Z is for… Zzzz

ato z of interview skills

Z is for… Are you sure you want this job – you may be bored?

In a job market where jobs are scarce it is often the case that a candidate is applying for job that they are overqualified for. If the interviewer feels that you are overqualified for the job they may feel reluctant to hire you as they may be worried you will move on in a few months.

If you get asked you need to be able to convince the interviewer that you want the job, that you will work hard and you will not get bored.

Even better you may be able to convince them that you love doing this type of work. Keep the emphasis on the positive.

This is a question that can easily be prepared as you will already know whether you are overqualified for the job. You may already be worried that you may get bored on the job. Work out your strategy in advance.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

Y is for… Yourself

ato z of interview skills

Y is for… How would you describe YOURSELF?

I have already asked how your boss or colleague would describe you, but what if you got asked how you would describe yourself – do you know what you would say? Sometimes the interviewer might limit this to three words, or even one word.

  • I start preparing for this question by writing a list of words I use to describe myself.
  • I then remove all those words that are not professional.
  • I then re-read the company’s values, vision and current employee profiles to see what matches up.
  • I then expand on this words so I know why I would use these words why they describe me and prepare a couple of statements that could be used in an interview context.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

X is for… eXample

ato z of interview skills

X is for… give me an EXAMPLE…

These ‘example’ questions are quite frequently also behavioural questions and should be answered using the STAR method. However, you might also be asked more of a skilled-based question. You should have an example to back up all of your skills and experience. A technique I find useful when preparing a CV that is tailored to a job description is to also note an example at the same time.

Your Career Journal should be FULL of examples ready to answer any question you may get at interview.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

W is for… Weakness

ato z of interview skills

W is for… What is your greatest Weakness?

Usually you will either get asked about your strengths or your weaknesses (or maybe both). It is important to be realistic – you are human. You will have a weakness.

You could pick a skill that you consider a weakness which is not essential to doing the job and balance it with other skills. Or you could pick a weakness that you have can demonstrate that you have improved. However, it is important to show how you overcome (or are going to overcome) the Weakness when answering this question.

The best way to prep for this question is to actually know what your weaknesses are.

Write a journal entry setting out what your weaknesses are. be honest – this is not what you are going to say in your interview. Once YOU know what your weaknesses are you can then think ahead and make an action plan in your career development goals notebook to improve and overcome your weakness. An appropriate weakness can then later be formulated into an answer to this interview question.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

V is for… Value

ato z of interview skills

V is for… how will you add VALUE?

 (or what will you contribute to the team or company)

To answer this question you will need to think about both your skills and what the company needs/wants and how you will actually fit in. Elements of this answer may come from why you want to work for the company and why they should hire you – but it needs something more than this. The more specific you can be the better! You should be able to work out from the interviewers perspective why you are a good investment.

An example of an exercise you can do to help is to work out your value is work out your value for your current job. How did you add value? Next look at the mission statement, goals or business plan for the company you are interviewing for. What areas can you contribute to? What value you can you add?

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

U is for… University

ato z of interview skills

U is for… Why did you choose your University?

This question is a popular question for graduates. Recent Graduates (or final year student interviewing for their first job) will have a less ‘on the job’ questions that they can answer so interviewers may ask why they chose a particular university to do their undergrad or postgrad degree. This will be a mix of general interest, understanding a change in geographical location and also gives the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate decision-making skills.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

T is for… Teamworking

ato z of interview skills

T is for… Teamworking

Most jobs will require you to work in a team and may ask questions designed to see if you are a team player and find out how you handle teamworking and the potential problems of working in a team. So it is important to have a couple of good examples that you can use.

Examples of Teamworking Interview Questions include:

  • How do you feel about working on a team?
  • Give me an example… of when you worked as part of a team
  • What aspects of teamwork do you find challenging?
  • What role do you normally perform when working in a team?
  • Do you prefer working in a team or working independently?
  • What do you enjoy about working in a team?

Do you have a natural role that you always fall into when participating in teamwork? Your weekly career journal entries can be used as prompts to help you remember particular team working experiences, and identify problems that were solved, what you role was and what functions other team members carried out.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

 

S is for… Strengths

ato z of interview skills

S is for… What are your strengths?

During the challenge I have not written much about skills because these are being covering in the A to Z of Skills Development Series. However, the popular interview question “What are your Strengths?” asks you to consider you unique selling points and name your strong natural talents in black and white with an example that demonstrates how these talents enhance employable skills.

This is an important Interview Question for which a number of examples can be prepped and revised in your Career Journal.

Identifying your Strengths (and weaknesses) can also form part of a useful personal development exercise – for anyone.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

R is for… Responsibilities

ato z of interview skills

R is for….What are your Responsibilities in your job?

You are being asked to define your job. What responsibilities do you currently have? This is an opportunity to talk about what you do and explain in more detail the day-to-day job. I have been asked the question ‘what do you do’ and it can be a very difficult (and wide-ranging) question to answer concisely.

A little bit of preparation on this question can be useful to run through prior to interview. This could include highlighting which of your responsibilities are most relevant for the job you are applying for to make sure you are getting these into your answer. It is a good opportunity to review the original job listing/description for the role.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.

Q is for… Questions

ato z of interview skills

Q is for… Have you any Questions?

The interviewer will nearly always ask if you have any questions for them. It is important to realise that they don’t always wait until the end of the interview. I have been in an interview where this has been rolled out as the second question after tell me about yourself. For me this highlighted the importance of knowing what you wanted to know about the company as there was no asking questions based on the content of the interview or saying that all the questions you had have already been covered.

Quite simply: there was nowhere to hide.

You should have a list in your journal of questions to ask – this can be a mix of questions you have previously asked, questions you realised post-interview you wish you had asked, questions you thought of while researching the company you are interviewing with.

Just make sure the answers to the questions you are asking are not readily available on their website.

Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.