How to answer questions in job interview

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How to answer questions during job interview:

You may well be nervous, particularly if you have had little or no experience of interviews (or if the interviewer is not very experienced or, perhaps worse, is bored by having conducted a number of interviews already and asking the same questions). However, do try to keep your nervousness in check. Strive to keep calm and collected; however anxious you may be feeling ‘internally’, try to show that you are calm and composed. Good interviewers will do their best to help you to relax, but not all interviewers know how to do so, or try to do so.

Do not start speaking until you are spoken to. Listen carefully and attentively to what is said to you, whether you are being asked a question or being given information. If you do not listen properly, you may annoy the listener(s) by giving information about something not called for – and that will not create a good impression.

Look directly at the interviewer who is speaking to you; do not look at the floor or at the desk, or gaze at a wall or the ceiling or out of a window whilst you are being spoken to. Make certain you look interested in what is being said to you. Even if a question or an explanation (or an answer to one of your questions) is lengthy, keep your attention directed towards the speaker concerned.

Do not twiddle with a pen or pencil or a paper-clip or with some object on the speaker’s desk; do not move around in the chair, stretch your legs, or make any other movement which could be taken as a display of disinterest or boredom on your part. Do not interrupt or contradict an interviewer; if he says anything which is not quite right, you can give him the correct facts after he has finished talking.

The man that reaches the top is the determined, spirited, hard worker and never the fearful, hesitant, slow worker.

Answer fully and clearly and truthfully

Answer fully and clearly and truthfully any questions which you are asked. It is important that you speak clearly; an interviewer cannot find out from you what he needs to know if you give answers, or if you mumble your replies, or if you do not pronounce words clearly; avoid ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and other signs of nervousness or hesitation.

At the same time, make sure that your answers are to the point – do not launch into lengthy and irrelevant explanations, and do not boast. When answering a question, look directly at the interviewer; if you are being interviewed by more than one person at the same time, your answer must be directed mainly towards the person who asked the question to which it is a reply – but you must ‘include’ the other people present by shifting your gaze to them from time to time.

Do not look at the floor or at the desk when answering questions – look at the person(s) to whom you are speaking. Remember that what I taught you (in another post), about avoiding abbreviations, slang and colloquial expressions, profanity or blasphemy, applies equally to your speech during interviews.

Be respectful at all times

Be respectful at all times. This does not mean that you should go to the opposite extreme and be subservient, but you must adopt the right attitude for the occasion. Never give the impression of being ‘superior’ of that you ‘know it all already’. Even if you are experienced in the type of work concerned, do not be tempted to say “I can easily do your work as I know all about it already”, or words to that effect; most organisations, including those making or selling similar items, have different systems, methods, procedures, etc., and an employer could become irritated by such an attitude on your part. Of course, if you are already employed in the organisation and have been trained for promotion, the situation is slightly different, but do not boast.

Do not try to be ‘clever’ or to make witty comments during the interview; some interviewers may be impressed, but most will not be, as they may feel that you would have the same ‘lighthearted’ (and therefore casual) attitude towards your work. Be serious, and try to display genuine interest in what is being said to you. Also, try to absorb – remember – what information is provided to you by the interviewer(s).

Continued in the following post…

​What about yourself

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