefully. Your answer must showcase your personal qualities, your skills as they line up with this job and the larger organization and passion for the industry. Be sure to give evidence (preferably quantified) of performance within your answers; illustrating real life accomplishments and goals met goes a long way.
“Can You Take Me Through Your Resume?”
In taking your interviewer through your resume, make sure you focus specifically on your accomplishments and how your past experience specifically benefits the company. Don’t get caught up in all the details; they can read! Instead, help the interviewer remember why you are the perfect person to fill this job.
“What Can You Offer This Organization?”
This question isn’t just a test to determine if you would be a good fit for the company; it is also asked to see how you sell yourself and how well you communicate. In answering, you want to emphasize your strengths – and how your skills could be put to good use. Stay away from generic answers; instead, develop one that demonstrates that you are aware of their mission, goals, major projects and your role.
“Why Do You Want to Work for This Company?”
With this question, the employer is gauging how passionate you are about the job at hand. Not just any job – this job at this company. Is this job really what you want? Or is it something you’ll take just to make a paycheck? This answer makes all the difference – which means knowing as much as you can about the job, the company… and what makes you different.
“What Do You Like Doing in Your Free Time?”
How you answer this question will, of course, provide more information about you as a human being. More important, your answer says a lot about whether or not you would fit in well with the existing company culture and team. For instance, do you workout to stay healthy? Get involved in productive activities? Perhaps volunteer in your community? Or do you take pride in binge television watching and gaming? Be prepared for this question… or you might start rattling off a list of hobbies that make you seem aimless or unfocused.
When the time comes and you’re called into the interview room, make sure you enter the door with confidence. Knowing you’ve done everything you could to prepare for this moment! Breathe deeply, come forward with an outstretched hand, look them in the eye… and nail the job interview.
All because you practiced… and came prepared.