Face Your Fears in the InterviewBy Christiane Soto, Snelling.com

The job market is changing.  Companies are hiring. Résumés are being written.  Interviews are being scheduled.

Interviewthe very word puts fear into many a job seeker. There is pressure to look perfect, sound perfect, and answer every question perfect.

How do you know which questions will be asked? How do you answer those questions perfectly?  Quite honestly, you don’t.

I could spend the remainder of this limited blog space giving you some examples of tough interview questions and some sample answers.  However, you will probably find that those answers will not translate to your actual interview(s).  For example, when an interviewer asks you a job and/or task-specific question, there is no generic answer that I can provide that will fit all situations.

So, instead, let’s focus on two concepts that you need to remember when you come face-to-face with the interviewer.    

The interviewer is not looking for personal information.  She does not care that you moved to Houston when you were five or that you enjoy horseback riding and macramé.  When an interviewer asks you to “tell me about yourself”, she wants to know what is relevant to her, her job opening, her company, or her department.  Macramé will not provide that.  She wants to know whether or not you have successfully progressed from one job to another (to her, past success usually indicates future success).  She will also look at how articulate you are, how you deal with a lack of structure (hence the nebulous question in the first place) and what professional strengths you are highlighting.

Know what you have done and what you have written down.  The key is to know yourself and your résumé.   You took a lot of time (or you should have taken a lot of time) to write and revise and condense that document. It should be a flawless representation of you and why you would be the perfect match for this job.

A good interviewer will have gone through you résumé and looked for keywords that match up with keywords in the job description.  She will then formulate questions based on that discovery.  Those are the areas that will be focused on, and those are the areas that you need to be prepared for.  Simply by doing this, you will be prepared for common interview questions like:

1)      What are you most proud of in your career?

2)      Why do you think you will be successful at this job?

3)      Tell me about a time you participated on a team.  What was your role?

The number of different possible interview question combinations is endless, so do not focus on memorizing answers. The key is to focus on you – know who you are and what you have to offer and what you have done.  Once you accomplish that, the rest is easy!

Remember that staffing and recruiting companies, like Snelling, are a resource for you too.  According to CareerBuilder, more companies are turning to staffing firms for temporary workers to help meet increased market demands AND are planning to transition a large percentage of those temporary workers into full-time employees.

So why not explore this avenue?  In addition, Snelling offers you a vast number of resources (including this blog) that can help you present the best version of you to the world.  Interview tips and tricks, resume guidance?  We have it all.  Register with us to today, and then visit our Candidate Resource Hub for the help you need to land your perfect job.


NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.