Before you go for any interview, you need to prepare yourself adequately. Research on the company and review the details of the position you applied for. Evaluate your expertise and strengths, and ways in which you can use your skill set to be an asset to the hiring organization. Anticipate how you will confidently answer questions asked.
First impressions are very important in the hiring process.
Here is how to answer two key interview questions:
“Tell Us about Yourself”
This is a common question. So, where do you even begin? Do you treat the question as if you are on a date and start talking about your interests, dislikes and whatnots? I will tell you this, the HR doesn’t want to know about where you grew up, or the kind of hardships you went through to get to the position you are in today.
When asked this question, you have to first focus on your academic background and professional experience. Give a brief overview of the two. For example:
My name is Anastacia Kihoti, a communications graduate from Africa Nazarene University. I am currently a customer service manager with four years of experience working for SMEs and large organizations in the service industry in East Africa....
The next step is to talk about your career progression as well as what you have learnt or achieved through the years. Capture the HR’s attention by mentioning the accomplishments that you are most proud of. For example:
As the customer service manager, I managed a team of fifty customer service representatives in introducing call center systems by developing customer interaction and voice response systems, and executing user acceptance test plans...
Finally, you should give a summary of what you want your next career step to be. Make sure this logically ties in to the responsibilities of the position you are interviewing for. For example:
I am looking to move away from customer service to coaching and developing team leaders and agents, managing the daily running of a call center and driving performance of the team leaders to meet the business KPIs...
What Are You Looking For in a New Position?
Start by mentioning that you are looking for a job which has the potential for advancement. Talk about the desire to work in an environment where you will be challenged and in which you can grow your skills while being mentored. Highlight the experience you expect to get from the position.
If you strive to work in a place that you’re excited to go to every morning or where you’ll be mentally stimulated, be honest about it. Tell the recruiter that those are the crucial aspects you want in a new position.
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