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Job-seekers: your interviewers won't tell you these

Wale Joseph
Posted on December 7, 2015;

Being yourself is better than being ‘professional’

Putting on the ‘overly professional’ act might be what you feel is required when you set foot into an interview room – but it’s not necessarily what the interviewer wants.

Although a certain amount of professionalism is obviously important, recruiters want to be able to have a conversation with a real person, not a robot – so let them see the real you.

Not only will it help you stand out from the other candidates, you’ll also be more capable of demonstrating your true abilities and skills, not to mention have a much better interview experience because of it.

After all, turning the situation from ‘formal interrogation’ into ‘friendly chat’ will always work out better for everyone involved.   

Your CV doesn’t matter

Ok, so the experience on your CV is undoubtedly an important part of the recruitment process – but it’s not a deal-breaker at the interview stage.

The recruiter has already extensively read over your CV. That’s why you’ve made it this far, after all. However, that part of the recruitment process is essentially over.

In other words, it’s time to say goodbye ‘CV mode’ and hello ‘interview mode’.

Instead of relying on the words you put down on paper, use this opportunity to express your personality, explain why your skills are relevant, and most importantly, think about the future rather than the past. Relate your experiences to the new role, and that’s where you can really start selling yourself.

There are only really a handful of interview questions

When it comes down to it, there are only 15 interview questions that really count.

Sure, there are hundreds of different ways your interviewer may choose to ask them, but every interview question is actually just a variation of the 15 themes.

The good news is, once you’re able to identify each theme effectively, you’ll be able to prepare honest, personal answers that will impress any interviewer.

These questions range from interview favourites such as, ‘what are your weaknesses’ andwhere do you see yourself in five years’ time through to competency based questions like ‘tell me about a time where you worked as part of a team’.

To an employer, a job is a problem to be solved

Job vacancies exist in two different universes: one where an employer has a problem to be fixed, and one where a jobseeker needs a job.

Even though fixing an employer’s problem may result in solving yours too, it isn’t the sole purpose for vacancies becoming available – and remembering that will help you focus on what’s important in an interview situation.

Pitch your answers with the focus on how you’ll be able to help them instead of how the job will improve your life, and you’ll be on the right track to impressing your interviewer.

Remember: wanting a job doesn’t mean you necessarily deserve it. Be the solution to theirproblem, and you’ll dramatically increase your chances of success at every interview.

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