Contrary to the popular belief, an interview is not a one-way conversation. It is a conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee. Confused? Allow us to explain. Most people believe that an interview is where a potential employer checks whether you have the necessary skills or not. However, they don’t realize that it is also an opportunity for the candidate to know the company or their potential employer. It is the only opportunity a candidate has to see if the company is the right fit for him.
Now, let us talk about how to answer the interview questions and what questions should you ask your interviewer. Your attire, body language, and preparation will determine how the interview will go.
Answering the questions
The primary task of the candidate is to answer the questions. These points will help you prepare yourself for all kinds of questions in the interview.
Always answer the interview questions with confidence. Being confident sends the message that you know what you are talking about. This is exactly the kind of impression you want to give your potential employer.
Know about the company
We cannot emphasize this enough. Do your research about the company. They might ask your opinion on an ongoing issue, project or client. It’s good to read on the latest happenings in your industry. It is also important to know the skills required for a particular job profile. This will help showcase your skills in a way that fits your employer’s expectations.
Your strengths and weaknesses
This question is thrown at most candidates. They might not ask directly, but in various other forms. Be prepared with your answer so you know what to say. You don’t want to become blank during the interview.
Think before you answer
Always think before you answer. If you need to pause and collect your thoughts before answering, do it. Taking a pause before answering is advisable since you do not want to just blurt out what comes to your mind. You are there to make a good impression, so your answers should reflect that and why you are a good fit for the company.
Experience and skills
Your experience and skills are an important part of your application. Often, you will be asked “What skills can you bring to this position?” “Why should [company] hire you?” and “What are your professional strengths?” You should know which skills are required for which position and emphasize on those specific skills during the interview.
Asking the questions
Listed below are some of the topics you can talk about during your interview. Remember, it’s perfectly ok to ask questions and it will not reflect badly or interfere with the interview process.
The hiring process
As a potential candidate, your first thought is to make sure that the interview goes as well as possible. Regardless of how it goes, you should ask about the next step in the hiring process. “Will there be an in-person interview?” “Will there be a telephone interview?” It is always better to be prepared ahead of time.
As a potential employee, you should ask about the company’s culture. “Do they have regular social outings and events for employees?” Your interviewer is the best person to answer this question. Ask the question in a way that shows you are curious and excited to learn more about the company’s internal culture.
Just as interviewers ask about the candidate’s past successes and failures, so can you. You can ask how the company measures success and how do they go about achieving the standards of success set by them. It’s also good to ask about the company’s appraisal process and how they measure an employee’s success.
One of the most recommended questions to ask your interviewer is where does the company see itself in the next 5 years. The answer will help you determine if and how you can contribute to the company’s future vision and mission.
Access to resources
As a new employee, you need someone to show you the ropes. A guide is always helpful in acclimatizing to a new workplace. Therefore, you can ask if you will have access to a mentor when you begin working there. If there is a mentor program in place you already know about, ask about the workings of the company.
Biggest/ latest project
If you do your research before the interview, you will be aware of the company’s current projects or clients. You can ask questions about the project including the goals, the process, its importance for the company, etc. Even if you don’t get a direct answer, it will give you an insight into their working style.
An interview is a conversation between two people and not an interrogation by any means. This misconception often stops candidates from getting to know more about the company. They prepare themselves for the interview but often ignore about preparing themselves to ask questions about the company. Just as it is important for a company to see if the candidate is a right fit for the organization, it is also important for the candidate to check if the company is the right fit for him.
No matter what happens in the interview, always follow-up with a thank you note or a thank you email. Such a gesture will help people remember you. You never know, they might refer you for the next job opening in the company or you might be on your way towards establishing yourself as a model employee.