Monthly Archives: Jun 2021

The Interview, Part 3

The Interview, Part 3

We’ve covered some tough Q & A’s so far, and it’s not over yet.

This is a critical question, so think about this carefully. Keep your answer short and use positive words. Please do not badmouth your previous employers or your colleagues – this will backfire and paint you in a bad light.
For example – Rather than saying “There wasn’t an opportunity for growth”, put it this way “I’m looking to expand my horizons and move into a developmental role, where I can grow.”
Focus on what you want to achieve and explain how a move will be great for you and for your new company.

If you were fired – your response could be: “Unfortunately, the company and position were a mismatch for me, so I needed to find a new challenge.”
Or: “I was going through a bad stage in my life and made a few mistakes but I’ve since turned my life around and I’m ready for my next challenge.”

This question is popular for customer service and sales positions, but can be thrown in at any time to test your ability to think on your feet. It shows your future employer how you react under difficult circumstances and stress, and also to evaluate your reasoning ability, problem-solving, interpersonal and critical thinking skills.
Do not reply by saying that you have not found yourself in a difficult situation, everyone has had to face a challenge regardless of their position.
Perhaps think of a time when you learned something as the result of a disagreement. Pick a scenario that shows conflict with a good outcome and makes a positive statement about your ability to collaborate and grow. Be specific about the steps that you took to correct the issue, but also the positive solution.

As an example:
You assisted a difficult customer resolve an ongoing complaint, therefore saving the account.
Perhaps you negotiated a payment plan for a non-paying debtor, which secured future income with extended interest.

Your interviewer doesn’t want to know if you plan to get married, buy a house or win your local soccer league. They want to know if you are stable and see a future with their company – so they are really asking if you are worth the investment.
Having specific and measurable personal development goals shows that you’re not only motivated to succeed in your current position, but that you’re also open to learning new roles and growing with the company. Provide general ideas about the skills you want to develop, the types of roles you would like to be in and things you would like to have accomplished.
Avoid clichés or jokes like: “I just want to do the best work I can” or “I would like to be in your position”

Rather say: “Within five years, I would like to be an expert in terms of product knowledge and develop close relationships with my clients. I aim to significantly expand the client base in my region.”
Or –
“My goal is to be in a position where I can take on new challenges and responsibilities, so I’m on the lookout for opportunities to develop in-depth skills in my field.”

In our next article, we’ll wrap up the Q&A’s.

Stay safe!

The Interview Part 2

The Interview Part 2

Your interview is going well, you’ve told your interviewer who you are and what your strengths are – but now comes the dreaded:

3) What are your weaknesses:
This is an opportunity for you to turn a negative into a positive, keep your answer brief and don’t dwell too much on the weakness. As hard as this one is, make sure that you are honest with your response. As much as we like to think that we have no faults, don’t be afraid to let yourself be a little vulnerable—acknowledging your flaws shows that you value self-reflection and personal growth. Give this answer some thought and then importantly, also add what you are doing to overcome the weakness.
For example:
You always run late, but now you have set all your clocks ten minutes fast and constant alarms on your cellphone.

4) Why do you want to work with us:
Now is your chance to really impress. You’ve done your reach, you know a bit about the company so tie your answer in with what you’ve learnt. But again, be honest.
Perhaps the company is involved in charity work and this resonates with you. Or, they have posted very successful financials for the past few years and you’d like to be part of a successful enterprise with room for advancement.

5) What makes you the ideal candidate for this position:
Interviewers ask this kind of question to understand what specific skills or qualities make you stand out from the other candidates, especially if you are one of many candidates with the same qualifications. Review the company job description, paying specific attention to the required qualifications and skills of an ideal candidate. Highlight where you have demonstrated success in meeting these skills and qualifications in your prior positions.
For example:
If the company is looking for someone to increase sales by ten percent, provide concrete examples where you’ve landed major accounts or increased company revenue.
Try to avoid generic and generalised answers, such as I am great at sales and enjoy inter-acting with customers.

More potential Q&A’s will continue in our next article.

Stay safe!