You have successful written your final examination in the University; you are probably still serving NYSC or even an ex-corper, and ready for the world. You have gotten your CV/Resume updated and sent in your first job application, now you have been called for an interview and you are wondering how it will all go. Every time you send in an application you risk rejection, you also brave landing the job – all may depend upon how you handle the interview session (where called). This is because most companies are careful about how they hire and add to their team. No one wants to hire the wrong person. That’s what job interviews are for – to select and hire the right person for a position.
Here are a four highly/likely questions that you may get asked in an interview. How you answer these simple, often tricky questions will inform the recruiter a lot about you and what you are after (whether you have something to offer or whether you are just after a job and salary like most people are).
Tell us about yourself
The purpose of an interview is to market yourself. How much of a good job of it you do will determine whether you get hired or not. Tell a good story of yourself. Impress the hell out of the people interviewing you. Even if they don’t hire you, they will never forget your face.
What is your dream job?
Most fresh graduates are obviously desperate for a job. Most of them proudly say they would take ‘any job’. That tells a whole lot about the applicant. If your answer to this question suggests to the recruiter that the job you are interviewing for is not your dream job, you will never get hired.
Why do you want to work for us?
Adaobi, was asked this question during an interview, she replied “Because you people pay a lot of salary for entry level positions, that’s why I want to work here. Besides my uncle works here and he asked me to apply.” She didn’t get hired, even though her uncle was a top management executive.
Recruiters will always ask you why you want to work for them so that they can gauge your passion and see if you have done any sort of research about them. If a job candidate cannot demonstrate knowledge of what a company does and why they want to work there, it’s a sign of their work ethic and it shows laziness. Nobody wants to hire a lazy employee.
Have you ever done anything challenging in your life? Tell us about it
It is true that no matter what you have read in school or whatever grade, once a company hires you, you will still have to go through an orientation or training process to understand company culture and what your particular job would entail. Yes. However, a recruiter may want to find out from you if you can work under pressure, with or without supervision. So they ask you if you have done anything challenging before in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is, it could be something totally unrelated with the job you are applying for, but something that demonstrates strength of character.
This question helps the recruiter to know if you can deal with pressure, handle challenges, and deal with possible conflicts. So anything you may have done in the past would really be appreciated. Just learn to tell a good story.
Would you one day like to start your own business? If yes, why? If no, why?
This sounds very much like a trick question. But it all depends on how you choose to answer it. Now here is the thing, even though a company wants to hire employees, they are drawn to people who display entrepreneurial traits. Why? Because entrepreneurs are self-motivated/self-starters, creative, can handle challenges, and work well under pressure to achieve the desired goal, whether supervised or not. Above all, candidates with entrepreneurial tendencies prove that they can learn a lot and quickly from the company and the company has a lot to learn from them too.
Entrepreneurial minded candidates can bring a stream of creative approaches to problem solving to the table, which will make their bosses look good before their own bosses. Bosses love them.
So if during an interview you are asked if you would like to start your own business one day, don’t be afraid to say yes. If on the other hand, you are not interested in starting your own business in the future, then you should also not be afraid to say so. Just be smart enough to tell a good story.
Conclusion, during an interview you may be asked what you do outside of work (like, your hobbies); do you like to swim/work out/stay fit? Or you like to volunteer your time and skill to your church on the weekends? Make it simple and fun to listen to.
Successful job applicants are good story tellers.
Views expressed are only those of the authors.
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