Interviews can be high-stress, anxiety-driving situations, especially if it is your first interview. A little preparation and practice will go a long way towards helping you out.
We can’t read the minds of the hiring managers, but we will give you a list of possible questions asked at interviews along with advice on how to answer them.
Here are some of the possible questions:
- Could you tell me about yourself or describe your background?
This question looks very simple, and most people are confident in themselves, so they don’t bother practicing for it, but this question is very crucial and tricky. When answering, we advise you to talk about a relevant incident that made you decide to join the profession you are pursing. Follow it up by discussing your educational background and do not give your complete employment or personal history. Instead, give a concise and compelling answer that shows you are fit for the job. Also, add your hobbies when answering.
I began my career in marketing, but a few years ago I was drawn into brand management. I’ve always had the skill of identifying brand problems and how to build brand image. My experience successfully building a good brand reputation for the firm led me to consider brand communications.”
“I graduated from the University of Lagos in May 2020, where I studied mass communication, and I majored in broadcast journalism. I went for my mandatory national youth service in Kwara state, where I was posted to a federal government college where I taught English. I have been interning at 99.9 FM, where I had the chance to put my program production skills to good use by helping different producers research and gather the information needed for the program. This internship experience has helped reinforce my desire to become a broadcast journalist, which is why I applied as soon as I saw the opening for OAP. “
- How did you hear about this position?
This is another safe interview question. This is a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for the job. Employers also want to know whether you are actively seeking out their company. Were you recommended for the role by a current employee, or did you hear it from a recruiter?
“I learned about the position through LinkedIn, as I’ve been following your company’s page for a while now. I’m passionate about the work you are doing in human resource management, so I was excited to apply. The required skills match well with my skill set, and it looks like a great opportunity to be able to contribute to your mission and vision as well as a great move for my career. “
“I heard about the opening from a friend of a friend who works at your firm, and since I am a big fan of your work and have been following your brand for a while, I decided it would be a great role for me to apply for.”
- What are your greatest strengths?
The interviewer is throwing this question at you so you can talk about what makes you great and a great fit for the role. When answering this question, you think of quality, not quantity. It is great to discuss the attributes that qualify you for the role you applied for and what sets you apart from other candidates. When answering, always remember to show rather than tell. For example, instead of saying I work well under pressure, instead tell a story that demonstrates this.
“I have extremely strong writing skills. I have worked as an editor for 3 years. I pay deep attention to details when it comes to writing and editing. I have also written a variety of articles, so I know how to shape my writing style to fit different kinds of audience.
“My greatest strength is my ability to build strong relationships with my clients. I love meeting and building relationships with new people. I’m usually able to build a strong rapport with clients.”
“I have a strong work ethic. When I work on a project, I don’t want to meet a deadline. Rather, I prefer finishing the project well ahead of schedule, and I earn different bonuses for completing projects one week ahead of schedule.”
- What do you consider your weaknesses?
Your interviewer wants to know how you do tasks when work doesn’t go smoothly, how you deal with difficult tasks, and how you handle workplace stress. This question is to test your honesty and self-awareness. When answering, think of something that you struggle with that you are already working on to improve.
“I need to become much more adept at distinguishing between working hard and working successfully. I constantly make the mistake of believing that working long hours implies I am doing a lot, but in reality, I work better when I am not overly exhausted. “
“I have a keen eye for detail. This can occasionally develop into a predisposition toward perfectionism. This has in the past forced me to double-check everything, carefully edit emails to make sure I’m being clear and precise, or make adjustments to PowerPoint presentations to make them flawless. I’ve mastered the ability to recognize which tasks demand this level of accuracy. “
“I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, I am now taking steps to correct this by using a pocket planner and Google calendar. “
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
The employer wants to know if your goals fit with the job, they are offering you. They also might want to assess whether you will be satisfied and engaged in the role over the next few years. If you want to reach an advanced job title in five years, the employer can accommodate that.
“Although I cannot predict the future, I sincerely believe that I will become a very good financial consultant. I believe that my abilities will allow me to excel to the point that I can seek other opportunities as a portfolio manager and possibly higher. “
“In five years, I see myself as a valued employee of this company. I want to be an expert at my position and am starting training to be a manager.”
“In five years, I see myself as an industry expert that others can come to for ideas, strategy, and help. I’d like to be able to help and provide guidance, potentially taking leadership positions. I would love to take up leadership positions because I am very passionate about it. I’m motivated to connect my initiatives to the company’s larger goals.”
To be continued next month. For more interview and career tips follow us on instagram @job_openings_naija, twitter @job_openings_ng.