There is no reason to fear Job Interview Questions
Job Interview Questions can be a source of apprehension for many applicants but there is really no need to be afraid of them. With some good preparation it is possible to anticipate likely questions and prepare excellent answers in advance of your interview. Employers and applicants alike have much to gain from the use of appropriate and focused job interview questions.
Who are you and why are you here?
Most interviewers will want to open the proceedings with an easy question which is designed to put the candidate at ease and reveal something about his or her personality. It will focus on the candidate and be very general, such as for example: “Why did you apply for this position” or “How would you describe yourself in terms of your suitability for our company?” If you can reply with something that highlights your strengths and matches the values of the company, then the interview will be off to a good start.
Qualifications are good but experience is even better!
Of course qualifications are important and no-one would be selected for interview without meeting the academic and professional criteria for the job. Very often it is candidates who can demonstrate how they have applied their knowledge to real world problems who make the best impression at interview. Don’t launch into a list of all your qualifications. Try to think of good examples in your past career where your knowledge and expertise made a difference.
Language skills combined with cultural awareness
Most people who seek international positions are well aware of the importance of language skills. Be prepared to answer job interview questions in English and French. Awareness of culture is equally vital. This is evident in your speaking style, which is for example more formal in French than in English, in your business attire, and in subtle matters of eye contact between people of the opposite gender. Use the time before your interview to rehearse typical questions, ideally with both male and female speakers.
Do your homework!
An interview is a two-sided process. Candidates should research the company they are applying for and have something positive to say about its recent history and performance. They should also reflect on the challenges facing the company and have some suggestions about how they could contribute to the company in the future. Questions may well be asked about previous employers or your current boss, or about the interviewing company’s competitors. You should avoid making negative judgements and maintain a professional attitude at all times.
Don’t worry about unusual or provocative questions
Some interviewers like to put a candidate on the spot by asking highly personal questions, or making critical or amusing remarks before posing a very difficult or detailed question. If you need time to compose a respectful response, you can always reply “That’s a tricky question, and I think I would like to answer that by telling you about …” In this way you can deflect the conversation towards an area that you feel happy about. Such questions are designed to test your confidence rather than your knowledge.
Saving the best for last
One of the most difficult Job Interview Questions is the last one. Usually this will be: “Do you have any questions for us?” It is not a good idea to ask about the salary, or to question the CEO’s strategic plan at this stage. A few words of thanks for the invitation to interview will suffice at this stage.
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