In today’s competitive, fast-changing world economy, where desperate job seekers far outstrip available jobs, applicants cannot afford to be ordinary in their quest to land a dream job. One of the daunting processes one has to contend with is the job interview. Preparing for job interview sessions can be a hair-raising experience for any job seeker. Increasing one’s chance of success in such situations requires thorough preparation and practicing simulation exercises to equip oneself with the knowledge and confidence needed to excel.
Simulation exercises ahead of a job interview involve a role-play exercise that seeks to preempt some of the likely questions that may be asked and prepare outstanding corresponding answers. This process is mostly contingent on the nature of the jobs in question and the role being offered to the prospective interviewee.
To effectively embark on this exercise, one must first gather as much information as they can pertaining to the job role and related literature. This information can be sought through reading, researching, or seeking help from resourceful individuals in a relevant industry, employees of the company, and other experts in the industry.
In the following paragraphs, we will attempt to conduct a simulation job interview exercise by highlighting some of the most frequently asked questions during the interview and how to craft desirable responses to them.
LIKELY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. QUESTION: TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF?
This is a straightforward question, but it can be tricky if one is not tactical in answering it. Avoid the temptation to tell the panel about the things they already know about you or things that are on your CV. In answering this question, the focus should be more on your achievement career-wise and the skill set that you possess to help them.
ANSWER: I’m really energetic and a great communicator. Working in sales for two years helped me build my confidence and taught me the importance of customer loyalty.
-I am punctual, dependable, and can be counted on to finish what I start.
-I understand my customers’ needs.
-I consider myself hardworking, reliable, dependable, helpful, outgoing, organized, honest, and cooperative.
2. Q: WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR PREVIOUS JOB?
In answering such questions, the approach should be one of candor and sincerity. Never spin a deceptive tale, lest you have egg on your face when it is found out to be untrue. Employers typically ask this question to test your level of commitment at any given time during employment. Money should never feature prominently as the major factor for your departure from your previous job. The ideal answer to this question should be based on your personal core values and beliefs that informed your decision to take a bow.
A: I’ve learned a lot from my current role, but now I am looking for a new challenge to broaden my horizons and gain a new skill set, all of which I see the potential for in this job.
– I am looking forward to better opportunities to grow, both job-wise and financially, and also want to learn new things to broaden my horizons.
– I’m looking for a job where I can grow with the company.
– I’m looking for a job that better suits my qualifications.
– I was laid off/made redundant because the company relocated/downsized/needed to cut costs.
3. Q: WHAT ARE YOU DOING CURRENTLY?
This question is mostly in anticipation of the applicants’ availability for work with the new company. Note that while it is important to make yourself available when they need you, you also need to let your potential employers know that you will carry out the necessary processes to ensure your seamless exit from your current job.
A: My work is important to me, so instead of rushing to accept the first thing that comes my way, I’m taking my time and being selective to make sure my next role is the right one for me.
– I am working on several freelance projects while actively searching for a job.
– I am taking some continuing education classes and seminars.
4. Q: WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR JOB ROLE (SALES, MARKETING, HR, ETC.)?
A: I enjoy making new contacts and spending time with people. The most rewarding part of being in sales is the time spent with customers and helping them make the right decision about a particular product offering.
-I’m a people person; most of my happiness and satisfaction is drawn from my interactions with customers, making sure I meet their needs and giving them the best possible customer experience.
– I’d like to stay in HR because I have a strong passion for training other people to become professionals like me.
– I’d love to teach at the university because teaching is in my blood.
5. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
In this context, weaknesses refer to subconscious tendencies that you may not necessarily have control over, but that also do not have far-reaching consequences on your career or how you relate with people.
A: I’ve never been comfortable with public speaking, which, as you know, can be a hindrance in the workplace. But realizing that this was a problem, I asked my employer if I could enroll in a speech workshop. After he gave me the green light to enroll, I’ve been able to overcome this lifelong fear. I have now been leading the team at my workplace to undertake sales pitch programs on behalf of my firm.
– I have had problems in the past with planning and prioritization; however, I am making a dedicated effort to correct that with the aid of a pocket planner.
6. Q: WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?
This question requires prospective employees to focus on their attributes and skills that set them apart from other applicants.
A: I am a fast learner; I had to learn a totally new operating system in my last job, a task in which I proved highly successful.
- You require someone who can perform a wide range of administrative duties both efficiently and successfully.
- I have the right combination of skills and experience for this job. I also bring strong and analytical problem-solving abilities and have a vision, as shown by my introduction, of a more efficient workflow system at ABC Company.
Phidelia Johnson is a global Human Resources Practitioner with eighteen years of leadership success. With a focus on streamlining Human Resources administration, she’s well-equipped to find the right solution to a myriad of concerns. Her experience as a commercial business leader gives her a unique ability to advocate for both the employer and the employee.
In her down time, Phidelia is a master of her kitchen, creating wonderful dishes filled with passion and flavor. If she’s not cooking delicious food, she’s stretched out with a good book. She hopes to use her experience to help others, guide company leaders to best practices, and help build better professionals and stronger organizations.