Tips for answering questions Your attitude during the interview is very important. You should show you: • • • • • can add value to a company appreciate being interviewed want to work for the company are willing to improve your skills have something to offer the company, such as a willingness to work, pride in the work you do and a spirit of co-operation. Before the interview • • Prepare and practise positive answers about your skills and experience, why you want the job, what you will contribute, what your goals are and how you have spent your time between jobs. Practise talking about yourself with friends or family or with a career consultant. Practise answering awkward questions, such as, ‘Why should we employ you?' or ‘Do you have any weaknesses?' During the interview: • • • • • • Speak clearly. Listen to questions carefully and let the interviewer lead the conversation. If you do not understand a question, ask for it to be explained or repeated. Take a moment to think before answering. Be open and honest and present yourself in the best way you can. Don't be too modest, make it clear you have the skills to do the job. Use your voice Vary the tone of your voice. People often perceive this as showing you are interested, interesting and enthusiastic. Emphasise areas of interest, speed up or slow down to make a point and use facial expression to support what is being said. Pause before answering Take time to consider your answer. This will reflect the importance of the question and give you time to consider your answer. Be careful not to overdo this by taking too long or doing it too often, especially for questions that should not require too much thought. Use the first person The most powerful language at an interview is in the first person, for example: • • • what I have done in the past what I do what I would do. Speak from experience Speak from experience at every opportunity, particularly about what you have learnt from that experience. Evidence of your experience should appear throughout the interview, not just as an answer to one question. All experience counts. Leave it to the interviewer to decide what is relevant, so don't undervalue what you have done. Don't say, "I only have", "I don't have direct experience", "I just..." Typical interview questions The person who interviews you will ask about your interests, abilities and attitudes to work as well as your past work record and experience They will be trying to find out if you will fit in with people already working there. You may also be given a test of some sort to complete, depending on the type of business. Here are some typical questions and suggested responses. Question Why have you applied for this job and why do you want to work here? Have you done this kind of work before? What did you do in your last job? What kind of machinery or equipment can you operate? How will you fit into our business? How will we benefit from taking you on? Why should we take you on instead of someone else? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How is your health? When are you available for work? Do you have any questions? Suggested response Mention your interest for the job and organisation. Discuss the skills and experience you have that will transfer to the job you are applying for. Cover your previous skills and responsibilities. Mention any relevant computer and machinery experience. Use your research about the job and the company here. Highlight your qualities and what you will contribute. Stress your good points and turn your weaknesses in to a positive, such as ‘I'd really like to learn more about computers.' State your fitness for the job and health in general. Answer promptly and honestly. Use at least three of your prepared questions here.