So you have sent off your documents, waited patiently and finally you get summoned for an interview, well done! This is when the fun starts and you now have to think tactically to ensure you are offered the job after all interviews have been done.
You will now have to show that you are the right stuff for the job, by demonstrating you have what it takes to be an absolute success in the position you are now interviewing for.
The 4 step formula:
- Strive to qualify and clarify the interviewer’s question, basically questioning the question without being rude.
- Answer the question asked with confidence and by telling the manager that you possess the qualities, skills, character, staying power, discipline etc to perform in this role and to get the job done well.
- Demonstrate that you have done it in the past by giving examples or even case studies. It’s all well and good to say you can do something but unless you have a real life experience to tell, you are not being very credible.
- Check and make sure you have given a satisfactory answer and that the interviewer is comfortable with your reply. It is a common mistake to misunderstand a question and answer something completely different. In order to avoid this you have to verify that you answered correctly.
“Right … you would like to know about X. This is a very good question and thanks for asking it. I can certainly perform Y tasks based on the fact that I have repeatedly done Z and excelled. For instance, in my previous role I ran into a challenging situation where I first did A and then turned to doing B because of my knowledge and experience of Y and Z. Was that a clear answer to your question? Hope you can see clearly how having the ability and experience of going through a challenge like that would make me a ideal addition to your team?”
Real life answer
“Right … you would like to know if I am able to manage and sell to key accounts. This is a very good question and thanks for asking it. I can manage and sell to key accounts based on the fact that I have repeatedly done managed some of the largest accounts at my last job and my sales figures were 130% on target overall. For instance, in my previous role I ran into a challenging situation with a client asking for our full attention. I first recruited 3 more consultants and then turned to outsourcing our technology activities because of my knowledge and experience of offshoring and international virtual organizations. Was that a clear answer to your question? Hope you can see clearly how having the ability and experience of going through a challenge like that would make me a ideal addition to your team?”
The words “for example” is one of the most vital phrases you can use in your job interview. Try to embed it to every answer you give and it should become second nature for you. Just like case studies are vital when pitching a client in the business world, the more examples you can give of specific situations where you have showed the qualities that the interviewer is looking for – the more likely you will be the one picked for the job offer.
Related: Interview Tip: Tell Stories, Not Answers.