Tips for Handling Interview Questions

May 10, 2011Posted by carolyn

Handling questions at an interview is a matter of being prepared. Anticipate questions, think about your answers, and have a few questions of your own up your sleeve.

job interview

Relax – if you are too nervous, you won’t be able to give your best.

If you feel you have answered a question, stop talking. Ask the interviewer if you have covered what they wanted to know. Better still, ask a relevant and informed question back.

Anticipate questions, prepare answer in your mind.

Interview questions normally fall into four categories: You as a person; your work history, skills and experience; the company; the job. Through these questions the interviewer is looking for an insight into your personality. Why are you leaving your current job? What do you know about their company and do you have the skills to
fulfil the job specification?

Brainstorm your answers.

Don’t be coy, sell your skills. An interviewer will often see many candidates in a day. The one he or she remembers is the one who had something interesting to say. So write down what you consider to be your skills, strengths, achievements, and the areas where there’s room for improvement. If you have spent time considering what you have to offer you’ll feel more comfortable presenting these strengths to your prospective employer.

Be prepared, they may want more details.

Make sure you can expand on all of your answers. Your CV/Resume may well provide them with all the info they need – but the interviewer needs to check out your communications skills. However, make sure the additions to your answers add value,
don’t be long winded for the sake of talking!

Questions from you…

There comes a point in every interview when you’ll be asked: ‘Have you got any questions?’ The worst answer you can give is no. Think hard about what aspects of the job are important to you.. Are there training opportunities for example? What are the opportunities for career progression? But be careful not to bombard the interviewer with a long list – they may have a tight interview schedule to stick to.

See also: Common interview questions